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Review

Dead Rising 3 Review

  • Game release: November 22, 2013
  • Reviewed: November 18, 2013
  • XONE

Paint the town red.

by

Welcome to the beautiful city of Los Perdidos! Now strip down to your underpants and smack some zombies in the face with a traffic cone.

Survival may not be always be pretty in Dead Rising 3, but it's fun to roam around in this LA-inspired setting for Capcom's latest take on a zombie apocalypse. You'll be able to hop in a car and traverse from one end of this city to the other in about five minutes, but the thrill is in the journey rather than the destination. And if you happen to be making the trek on a RollerHawg, a combination of a steamroller and motorcycle, that journey will cheerily mulch a couple of hundred zombies into paste.

The original Dead Rising took place in a shopping mall and contrasted its zombie outbreak with the everyday sights of clothes shops, food courts, and pharmacies. Its sequel ratcheted its lens of consumerism up to Fortune City, its gaudy casino complex freshly built upon the smouldering wreckage of Las Vegas. Dead Rising 3 now takes aim at an entire city, but the themes are the same as before, even though its colour palette is certainly duller. Everything in Los Perdidos is a shop, and you are here to consume.

One of my only Dead Rising 3 screenshots where Nick Ramos looks normal.

Dead Rising 3 takes to the the west coast in an environment large enough to need splitting across the districts of Ingleton, Sunset Hills, South Almuda, and Central City. But Los Perdidos is built to be a playground rather than a world, and its shop windows are tantalisingly stuffed with countless opportunities to bludgeon, slice, and splatter the undead hordes roaming the streets in their thousands. Few games offer such breadth in their potential weaponry or number of potential targets, and dismembering the undead with hub caps, pogo sticks, and coat hangers still feels both novel and hugely entertaining.

The outlandish outfits and versatile weapons clash with Dead Rising 3's ceaselessly dangerous environment, with more and more undead pumped into the streets of Los Perdidos as the game's five-day narrative progresses.

It's all well and good attempting to take out a zombie with a handbag while wearing a summery dress and medieval helmet, but at Dead Rising 3's core the game takes the idea of combo weapons, introduced in its predecessor, and runs amok. New hero Nick Ramos is no longer constrained to stitching together his weapons of mass distraction at a wayward workbench, with the recipes for these 100-odd combinations found in blueprints scattered around the city.

This is the first of Dead Rising 3's many efforts to smooth some of the series' harsh edges, and is ultimately a positive change that further highlights Dead Rising 3's huge focus on crafting, giving players the freedom to build new weapons as soon as they become available. The game justifies this contextually by making Nick a mechanic, one who is ultimately looking to escape the Los Perdidos by cobbling together a plane, but his character arc and mysterious tattoo are largely ignored until the latter chapters of the game, with Capcom instead focusing on the arsenal and body count.

Hammer + Battery = Mjölnir

The opportunities for raucous carnage are immense, though many of the combo weapons return from Dead Rising 2, and there's a giddy pleasure obtained from running around in a comedy costume (vintage tennis get-up, anyone?) and playing around with your new toys. Grab the corresponding blueprint and then mix some chemicals with a lead pipe to get the Pukes O' Hazard, a vomit-inducing club. The chest beam, made by combining microwave and a motorcycle engine, shoots out thick, meaty blasts of energy that can atomise a nearby crowd, and Street Fighter fans will eagerly unite an engine with some boxing gloves and shoryuken into the nearest zombie with the rocket gloves. Or, if you fancy introducing an element of randomised chaos, there's always the sentry cat.

New to Dead Rising 3 are super combo weapons, themselves made from taping together two or more constructed weapons. The results are usually devastating. The Fire Reaper, for instance, first requires you to make a Grim Reaper (scythe and katana, very good at clearing at groups) and then further combine that with a gasoline tank. Vehicles, now central to navigating the bridges and tunnels which connect Los Perdidos' districts, can also be fused together. These homebrew constructions, such as the forklift-meets-fireworks display Forkwork, are able to withstand and deal more damage, and quickly prove to be as invaluable as a good electric crusher, defiler, boomer axe, or freedom bear.

