Potential ideas may have been flushed, but the end result concurs that Dead Rising is an adequate action experience.
Visi0naries wrote this review on .
THE BAD - terrible save system; 72 hour clock puts you on limited constraints; unimpressive unlockables; button combos somewhat difficult to use at times
All zombie focused games have the same premise. They may be broken into chunks, but in the end it's still the same thing. When you think 'zombie', you think of a scary looking fellow that thirsts for blood. Imagining that this zombie would be placed in a horrifying environment is sufficient as well. Resident Evil is a prime and glorious example of what you'd come to expect from a zombie style game. The sad part is that these zombies are usually chewed up and tossed aside. In almost any zombie game, zombies are usually the most torpid and rugged enemy in that specific game. However, this isn't what Dead Rising aims for. What it's trying to execute is fairly different.
If you didn't catch it before, Dead Rising has zombies. Oh, and not just zombies that pop up spasmodically, or zombies that just appear in portions throughout the game. Dead Rising has hundreds of blood thirsty freaks on screen at once who are trying to flesh on your blood. You'll also notice that Dead Rising was published and developed by Capcom, the same team that is responsible for the popularity of Resident Evil. So, that alone would make you purchase Dead Rising, wouldn't it? A superior developer working on a brand new game may quench your thirst, but you're overlooking some ugly flaws that need to become acknowledged before it's all said and done.
In Dead Rising, you assume the role of Frank West, a photojournalist who's purpose is to figure out why the fictional setting of Willamette, Colorado has been blocked off by the National Guard. Frank West arrives via helicopter to his destination where he sees all hell break loose. He enters from the roof of a mall nearby and explains to his pilot to come back for him in 72 hours, which is a span of three days. From here on, you are the minority against the large onslaught of zombies that want you dead. Of course, it isn't as easy as clobbering zombies, as there are many other objectives to complete before your time in hell reaches its end.
Dead Rising gives you an array of storyline missions along with some side quests to go with your main plate. Most of the missions tell you to go to one area to retrieve something, and others may include rescues and the like. The side quests are a tad different, as they consist of rescuing a survivor, and escorting him to safety. The sad part is that they aren't flexible enough, meaning you're bound to keep doing this over and over again. There are 53 survivors you must escort to safety, so that gives you a feel of exactly how many times you're supposed to do this. Fortunately, for saving these survivors, they may give Frank some useful items, but others may rebel against you for some odd reason. Successful side quests net you PP (which are called Prestige Points), which in turn are experience points that help you level up. More on this later.
Like in your everyday mall, you have access to use anything and everything to clobber your enemies. Baseball bats, cash registers, bowling balls, skateboards are all accessible, and that isn't even a handful of weapons you can use because there are plenty more. Each weapon have different characteristics than others. Some do more damage, some have longer reach, and some have 'special' uses to deliver even more excruciating damage. Guns are also available, but to put it short, they're not as enjoyable and hilarious as the melee weapons. You can even use your own hands to deliver devastating combos to your foes that give you some gritty tension in return. All this gives you some fresh gameplay throughout, so becoming bored with Dead Rising the first time through is quite a feat to say the least.
Like earlier, Frank West can level up by gaining Prestige Points. Leveling up is much more important than you'd expect. Upon leveling up, you are awarded more health points, increased damage, quicker speed, among other things. Garnering PP is as easy as killing zombies, but you also gain PP by completing the suggested side quests and taking photographs of certain events. Photographing sounds quite enticing at first, but it proves to be an otherwise useless added feature that you most likely won't take note of when you're too into the game. Sure, they increase your PP, but there are more alluring ways to do it.
Unfortunately, an ample problem with Dead Rising is its save system. So far, you're looking at a great action game until it's pummeled by a pathetic save system. Dead Rising comes with only one save slot, so that in itself creates frustration that needs no explanation. Since the game requires you to run through the mall on a 72 hour clock, if you miss a particular mission, you are unable to go back and try it again unless you start all over again. This in itself is a very limited approach that seemed to go unnoticed, which is a shame. However, you are able to save your current level you possess and start again from the last save point, but that isn't enough to override the horrible save system.
Dead Rising looks decent at best. It sure does not showcase what the XBOX 360 is capable of, but I could understand that this is an exception because of the hundreds of zombies on screen at once. Frank West himself looks clean and smooth, but his mortal enemies lack that 'zombie feel'. Some of the mall environments look quite stale, but others have a distinct feel to them. What is amazing is that the framerate is very steady throughout the game. I never once had any type of slowdown whatsoever, and that should definitely be worth noting. An onslaught of hundreds of zombies moving towards you all at once and yet there isn't any slowdown? Seems quite impossible, but Dead Rising pulled it off with flying colors, no doubt about it.
Each weapon has an exclusive sound to it, whether it'd be wood crashing right through the head of an enemy, or a bowling ball clashing through a group of zombies. Capcom is known for its ambient sounds, and they are up there with the likes of Resident Evil. The voice acting could have been a little better, but there isn't any major problem here. The music feels uninteresting and basically blights through the great audio. It doesn't give the music that Capcom is known for, but if anything, Dead Rising strives to go for something different in the audio department, and it does succeed in some instances, but in others they aren't as cracked up as they were meant to be.
Dead Rising pushes you with a 72 hour clock. No, the clock doesn't go by real-time. Instead, the clock speeds up to about 12 times what the normal speed is. This gives you plenty of time to work through the mandatory and side quests. After defeating the initial 72 hour mode, you unlock another mode, and after completing that, you unlock yet another mode. Both of these modes are pretty much pointless, so Dead Rising offers meager replay value when it comes to its unlocked modes. Dead Rising was meant to be played by its 72 hour mode, and that will please you for some time. However, eventually it becomes a tedious exercise after experimenting with the new weapons, and afterwards, there isn't much else to do.
Dead Rising offers some quirky, yet fun thrills. While it lasts, expect yourself to be immersed into the game, with an wide array of weapons to use against the zombies that creep towards you. But, don't mistaken Dead Rising for a survival horror game, because it's anything but that. Dead Rising caters more to the action fan than it does to the survival horror fan. If you're willing to give this game a spin, be prepared to suffer from some shortcomings. The save system is atrocious to begin with, and some quests are repeated to the point that they're plain dull to partake in. While potential ideas may have been flushed, the end result concurs that Dead Rising is an adequate action experience. Anyone thirsty for action won't mind some of the shortcomings Dead Rising possesses.