Ugh... I absolutely hate the in-game clock. It marred the originals experience so I never felt like getting through it all the way when I originally did to see the crazy characters and see how the story folds out. I think it's a shame they even have that.
Dead Rising 2 Review
The Dead Rising formula proves to be as addictive as ever, and a new cooperative mode and weapon crafting system are great additions to the franchise.
- Clever and brutal weapon combinations
- Focused mission structure keeps you moving
- Psychopaths have disturbing backstories and offer challenging fights
- Tons of hidden secrets to search for
- Striving for completion in cooperative play is fun.
- Long and frequent load times
- Controls are not always responsive.
In the world of Dead Rising 2, there's an activist organization known as CURE that pushes for the humane treatment of the living impaired. If only CURE realized just how much fun it can be to maim, behead, or otherwise massacre hordes of brain-craving zombies. Very little has changed since the release of Dead Rising more than four years ago, but the most important thing that has stayed the same is the thrill of being set loose in a town overrun by mindless monsters. Slice your way through these moaning monsters to save survivors, dispose of dangerous psychopaths, and uncover the terrible truth that could change everything. Unfortunately, along with the good elements that made the original game a beloved hit come the same quirks that will cause you to occasionally stumble. Frequent load screens break up the fine pacing, control blemishes make precision difficult, and the driving controls are lousy. But the core of this game is so outrageously, savagely entertaining that it's easy to look past these missteps. Dead Rising 2 is a unique and engaging experience that is difficult to pull away from and eminently replayable.
Chuck Greene has found himself in an awful situation. His young daughter was bitten by a zombie a few years back and requires a daily dose of the wonder drug Zombrex to prevent her from turning into one of them. But just as pressing as his family issues are the legal troubles swirling over his head. Zombies are now a controlled menace in society. People who are unfortunate enough to be infected are locked away so they can't go around chomping on necks willy-nilly. But someone has unleashed a horde of undead monsters into the gambling town of Fortune City and framed poor Chuck Greene in the process. The story in Dead Rising 2 is a lot more personal than in the first game. You have to continually hunt for more doses of Zombrex to keep your daughter alive while searching for the truth that will clear your tarnished name. It's a situation that makes Chuck an immediately sympathetic figure, and his caring demeanor is a welcome reprieve from the abrasive star of the previous game, Frank West.
The story does a fine job of embracing stereotypes from zombie movies. The cast of characters, including a volatile security officer and sultry news reporter, have an over-the-top acting style that makes it enjoyable to see what ridiculous thing will spew from their mouths next. It's a tongue-in-cheek approach that never takes itself too seriously. This sense of humor is pervasive in the game, and best exemplified by the wacky wardrobe you have access to. During your time scouring Fortune City, you find a wide assortment of outfits to change into, and your fashion style is carried over to the cutscenes. This may seem like a small feature, but it makes the story so much more enjoyable. The mood during these cinematics is usually bleak and overly dramatic, but when Chuck Greene struts in wearing a servbot helmet and a Hawaiian grass skirt, it's difficult to keep a straight face.
That effervescent creativity bubbles over into the combat. The biggest addition to Dead Rising 2 is a crafting system that lets you combine certain objects to create gloriously over-the-top weapons. You can duct tape a machete onto the end of a push broom, affix a machine gun to the arm of a robotic bear, or light your boxing gloves on fire with a spurt of motor oil. It's a fantastic and ridiculous system that gives you a plethora of goofy ways to vanquish your undead attackers. The combinations are preordained, so you don't have the freedom to create whatever wacky ideas you have in your head, but there are plenty of unique gadgets to go around. You can create these special weapons just by tinkering in tool sheds until you come up with something that works, but to unlock their full potential, you have to earn combo cards. You get these cards by leveling up, killing psychopaths, reading posters, or rescuing survivors, and they not only supply the recipe, but they also give you access to its special attack. This forces you to scour the environment and complete objectives, so you have to work to take advantage of the best weapons instead of just using them from the beginning of the game.
The structure that made the original Dead Rising so hectic has survived the transition unchanged. Even though you have the freedom to roam as you please in this open-world adventure, an in-game clock serves as a perpetual reminder to move on to your next task. Every objective begins and ends at a specific time, and if you can't complete it, it disappears. In the case of optional activities, such as rescuing survivors or killing psychopaths, there's little repercussion for failure. But if you forget to give your daughter her medicine or can't finish a primary storyline objective, that entire plot thread disappears forever. You can keep playing if you want, and there's even a special ending to commemorate your inadequacy, but to finish things off the right way, you have to start all the way back at the beginning. It's a punishing system that can serve as a stomach punch for the uninitiated, but it's also the driving force behind this unique experience. The threat of failure is always hanging overhead, and it pushes you to act quickly and make smart decisions. Dead Rising 2 is slightly easier than the original, so you shouldn't have too much trouble reaching the conclusion as long as you stay focused; just don't expect any hand-holding.
Starting over in Dead Rising 2 isn't nearly as lousy as it sounds. Chuck levels up by completing certain activities, and your experience stays with you in perpetuity. There's a huge difference between the slow-footed, weak man you start the game as and the virile Adonis you become when you reach the level cap of 50. So even if you stumble and have to start over, you're so much more capable the next time through; thus, the whole experience is much easier and more fun as well. In addition to earning boosts to your core attributes, you learn martial arts maneuvers. Jump kicks, power bombs, and elbow drops are just some of the deadly moves you unlock, which makes dispatching undead foes efficient and fun. Pulling off these fancy skills is a lot more intuitive than in the original game. Before, some of your moves required you to click the stick while pushing a button, which was downright clunky in the heat of battle. But now, your techniques are mapped to the face buttons and triggers, so you won't fumble around as much. Unfortunately, the higher-level skills are not quite as interesting this time around. You can't disembowel zombies or perform a German suplex, and the replacement moves aren't nearly as flashy. Still, the upgrade system in Dead Rising 2 does a fine job of dangling a carrot until you reach the summit.
- Player Reviews: 92
- Game Universe:
- Dead Rising 2 (PS3, X360, PC),
- Dead Rising 2: Off the Record (X360, PS3, PC),
- Dead Rising 2: Off the Record - Fire Fighter Skill Pack (X360, PS3),
- Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop (WII),
- Dead Rising / Gears of War (X360),
- Dead Rising (X360, MOBILE),
- Dead Rising 2: Off the Record - Gamebreaker Pack (X360, PS3),
- Dead Rising 2: Case West (X360),
- Dead Rising 2: Case Zero (X360),
- Dead Rising (BB)