The Dead Rise on All Systems
The original Dead Rising was an Xbox 360 exclusive, being the only console I don’t own, I had to watch others play it and read reviews. It’s hard to go wrong with zombies, which probably explains the enormous saturation level this “undead” genre has reached. When I heard that they were releasing a Wii version of the game I was intrigued, but some really bad previews and later on reviews kept me away. When Dead Rising 2 was announced and all systems were a go, I was like a zombie at a brain buffet, which is to say… brraaaiiinnnnssss….
The Undead in Vegas – Not a Metaphor
In Dead Rising 2, players control Chuck Green, a former moto-cross champion and current participant in the TIR, “Terror is Reality” game-show. Chuck earns money for mowing down zombies on his bike with twin chainsaw blades mounted to the steering column. Chuck participates reluctantly to afford Zombrex, the temporary antidote for his daughter, Katey, who has been bitten. Between his disdain for his “career” and the grief over losing his wife to the zombies in the past, Chuck is a broken man, who lives only for Katey.
Somehow the thousands of zombies which are kept in containment for use in the game show get out, later revealed to be an act of sabotage, and the zombie scourge quickly spreads through the surrounding Las Vegas area. Chuck escapes with Katey to a safe-house, but has to venture out into the zombie-infested masses to a) secure Zombrex for Katey and b) prove his innocence (he was framed for the zombie release) before the military arrives in 3 days.
Dismemberment can be Art too!
Like the previous game, in Dead Rising 2, the main focus of game-play is melee combat. The added feature here is the ability to pair two objects together to create new super-weapons that earn you bigger prestige points (PP) which level up your character’s stats. A few of the interesting early chances you get to see these weapon combos in action involve things as simple as a nail and a bat, for a spiked bat, and as a complex as a pairing of drills and a bucket. You drop the bucket on a zombies head, and turn the drills on and voilà ! Ridiculous death! Dead Rising 2 is not short on gore, but let’s not get too uptight about this, they are zombies after all. There are vehicles in the game which can be used for more mayhem and carnage. My chief concern of the game, which I noticed from watching people play the first, is the time limit on main missions. Having a set amount of time to the game is a good method for increasing urgency. If you’re a completist, like I am you, will be frustrated trying to just roam around and explore and complete side mission, only to run out of time on a story mission, effectively ending the game. This does add some replayability however. The graphics are good and sound design as well, though neither seem to be significantly upgraded from the original, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Whether you like Dead Rising 2 or not comes down to this: of you liked the first, you’ll like the second, and the same if you disliked it. I recommended grabbing this with a friend and making good use of the drop-in, drop-out co-op functionality. I would also recommend console over PC, though the PC price might be worth the hassle of the controls.
What do you get for your hard-earned gamble?
Dead Rising 2 is now available on Xbox360, PS3 and PC. Console prices are 59.99 for the standard version. The PC standard version has an MSRP of $39.99. A Collector’s edition is available for both consoles at $79.99. The Dead Rising 2 Collector’s Edition features: a steelbook case, an extra Blu-ray with a “Making of” feature, Zombrex Pen, Prescription Notepad and Safety Card, a hardbound art-book and a voucher for a dynamic theme.