I thought playing the game was pretty fun; loved the setting, graphics, sound the crazy moments (story-wise or not), but the fact that I had to keep redoing it from the beginning because of failing, I never beat it. It pretty much ruined the entire experience for me. I don't even remember when I played it last. It's one of those games that I wish I would have beaten to see all the crazy characters and how the story plays out, but I just never did. I watched the ending a long time ago and I remember feeling that it wasn't really worth getting through. Right now though, at this very moment, I feel like playing it...
Dead Rising Review
Dead Rising's gory, ridiculous, and entertaining action, coupled with its real-time structure and campy stylistic touches, make it one of the most unique games currently available for the Xbox 360.
- Thousands and thousands of zombies to kill in a myriad of ridiculous ways
- tons of things to see and try throughout the mall
- great sense of style
- a plot that manages to be intriguing without intruding too much on the action
- fantastic sound effects.
- Save system and real-time game structure are frequently at odds with one another
- copious number of escort missions start to wear thin after a while.
When it comes to zombies, few publishers have more experience with them than Capcom. The company has made a mint in recent years off various iterations of the Resident Evil series, and that franchise shows no signs of slowing any time soon. So, it is with some curiosity that we now find ourselves with Dead Rising, an Xbox 360 zombie game produced by Capcom that has exactly zero to do with anything Resident Evil. Where Resident Evil was a series all about horror, tension, and frequent jump scares, Dead Rising goes in the other direction, creating a pure action experience with zombies that are much easier to kill but travel in higher numbers--much higher numbers, actually, with groupings numbering in the hundreds. As a departure from the zombie games of old, Dead Rising is a great success, wonderfully blending campy undertones and visceral, zombie-killing action into something highly playable. It suffers from structural faults, and the game does find itself leaning heavier on repetition than you'd probably like, but Dead Rising overcomes these shortcomings by being a lot of fun to play.
The main protagonist of this zombie nightmare is Frank West, a freelance photojournalist that has made his career covering wars and atrocities. In the sleepy little town of Willamette, Colorado, things seem to have gone terribly wrong. Military convoys block off all roads leading into the town, and all communication devices have been jammed. After being tipped off about the events unfolding, Frank charters a helicopter and flies into town to get what potentially could be the story of his career. What he finds is a whole mess of zombies laying waste to the town and its citizens. After snapping away a number of pictures of the carnage, Frank instructs the pilot to drop him off on the roof of the local shopping mall--a huge, decadent shopping emporium that almost seems bigger than the town itself. Frank tells the pilot to return in three days to pick him up, and from there, Frank is seemingly on his own.
Frank's journey through the Willamette Park View Mall is a fairly complicated one. The basic premise of the game is that Frank has 72 game hours to get his story and get the heck out, and how you go about doing so is laid out in a rigid, linear fashion, though also, at least somewhat, left up to you to decide for yourself. Essentially, from the moment Frank first hooks up with some of the key survivor characters in the game, he finds himself on a path to the truth. This path is laid out in a series of case files, which are the game's equivalent of story missions. Each case file takes place at a certain time on a specific day, and it's up to you to get to where those missions take place in at the specific time designated. However, there are also a number of side missions that pop up during the course of the game. These missions are entirely optional but doing them nets you more information about what's going on, as well as some point bonuses for Frank.
The real-time structuring of Dead Rising has its unique qualities, but it doesn't always work particularly well. Specifically, the mission structure and the game's rather punishing save system simply don't get along with one another. Save points are scattered in a few specific spots throughout the mall, and you only get one save per storage device on the Xbox 360. Considering most people probably only have one storage device, that means one save for the whole game. The inherent problem with this is that because the game revolves so heavily on a rigid schedule for the case files, if you save yourself into a corner where you can't feasibly get to that next case file in time, you're screwed. All the case files are connected, and if you fail to get to one on time, the trail goes cold and you're unable to pick up any of the other story missions.
Interestingly enough, if this nightmare scenario happens, you can opt to save the game with Frank's current level and abilities intact and start the whole story over (which you'll basically have to do if you find yourself in this position anyway). Doing this does make it easier to bust through the parts you've already played, but it's still an obnoxious thing to have to deal with. By nature, having to be places on time is not an inherently fun thing. It's especially frustrating when the penalty for not being somewhere on time is the whole story mode ending and you having to start over from hopefully a close enough spot to eventually make it. Thankfully, Dead Rising turns out to be a game you'll want to play through multiple times. But potentially forcing players to replay sections because of an overly punishing save system is the polar opposite of fun.
As frustrating as the save system can be, it shouldn't dissuade you from playing what's otherwise a uniquely entertaining game. You can avoid running into snafus with the save system if you play carefully enough and don't go running off doing every single side mission available before ambling toward a case file. The fact is, there's simply no way to see every mission and pull off all the game's various (and largely difficult) achievements in one shot through the story mode. And one shot will likely take you anywhere from 15 to 20 hours the first time around, so that's quite a bit of content to mess with. There are also some unlockable modes, an online leaderboard, and multiple endings to take into account, as well. Of course, games based within free-roaming environments always work this way, providing so many little Easter eggs and side ventures that you simply can't get it all in one shot. However, Dead Rising's main appeal is less in the sheer volume of content; rather, it's in the ridiculous variety of it all.