Dead Rising 3 Reaches for the Call of Duty Crowd

The zombie-slaying franchise has gone in a new direction, but can it appeal to old fans while creating new ones?

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Zombies stagger around the decimated ruins of a gritty urban environment. A lone survivor stands before them, unfazed by the infected threat that relentlessly swarms and pulses. With one strike from the hero's sledge hammer, a zombie's head bursts into a shower of bloody fragments. A saw blade shreds the decaying flesh from another undead assailant, pieces of its body falling away, displaying the monster's anatomically detailed insides. This is Dead Rising 3, a "grown-up" take on the once-satirical action franchise. Its move toward the brown-and-gray art style that dominates the industry hints at the dark changes that lie beneath. This is not the Dead Rising that you know and love, and as it tries to be everything to everyone, it may find that it's not easy to rekindle a dying flame.

Capcom Vancouver presented Dead Rising 3 behind closed doors, walking us through the demonstration that debuted during the Microsoft press conference while answering questions about the direction that they've taken. The changes that you can see in images were not a fluke. Capcom is pointedly trying to appeal to a wider audience in this latest iteration, saying it's going after the Call of Duty player. Gone is the cartoonish visual design, replaced by a more "realistic" interpretation of a viral apocalypse. That change is part of the maturation. By shifting the art style, the combat can be "more visceral" than in previous versions, with "real gore."

Another notable shift is to the pacing. The urgency that defined Dead Rising has been turned off in the demo we were shown. Time created "extreme pressure" in the original games, and Capcom wants the zombies to be your biggest threat this time around. In Dead Rising 2, you now run around broken-down neighborhoods, killing zombies in horrific ways without real motivation to push forward. Because of the shift in artistic tone and the nonstop combat, this Xbox One launch game now looks like any other open-world game. The team is confident that the ability to create unique weapons will separate Dead Rising 3 from the crowd, but that spark of originality was absent in the demo we were shown.

There are some additions to the expected zombie slaying. The Kinect is used to communicate to zombies (a loud noise is enough to get their attention), and there are motion controls as well. You know how games often force you to wiggle the stick when enemies grab you? Well, in Dead Rising 3, you can shake your arms to get them off. SmartGlass is also implemented. By using your phone or tablet, you can call in an airstrike or locate items on the map. It will be handy to find a sledgehammer whenever you need one, but it clashes with how Dead Rising used to familiarize you with environments. Before, you would play and replay until you learned the layout. Now? Everything is handed to you.

Capcom is confident that even though it's trying to draw in those who just want to kill zombies without any restrictions, it hasn't turned its back on longtime fans. Nightmare mode brings back the time limits that were such a core aspect of Dead Rising. So for those who like the idea of having to be prudent with your decisions, without the ability to save anywhere and with real punishment for death, that is still in the game. However, we were not shown how Nightmare mode would work, so it's unclear if it will be as balanced and engaging as previous entries. It's clear that Capcom's focus is to draw in as many people as possible and hope the existing fan base can stomach those changes rather than build upon what worked before.

Dead Rising 3 is walking down a dangerous path. It's trying to be everything to everyone, and that's a formula that rarely works. Play with dour seriousness or wear zany clothes; implement time constraints or roam without a care; wave your arms or ignore Kinect completely; pull out your smartphone or focus on the television. It sounds ideal, right? We'll see if they've successfully pulled off the impossible or if Dead Rising 3 is just another wannabe that burns bridges without building new ones.

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Discussion

213 comments
Kyrylo
Kyrylo

looks at DmC....looks at RE6.....*dies from laughter* 

KUNG-LO
KUNG-LO

NO no please NOOOO!!! Say it aint so. Not everyone who plays games wants to play COD. And if you like COD then you'll just play COD no? COD lite  or COD zombie version. I'm sure they have their own zombie mode anyway or just play Left 4 Dead. Geez game makers please start listening to your audience and stop assuming you know what we want or forcing your sh!te down our throat. Geeezus !!!

NikBZero
NikBZero

Stopped caring as soon as the "Cod audience" was mentioned way to mess up another series there Crapcom

josh7845
josh7845

No one will buy it anyway since three quarters of the fucking world don't have Microsoft's holy permission to own a working Xbox One.

adysouth
adysouth

Don't know what you all were watching, but I thought this game looked awesome. Still undecided which platform I'm gonna get, but if it's XBOX I'll be picking this up. Have both Dead Rising 1 and 2 on 360 and, while I love the gameplay, the timer kills it for me.

roman4545
roman4545

you want me to buy this game ? sure... if only its also on X360... until then not buying even its for free !