The outlandish outfits and versatile weapons clash with Dead Rising 3's ceaselessly dangerous environment, with more and more undead pumped into the streets of Los Perdidos as the game's five-day narrative progresses. Nick's swings are sluggish and imprecise, his movement heavy, and his mix of light and heavy attacks is designed for hacking away at a pack of enemies rather than individuals, which is fine until you need to take on a straggler or boss. Fighting is more about crowd control than outright aggression, and evasion is usually the best option despite having an inventory stuffed with kooky items.

He really doesn't want you disturbing the garden.

Weapons and vehicles degrade and eventually break, and the game is all too happy to dish out a fatal punishment to players who venture unprepared into the middle of a horde. Zombies line every corner, constantly swarm out of vents, and Dead Rising 3 is also very much the kind of game where the walking dead will also quite happily fall from the skies, or at least off the top of a nearby building.

I can still remember the route to Colombian Roastmasters in the first Dead Rising, and jumping off the edge of the coffee shop to land on the balcony with the katana. I couldn't tell you much at all about Los Perdidos.

While everything in Dead Rising ticks along to its own in-game clock, the game layers together its plot-advancing story missions with dozens of other tasks in which you have to save survivors scattered around Los Perdidos, or dispatch its seven psychotic humans, each based loosely around the seven sins. These include a crazed physician, someone aggressively tending to a Japanese garden, and a man so lazy he'd rather attempt to kill you with automated drones than lift a finger.

Survivors, meanwhile, set Nick another task that needs to be accomplished, which usually involves either fetching something, such as a pack of scattered tarot cards, or ferrying someone to a destination. One surprisingly affecting mission has you guide an elderly woman around the city while she tells of her bygone years, offering a rare glimpse of life in a dead city. The game also randomly encourages you to smash through swathes of zombies in order to clear paths for stranded survivors. While many of these missions lack the eccentricity and charm of previous games--there's nothing in Dead Rising 3 quite like carrying a hungover showgirl who was sleeping off a zombie outbreak--the main incentive behind these acts of benevolence remains the same: rack up huge amounts of Prestige Points, which levels up Nick and expands his abilities and moveset.

The classic tale of boy meets girl, now with added zombies.

Some survivors eventually join your party, where they can be armed with the game's less flamboyant weapons to fight alongside you, or can be led back to one of the game's safe areas and stored for later deployment. Keeping survivors alive was a key part of the first two games, as leading them to safety was how objectives were completed, but Dead Rising 3 considers it more of an optional afterthought. Safe rooms, scattered around each of Los Perdidos' four districts, also contains recharging lockers that can spawn in any item or combo weapon you've previously used. This is a game far more focused on having you slaughtering the undead than continually scavenging for items, though it's not always a change for the better. Dead Rising 3's accessibility makes it easier to rack up the kills, but infinitely spawning weaponry ultimately robs the game of the deeper connection I forged with Willamette mall or Fortune City. I can still remember the route to Colombian Roastmasters in the first Dead Rising, and jumping off the edge of the coffee shop to land on the balcony with the katana. I couldn't tell you much at all about Los Perdidos.

Dead Rising 3 also siphons off the series' time restraints and limited saving opportunities into its Nightmare mode, which is optionally playable from the start. The game's Normal mode provides ample time to accomplish everything and allows you to save everywhere, making the game far more accessible in the process. While the series' use of time limits and save points has always been one of its most divisive qualities, Capcom's efforts to cater to those who both like and loathe the restrictions will help the game appeal to a wider group of players. Personally I find that Normal mode also robs the game some of its brutal edge, neutering the rising tension and pressure from overcoming its adversities that proved so satisfying when accomplished.

Ultimately this is a tongue-in-cheek game that has enough heart to be endearing.

While Dead Rising 3's shift in aesthetic and accessibility initially suggest a series looking to reinvent itself, the game quickly picks up from where Dead Rising 2: Case West finished off. By the end of Dead Rising 3 you'll have been reintroduced to many characters and unanswered narrative threads from previous games. The series' juvenility also survives the transition, and this is a scruffy game that lacks finesse in both its technical execution and overall direction, with the wayward tone of cutscenes and dialogue often combining with unimaginative mission design, and the tedium of another boring escort mission clashes dramatically with the variety on show in the weapon crafting. Some of the more boisterous dialogue and lingering shots on the female characters also feel awkward and unwanted, but ultimately this is a tongue-in-cheek game that has enough heart to be endearing.

