Like stated there are some of us members here that have experienced the greatness that is Dead Rising but I'm still feeling that not alot of people have ever heard of this game. It's gotten solid reviews across the board and MANY DR fans will tell you it's probably one of the "must own" games for the Xbox 360.
DR was released in August of 2006 by Capcom. Capcom? Yes...Capcom. The same developer that holds the title for most zombie based games EVER releases yet another. Unlike the horror soaked Resident Evil series or the brutal and bloody Devil May Cry games, Dead Rising instead has more of a "pop culture" zombie feel and you'll actually find yourself laughing a few times rather than being on edge (if you think such things like running over oblivious zombies with a lawn mower is hilarious that is...). There's no doubt DR takes it's inspiration from the cult classic Dawn of the Dead
so fans of Romero's films should find this game quite exquisite!
DR is also ONLY for the Xbox 360...sorry guys unlike the past reviewed Blood Money, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, and Call of Juarez - Dead Rising is a 360 exclusive title. In fact, that's the reason why I purchased the 360...this game right here!
DR has probably some of the best graphics I've seen thus far on the 360. Despite the fact that the game was only released a few months after the consoles launch (which some say is when game developers DON'T know how to make good graphical games...) I would say that DR's graphical capabilities trump such other 360 visual giants as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Gears of War, and even the very beautiful Lost Planet: Extreme Condition.
When you first look at DR you'll find that colors really stick out. I actually don't recall seeing graphics like this kind before...it's kind of halfway between realistic and cartoon-like. Unlike the Resident Evil games DR focus' more on coloring up the screen rather than sticking to the dark...even if that color comes from the semi-coagulated blood of a tore apart zombie. Yet - even in the dark DR shines pretty well.
The fact that this game's graphics aren't ultra-realistic also helps the performance (I think...). Framerates are extremely good and you'll NEVER find this game slowing down or stuttering - even the loading times maybe last a grand total of 3 - 4 seconds maximum.
Weapons, stores, zombies, blood, survivors, explosions, etc all look great and I truly think more games should look like this...or at least have this sort of graphic/performance rate.
Graphics = 10/10
DR has some interesting mechanics and gameplay layouts. While there's a main story to the game that travels from beginning to end you actually don't have to take part in it at all...making the game somewhat very non-linear despite the fact that you can't actually leave the mall you're trapped in and you only can be in the game world for 3 or so days total.
The main storyline is connected by a group of events called "cases". Each case takes place during different times of the 3 or so days and once all of these cases are completed you finish the game (and get one of 4 endings). Each of these cases are made up of smaller "files" that you need to complete in order to finish the initial case. These case files can be anything from simply getting from point A to point B, triggering a cutscene dialouge with someone after finding them, or having a showdown with a boss-like character.
Outside of doing the story cases a player could decide to do whatever the heck he wants. Once he gets past the initial beginnings of the 72-hour game start up he could run around mercilessly killing zombies if he wanted to. There are also plenty of other things a player can do in these 3 days: like all 360 games there are achievements to be unlocked. Unlike most 360 games though, DR actually rewards you in the game for completing these achievements. Most of these rewards are special weapons, items, etc that appear in your safehouse when you begin another game.
While there are the simple achievements like killing 1,000 zombies and such there are also bigger ones that will basically force you to play through the entire 3-day game period (adding immensely to replay value). These sort of achievements are ones like saving ALL the survivors by the end of 72 hours, killing the zombie equivalent to the population of the town (something like 58,000 or so I think..maybe less), killing all the psycho characters, etc.
As far as mechanics and cool abilities in the game the one that I was most excited about before purchasing the game was the fact that almost anything and everything can be used as a weapon. You have you practical ones like sledgehammers, baseball bats, crowbars, iron pipes, knives, shotguns, pistols, police batons, chainsaws, etc but then there are PLENTY of totally impractical, funny, and sometimes useless ones such as plastic toy swords, giant teddy bears, bits of wood, lawn mowers, cans of soda, TVs, CDs (thrown like ninja stars), parasols (giant umbrellas), guitars (yes electric and acoustic), and such things like that. It's also important to note that I think I may have only named 1/4 of the usable objects and weapons in the game. Just this mechanic alone provides an immense amount of enjoyment.