Armoured_Mage
Armoured_Mage

the popularity and profit of CoD in combination with the greed of publishers/developers is the worst thing to happen to the games industry in my time playing.

Imatyta
Imatyta

Graphics suck ass! Yeah yea yea, graphics are not the most important, but common! This game look like it ir running on PS3 and X360! Just because the gameplay is great, doesn't mean that the animation and graphics gotta suck. I want the whole package and not 50% of it.

SuperLegends
SuperLegends

This game looks awesome, still getting a Playstation 4 though...

MAXAM999
MAXAM999

CAPCOM , STOP ... DOING .... THAT IN ANY OF YOUR GAMES   (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

 JUST TRUST YOURSELF ... AND YOUR FANS  ಥ﹏ಥ

UrbanMessiah
UrbanMessiah

Hate me if you must, but I kinda like where they're heading with this....and I'm not even a COD player. I just like zombies in a game to look like and actually be a threat, unlike they were in previous DR games.

Mkeegs79
Mkeegs79

I am tired of franchises getting butchered for the sake of expanding an audience. Alienating some to add more will just make those dedicated give up on the franchise who was loyal. I was a huge fan of Final Fantasy and Resident Evil but now they are nothing that I appreciated and loved as before.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

How is this aimed at the CoD crowd? Because the color schemes are similar?

B_STATS
B_STATS

YES! Go serious or go home! Cannot wait for a serious, adult Dead Rising game!

kagento
kagento

Not again, capcom. Not again...

System4Ever
System4Ever

Reaching out for the COD crowd? isn't that what video game companies have been doing these last couple of years? and the reason why the industry is going down the drain?

RedChuckz
RedChuckz

Lost interest when they said going after COD players, BTW if anyone wants a good zombie game recommend getting State of Decay its only 20 bucks on XLB.

kohle36
kohle36

Zombies are attracted to loud noises through kinect. So, little sibling trolling is a built in feature?

rtircoklled
rtircoklled

I hope for them that they are successful in getting the CoD crowd cause other wise almost no one is going to buy the game. They lost me as a fan that's for sure

Fat_Boy_PT
Fat_Boy_PT

Its almost unbelievable how a company can completely misunderstand every quality and appeal of its product. They seem to have taken everything that made Dead Rising be Dead Rising away and replaced it with everything bland in every game out there. Ridiculous.

Simulator_Shock
Simulator_Shock

I just lost a lot of interest I had in this game after reading this... and I was a big fan of Dead Rising too. The last thing we need is just another brown 'n grey video game that caters to a video game series that's only played by kids and adults with shoe-size IQ's. 


This, and Killer Instinct were the only games that actually interested me in the Xbone, and now they're turning KI into a "freemium" scam just so they can nickel and dime you to death...I think I'll pass on buying the Xbone since I doubt I'll be missing out on anything special. Better to just wait until the console ends up on the clearance racks next year.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

Oh boy.....What an exciting game we have on our hands.

1. xbone exclusive (lol)

2. Zombies

3. Aimed at CoD fanbase

.....

Rizer
Rizer

The no restrictions thing is great, but one of the things I really liked about Dead Rising actually was the color pallet of all things. I don't like it when everything is brown and gritty just because the enemies are. It's strange I know, but somehow when they do that I'm always less surprised when they try to do something scary. I always think "okay it looks scary so something scary will happen here" but when the lighting look natural to the environment it's harder to see those moments coming in my opinion.

Zeeksie
Zeeksie

I love Capcom and I've given them the benefit of the doubt more times than I care to remember. But this is starting to worry me.

visionedorange
visionedorange

the darker-grittier tone is the deadrising game I've always wanted, especially after how trashy and over the top cheasy 2 was. I don't get why that makes it more "COD" but whatever, the implementation of Kinect i'll admit is a pretty decent one, as I've always hated havin to mash my toggle side to side, and the noise thing is even kind of cool, still getting a ps4 but looks like this is goin to be a hell of an exclusive

DDiggalo47
DDiggalo47

I think I might actually get this. I don't like COD but I never got into the earlier Dead Rising games. I think it was because of the colorful tone of the game. I like realistic stuff but I'm not a COD fan. It's ok but I get bored of them easy. I like how it might have an open world feel cuz that what I tend to play more then any genre.