It's also impossible to avoid the game's performance issues. Dead Rising 3's frame rate is extremely choppy, the pop-in eminently noticeable, and I encountered many other occasional bugs such as game audio cutting out, survivors getting stuck on scenery, and one enemy whose mohawk kept popping in and out of existence. Dead Rising 3's ability to fill its streets with hundreds of zombies at once is certainly impressive, but the game is a poor choice if you're looking to show off the graphical power of a brand new Xbox One. Still, you'll probably forget about all that the first time you jump and attack at the same time with a bladed weapon, slicing a zombie vertically in half, and then run around gleefully repeating the move for the next five minutes.

Dead Rising 3 also finds itself saddled with a suite of perfunctory Kinect features. Grabbed by a zombie? Shake the pad to free yourself. In a battle with a boss? Use voice commands to say things like "that's kinky" or "you're crazy" to distract them. Need to attract the attention of a zombie, despite it going completely against the grain of the game's mechanics? Shout at them! The most encouraging thing I can say about these features is that they work. Far more successful is the game's addition of co-op play, allowing a second player to seamlessly drop into the game and take the role of Nick's acquaintance Dick. With many of the game's vehicles working best when a second player is manning the weaponry, hoofing it around Los Perdidos as a duo can be a blast.

Despite a wonky presentation and obvious technical hiccups, Capcom has successfully made Dead Rising 3 a more welcoming experience than its harsh predecessors. It can be an inconsistent experience, but I choose to ignore the game's peculiarities and play Dead Rising 3 in the spirit that I believe it's intended: running around in shark outfit shooting zombies with deadly dildos fired from a leaf blower.

The Good
A delightfully silly game
Clever weapon combinations
Plenty of things to discover
The Bad
Poor technical performance
Not enough variety in the missions
Los Perdidos isn't as memorable as Willamette mall or Fortune City
7
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

/ Staff

Martin played Dead Rising 3 for 18 hours on both Normal and Nightmare mode, but could not test the game's SmartGlass features as they were not available at time of writing. He is determined to one day obtain the 7 Day Survivor Achievement in the original Dead Rising, and delighted to report that 17,298 zombies were harmed in the making of the review.

Discussion

1614 comments
Gixzr
Gixzr

Gotta love "Sharks & Dildos".   Looks like a really fun "Rental" game (member that)  ---i just can't imagine after killing thousands of zombies over & over, to still be interested 20 hrs later.....  Is It?  

NTM23
NTM23

Just beat it now, and I thought it was a great game. As I've said twice before now, it has its problems, but yep, they were all pretty minor. My biggest problem with it right now is that while it has replayability, and I wanted to jump back in right after I S ranked the story, it does give you all of your stats and combos, but having to do the story over makes it so all the areas are locked again, and I want to explore more, with the stuff I had seen but ran past, and stuff I hadn't seen. 


I don't really want to do story stuff anymore to unlock it all, I just want to see the sights and hear the sounds of Los Perdidos. I wish they would just set you free at the end of the credits without any time counting down and no story to get in the way of searching areas. Man, I really wish the time constraints were lifted from the previous two games so I'd want to get through the story. As silly as the games are, and perhaps the stories aren't supposed to be taken as serious, I am still interested in them and the characters. I could get through the previous ones, but the time still bothers me since it doesn't necessarily allow me to explore due to having to run past everything, nor do I care to start the games all over again upgraded.


So yeah, Dead Rising 3's a really great game. Furthermore, some may argue it doesn't visually appeal like some other next-gen games (and that's true), or even look next-gen, but it definitely does look next-gen. It looks great, no more, no less, and I recommend after a playthrough, you take your time to slow down and take in the atmosphere, which makes it look even slightly more impressive since you can admire certain stuff a little better. Say what you will about Resident Evil 6, but the game has great visuals, and that's basically what Dead Rising 3 looks like (with some better, and some worse aspects to it), but on a larger scale. There's some texture pop in, frame rate hiccups, less than perfect anti aliasing, and not terrific animations in many areas (especially the reactions of humans being shot or hit by an object), but overall it can still impress.


I also recommend just using the controller, the Kinect is pretty dumb. I want to say it just doesn't work with this game very well, but I dislike it in general really since the controller so far has proved more useful and faster most of the time. It's interesting to use because it's new to me, but it's also a lot less convenient than simply using the controller, which is quite contrary to what Microsoft had planned. In Dead Rising 3, you'd think simply shaking the controller would be easier than having to press X, B, Y, or A when it comes on screen, but it isn't at all since it doesn't happen instantaneously, and the shout outs at bosses is just worthless and pointless. 

