E3 06: Dead Rising Hands-On

Photojournalism and zombies meet head-on in this third-person action game from Capcom.

Dead Rising has been shown a few different times over the last year. It was playable at E3 last year, and it definitely seems as though it's come a long way. If you're just joining us, Dead Rising puts you in the role of Frank West, a photojournalist investigating a hot tip that takes you to the small town of Willamette, Colorado. The tip pays off, but instead of getting pictures and escaping via helicopter, you end up getting trapped in a zombie-infested shopping mall with your camera, your fists, and not much else.

A big part of Dead Rising is improvised weaponry. You can reach for a variety of objects, including park benches, umbrellas, chainsaws, and just about anything else that you could find in the average shopping mall. One surprisingly brutal weapon we got our hands on was a barbell, which you use to straight-up deck zombies in the face, resulting in a great, gushing blast of blood.

The game's more than just zombie pounding, though. Since you have your trusty camera, you can document the atrocities as they happen. Your phoros get rated and, if applicable, put in a genre. Snapping a shot of some humans standing on a car and fighting off a ton of zombies gets filed under "brutality." Shooting an injured survivor being cared for by another is marked "drama." You'll earn points for your photos as you go, but we're not sure how that'll play into the rest of the game.

The story isn't crystal clear, but early on you run into some mysterious humans who won't tell you why they're there. Could they be responsible for the zombie apocalypse? Perhaps you'll eventually get to pump the lovely Jesse for more information later on in the game and get to the bottom of all this before the zombies eat your damn brain.

Dead Rising is due out in June, and the build being shown here looks like it's probably feature complete. Look for more coverage on this one as its release date rapidly approaches.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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