Earthen80
Earthen80

So they made a colourful and relaxed toned game brown and CoD-like? wtf were they thinking?

ali_manslayer
ali_manslayer

it's funny how many companies want the cod crowd, because all the people I know that play cod aren't interested in paying for or playing any other game than cod BF or a sports game so it's almost pointless!

CKeenan07
CKeenan07

This is the beginning of the end for the Dead Rising franchise.

Mthornley88
Mthornley88

Debby downer, Jesus. They showed 2 minutes at the beginning of the storyline, when it's scary in every game. Dead rising 1 and 2 had dark and somewhat scary intros to the zombie apocalypse, and this is the same. They already mentioned that the game will have humor, they just wanted to show off things that explored the real mechanics of the game. Also, these complaints about the air strike deal are ignorant. In an interview they explained the backstory of it, and it isn't something you have right away. It comes from a guy who is trapped in a military base and he has access to mortars and such. The game looks fine and people are just blowing things out of proportion as usual.

Mthornley88
Mthornley88

And this call of duty thing has no impact whatsoever on the game. I don't even know what the hell that means, considering the games are entirely different.

kalpesh_78
kalpesh_78

@Imatyta I hate games with bad graphics. Story and gameplay do matter but whats the point if it doesn't take your breath away visually.

yurface66
yurface66

@B_STATS That is fucking stupid. 

I hate having Dead Rising 3 as an serious game. I got DR2 because it was fun and awesome, and now they are changing it to the sterotypical dark and gritty game. We want malls an being able to do outrageous things that are hilarious. 

You are probably some  COD fanboy or just stupid. This game goes against the entire series

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@Mthornley88 We saw more than the first two minutes. Did you read the above article?

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@Mthornley88 It's about homogenization, tone, and demographic, not gameplay. The article made this clear. 

NbAlIvEr10000
NbAlIvEr10000

@kalpesh_78 @Imatyta I agree, if we are going to anticipate the release of a next-gen console and pay for it, then we should expect something visually breathtaking.  Gameplay is an important thing, but we can get gameplay on the current-gen, we expect that same gameplay with improved visuals for next-gen......thats the whole point.

LordKaizer
LordKaizer

@yurface66 @B_STATS you missed his point.  it's called sarcasm. he's making fun of crapcom for making DR3 to aim for CoD fans.

jessiebristol
jessiebristol

@NickAnguiano @visionedorange Ha! Wrong! Sony never said Dead Rising 3 was coming to PS4, Capcom themselves said it was an Xbox One exclusive. Go ahead and try pre-ordering Dead Rising 3 anywhere for PS4.... you can't.

I have no idea where you "heard" it from or if you are just pulling stuff from nowhere.

And Diablo 3 has yet to be confirmed for Xbox One, as of yet it is only confirmed for Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4. Sony probably has timed exclusivity on next-gen platforms.

Mthornley88
Mthornley88

Yeah, I have read the article, I've watched the gameplay multiple times, and I've played all of the dead rising games to no extent. And sorry, there's 4 minutes, not 2. As he said in the article, you were shown the same gameplay as in the reveal. My point still stands. Just because this guy claims it is a worse game due to a darker and has a scarier look to it, that's honestly pathetic. Try to prove me wrong all you want, but people always try to find things to complain about. And what, since it is in a city and has a darker hue makes it call of duty? Bunch of whiners.

josh7845
josh7845

@Mthornley88 There is though. Through tone and through the shitty brown and grey colour filters that appear to be becoming far to familiar in other genres due to this apparent demand of "gritty realism". Just because it isn't being transformed into a first person shooter, doesn't mean its tone can't be changed to emulate other games like Call of Duty.

Mthornley88
Mthornley88

How in the world can you even compare the two?? It bugs me seeing so many people online feed such worthless comments like yours. If you seriously believe that this "call of duty" comment is going to ruin the game, please explain why. There is no legitimate way to connect this to call of duty.

Mthornley88
Mthornley88

People are going to avoid playing the game due to this claim, when in truth no one actually understands how little that means and how unsimilar it will be to cod. There is nothing they can do to make it "call of duty." It's a zombie game.

Mthornley88
Mthornley88

I'm not denying that. I'm just proving my point in asking how much of an impact that actually makes. People in this thread are claiming that that is ruining the series and they won't get it, but this "call of duty" integration will make no difference in a damn zombie game. The only thing people are trying to claim is call of duty is the supposed "seriousness" that hasn't been proven, and the location and look. Call of duty didn't claim rights to anything that isn't humorous.

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

@Mthornley88 Capcom said they're going after Call of Duty's audience. That was their words.