are known for their fun, inventive and quirky titles as well as their various hit franchies. Devil May Cry
springs to mind and of course the king of the zombie genre: Resident Evil
. So when we heard that there was a new zombie game on the horizon for the 360 that wasn’t part of this franchise we were interested to see what it would be like.
Enter: Dead Rising.
Throwing the traditional RE style of gameplay out of the window Dead Rising bursts onto the 360 with a blood soaked bang.Story
A small sleepy town of several thousand individuals interests a freelance journalist, Frank West. West hires a chopper pilot to take him up and over the obvious military blockade and into the no-fly zone, what he expects to find is a case of civil unrest and a big scoop.
What he finds is that the town of Willamette has been turned into a zombie infested play-pen and the dead are literally rising in droves. Frank is forced to head to the roof of a local mall to check out the scoop and has 72 hours before the chopper pilot returns to pick him up.Gameplay
Right from the start you’re against the clock in Dead Rising, the timer’s ticking and you have 72 hours to get the scoop of a lifetime. The game is played from a third person view and is a hybrid of action/adventure and even features a little slice of RPG-style character levelling.
Frank begins with very little in the way of combat skill and must battle hordes of the undead to find out the truth behind the game’s schlock-horror conspiracy story. As you complete tasks (scoops) in Dead Rising, rescue survivors and take photographs you earn Prestige Points (PP) that are akin to experience in most RPG’s.
From slaying hundreds and thousands of zombies to saving those people trapped in the mall, Franks PP will climb until he levels up and gains a random ability boost. This could be to any one of his statistics such as life, throw, and stock or even a skill upgrade (of which there are quite a few).
As Frank powers up he can battle the dead more effectively, he learns to walk on the backs of the zombies rather like crowd surfing and even gains wrestling moves allowing him to pull of their heads, smash them into the floor suplex style.
Frank is always armed with a camera, and taking inventive photographs is an excellent way to earn more PP. Snap the right shot (a pair of grateful survivors embracing for the first time) and you could earn up to 5,000 PP (even more if the shot’s framed correctly).
As well as his camera Frank can take advantage of virtually every item in the mall, and there are hundreds of things to play around with. From a boomerang that comes back when thrown to a masonry drill that can be used to impale a zombie on the spinning end, Dead Rising is packed with inventive weapons to slay the undead hordes.
And when I say hordes, I mean hordes. There are hundreds and hundreds of zombies on screen at any one time and the game throws them at you in shambling pockets as well as tightly packed groups and wandering loners. The zombies are slow and stupid for the most part but don’t be fooled by this, they can still catch you unawares as you try and get from place to place (the mall is bloody huge) following the story as it unfolds.
Since the game is played against the clock, time is an all important factor and your main story is broken down into cases. Each case has a number of sub-parts and they interlink to tell the whole story. If you want to see it unfold you must spend a lot of time running around the mall, checking your watch and making a note of the time that the next case either begins, or how long you’ve got to get where you are.
The watch can also be used to set a guide marker and this will give you a general idea of where to go.
If you miss a story segment or someone important dies, this can have varying effects on the main story, so it’s not too much of a problem unless you want the best ending in the game. You will often be forced into choosing who lives and who dies as you’re trying to get to your next case file and a survivor scoop shows up. All the survivors have varying motives – some might even decide that you’re the threat and should be eliminated.
If you manage to escort people back to safety (in this case the security room of the mall) you’ll get a massive PP boost and their undying gratitude.
The various sub scoops that show up as the 3 days pass, will be a mixture of people to rescue and Psychopaths to battle. These are an eclectic mix of bad guys that require some serious thought in some cases – you can’t just go running in and expect to finish them off FPS style – you’ll end up very dead, very quickly.
For example: There’s a guy locked in a gun shop, he doesn’t want to give up those guns and he’s going to make someone dead if they try to take them. That someone ends up being you. These battles are time specific mostly and only occur at a certain time of day or night. The Psychopath in the gun shop is a brutal fellow and we died many times before we worked out the correct way to take him down, it was a frustrating battle but satisfying in the end because we figured it out.