Another nice bit of the gameplay is the leveling up system your character (Frank West) has. As you kill more and more zombies, complete cases, etc you'll gain xp. Like as most gamers know xp = levels. When you level up you'll gain more life (making your life ALOT more easier the first run through), and be able to pull off more stunts and tricks. These little tricks vary: for the most part these abilities you can unlock help you in hand-to-hand combat. You'll unlock the ability to do such things like throw zombies, walk across the heads and shoulders of zombie mobs, jump and bring your knee down on their heads, and even (my favorite) the ability to disembowel those unfortunate to get in your way. Another great thing about this level system? Oh, it sticks with you when you play the 72-hour story-mode over again...leaving you to have an easier time at first this time around but also allowing you to easily get to those higher levels and cooler moves.
One portion of gameplay that seems a little useless to me is the camera mechanic. While Frank's reason for being there and his profession is a vigilante photojournalist the ability to take pictures during the game seems almost useless. While taking certain pictures increases your xp and unlocks achievements there's really nothing useful about it.
Gameplay = 10/10
Whether it's the hungry moan of the zombies, the yells of the dying survivors as they get ripped apart alive, or just the insane laughing of the clown with two mini-chainsaws....DR has some good audio. Voice work is pretty solid but outside cut-scenes it gets a little repetitive. Yet - this only seems to be present with survivor characters who will yell, say stupid things, or sigh with exhaustion as you lead them across the mall to safety.
If you're not toting around survivors though Frank pretty much remains silent other than groans of anger and surprise when zombies grab a hold of him. My personal favorite would have to be Frank's reaction to when certain female zombies decide to start biting his pelvic area...
There's really no music in DR...which adds to the feel of the game I think. The only time music makes it's appearance is when it's coming from the speakers in the mall which are still running that stereotypical "elevator music" or better yet when you visit the amusement portion of the mall...you'll hear the music from the rides and such. DR seems to set itself more on the ability for the player to hear the groans of the living dead and the more discrete sounds one would never consider...like the sound of blood splashing against the stone walls or floor, or better yet the sound of a piece of corpse flying around!
Audio = 4/5
- Replay Value
Like I said before in the gameplay portion of the review DR has alot of replay value depending on what you like. If you're the kind that likes to complete 360 achievements (and actually be rewarded with something within the game) then this is a great game for you. If you don't have any desire to complete these achievements or unlock special items and weapons then how about some good ol' fashion zombie blood bath? For all DR cares you can start up a game and just spend your time going to town on your living dead enemy with as many weapons as you can find.
After you complete the 72-hour mode of the game you do unlock an "infinity mode" which acts basically as a "how long can you survive" challenge. Within this mode one must simply stay alive...what's working against you? Besides the massive amount of zombies that were already present in the 72-hour mode now your health will slowly degenerate as time passes (making you have to scour the mall for food to stay alive). Also, all the psycho characters that you faced in the 72-hour mode will now be on the loose and running about the mall...thus you'll have to deal with them upfront rather than (like in the original game mode) facing them at given times in certain places after triggering them.
Replay Value = 5/5
The story of DR is probably the weakest part of the whole game. It starts out as any zombie-film would...a zombie breakout has hit a town out in the middle of nowhere and you have just been placed in the middle of it, alone yet finding survivors and enemies (both zombie and human) along the way. Naturally there's some giant government conspiracy and such to find out but I'll reserve that for the game to tell you about.
In my opinion the story is that well delivered and can be a little illogical, laughable, and downright confusing at times but I guess that's fitting for anything zombie based yeah?
Story/Plot = 7/10
As I've said before...Dead Rising is a "must play" and quite possibly a "must own" for Xbox 360 owners. DR is an amazing game that I think is a bit overlooked in the world of the 360. If you like your zombies with a bit of humor than DR is worth checking out. It's also a nice hold over until Resident Evil 5 comes to the 360. Plus, rumor has it that there's ANOTHER Dead Rising coming out within the next year or two - so why not play the original now?
Final Score = 36/40 or 90%
The Official Dead Rising website:
The Gamespot Review:
Purchase via Amazon:
Or via EB Games: