After finishing The Walking Dead I had the weekend at my parents so couldn't start a new retail game. After a quick look through the Arcade store I settled on Dead Rising: Case Zero which turned out to be a perfect fit. TWD had got me in the mood for some zombie bashing and nothing fits the bill quite like Dead Rising! I loved the first game although never really completed it. I played it more for fun than completing the tasks and saving survivors. I'm not a big fan of the time management structure and all I wanted to do was try out all the items available. I read a few reviews for Case Zero that said it was too short and there isn't enough to do but for me it was just the right amount. Yes, the map is pretty small and weapon types are limited but not once did I get bored playing. The full first game got very samey after a while but this arcade release wasn't meant for longevity and was a good length for me.
The story isn't anything out of the ordinary or inspiring but it keeps the game ticking over to the end. I played through it three times focusing on different elements each time. First time round was just for fun, finding all the good items and testing them, and getting an idea of what I'd need to do on a proper play through. Second time round I focused on escaping and getting the good ending, and then on the last run I saved the survivors. The last two can be done in one go but there's not a lot of fun in that as it's then just a race against the clock.
The weapons as in the first game range from the mundane and surprisingly fun, to the new combo weapons that pack a punch. I've never been a big fan of the guns as they wouldn't get you out of a tight spot and there are generally too many zombies for a gun to make a difference. It was still nice to give them a go to make a change from the melee weapons, but killing zombies with a park bench is much more satisfying than a handgun!
Overall I thought it was well paced and provided the right amount of game to make you want more, but not enough to get tired of playing it. Although it was supposed to be a taster to get you in the mood for Dead Rising 2, I'm now not in any rush to play it having got my zombie bashing kicks from this.
Since my last blog, I hit the equivalent of gaming buried treasure by discovering a work colleague who is a big gamer. Unlike me she doesn't trade in her games when she's finished them and has no problem with lending them all to me. Seeing her collection got me a little excited as she's got almost all the games on my wish list here and more besides. I think she's got about 30 games I want to play so I'm sorted for the foreseeable future! My only difficultly is deciding which games to borrow which is not a problem I mind having! It does mean I'll put my few games left to one side whilst I make the most of this. The first three games I've borrowed are Modern Warfare 3, Gears of War 3, and Dante's Inferno.
First up of those is Modern Warfare 3. I've only borrowed it so I can complete the single player. MW2 was my multiplayer iteration and I haven't felt the need to delve into another one. I generally bomb through the single player modes on this and the Battlefield games just so I can say I've played them. They are generally honed to perfection and provide a tight and compact story that doesn't take long but provides plenty of thrills throughout.
The story took me slightly longer than I thought it would although that's no bad thing. Usually when that happens it's because it's dragged on longer than I'd like it to but this was about right for me. I always think level based games should be shorter rather than longer and then open world games to take longer. There's obviously a number of level based games that are awesome over a longer span but as a rule I prefer them shorter. MW3 packs a lot into a short space of time and gives a variety of situations to work through. I felt that Black Ops has a better range of locations but MW3 does exactly what it needs to tell a great story. On all the previous COD games I just skipped over the story to get to the action but this one pulled me in.
As you'd expect from the top online shooter, the shooting mechanics were pretty top notch and it felt quick and fluid and kills generally felt satisfying. I normally prefer tactical shooters like the Ghost Recon games but this is a nice change from the norm. This game has its fair share of set pieces but it also does sneaking and stealth kills pretty well. The only negative I'd have for it as it's a very on rails game. Completely linear with usually only one way of completing a level and you never have to think about what's next.
I dipped into Spec Ops a little bit but didn't check out the full range it had to offer. I like that they offer an additional single player experience to the game as they did on MW2. Not really being into the whole online multiplayer scene buying a COD game at full price always felt a bit steep. Zombie mode on WAW and BO didn't really interest me beyond curiosity but Spec Ops is totally different and a whole game in its own right. I can imagine that playing it with friends online is a great experience but I've never really had anyone else into gaming like me to do it with. Not that I particularly want to, I do love a good single player game!
As I mentioned I don't really play online games so I can't really comment on the multiplayer game. My one and only game that I've ever played online for any length of time and got invested in was MW2 so I've got some experience with how it plays. I can only imagine that it is as good as it or better but I'm sure you'll put me straight if not! I gave the game an 8.5 as I thought it was a great campaign and a pretty well rounded package. If I was an online gamer I'm sure it would've gotten over a 9. I'll get BO2 at some point to do the single player as well but I've had my COD fix for the time being.
Next up is Gears of War 3 which I've already made a start on. Enjoyed the first one and loved the second one so have high hopes for a great end to the trilogy.