NTM23
NTM23

Yeah, I like this game a lot. As I've said before, it has its problems, but they're pretty minor to me, in what's an otherwise very fun, very addicting game. Maybe it's just because I want to get through it and see it all, I don't know, but I played seven straight hours of it today, which I didn't know until I got up and checked the time. When I have fun games like it, it makes me not want to work so I can play this until I'm done and ready to do other stuff... :P

NTM23
NTM23

I haven't played much of this just yet, but so far it's a lot of fun. It has its problems, but I still like it.

jayjay444
jayjay444

I'm a little confused to how this game got a 7 when the game is improved on almost everything compared to DR2, 3 main points they've improved and i'll also say some of the bads about the game which this reviewer fails to mention. 


Okay first of is the story even though it's not it's strong point I did enjoy it a hell of a lot more than DR2, there's a few twists you don't expect and there's even a little emotional moments as well, the game never takes it's self to serious it's not the best story but not the worst either I don't want to give any examples because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. 


2nd is the gameplay, the gameplay is much much better than both the previous games combined, the level up system is really well done now it kinda feels like a RPG the way you put a skill point on the skills you want to level, also never have I experienced as many Zombies on the screen at once than in Dead rising 3, in DR2 you seen a couple of hundred on the screen at once in DR3 it's in the 1000s by the time I did my first play through I had killed 29887 Zombies!! The combo weapons are even better than DR2's they're wayyyyy more creative and almost all of them are fun the combo vehicles are also extremely fun to use, the controls have been improved dramatically the game feels very responsive, the collectibles mean something they're not just things you pick up for achievements collecting them is rewarding because you get a new weapon to create and other ones give you EXP, driving has also been improved majorly. I could go on and on about the gameplay so i'll just leave it there lol. 


3rd main improvement is the grahics, the graphics aren't the best from a next gen point of view but they aren't the worst either, every light reflects shadows, car lights, torch, police lights, fire, flares etc etc my point is I can shine a torch at 700-900 zombies all reflecting shadows without one frame dropping and even more amazing is every shadow is amazing to look at not one has a jagged edge and that's impressive. Textures, lighting, physics, animations view distance, the amount of character models for the zombies, interiors all richly detailed etc etc this game looks amazing I have no idea what any reviewer is talking about the graphics being not "being impressive" they are stunning in fact I would say there better than Assassins creed 4s. 


Okay now for the bad but the good out weigh the bad but here goes, getting around using the map is a pain the devs didn't do a good job there I often got lost but you do learn the routes as you play so it sorta fixs it's self out after your first play through, another one was the psychos they were way to easy compared to the previous games but they were really well done and funny but weren't challenging at all so for me that was a little disappointing. another thing I was hoping for was 4 player coop but 2 player is still good but 4 would have been awsome.   my personal rating for this game is a solid 9/10 almost everything has been improved and it's easily one of the most fun games iv'e ever played and not just that it's easily the best zombie game iv'e ever played. 

Pilgrim117
Pilgrim117

The game is really good, not just for a launch title. A solid 8.5 in my mind, no less. I haven't encountered a single frame-rate drop, no audio bugs, etc. 

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

I am having a ton of fun with this game.  I'm only about 1/4 of the way in, but I'd rate it higher.  Possibly 8.5.


I haven't seen any glitches so far, and no frame rate issues.  And it actually looks gorgeous on a 51" plasma.  No regrets here.  Great game.

guilionakyy
guilionakyy

Bad speech animation definetly. But the thing about the game not taking a stand if it wants to be funny or terrifying and just staying on the fence does not cut it for me... =/. The guy is screaming fearing for his life, while wearing a Black Power wig, mustache and a summer dress. The game would be better served with a main character more Dante(DmC) like personality.
 Still think is a fun game though. I agree with 7.0

Daveof89
Daveof89

Aside from the pretty bad speech animations, I'm really enjoying this game. I would give it an 8.5.

Zoltan720
Zoltan720

Haha nice review, funny and honest.  Good stuff.

zpluffy
zpluffy

I like how they are comparing this to killzone. Anyways if you want to do that, go to Amazon. Killzone have 4 stars while Dead Rising have a little more than 4 stars.

On top of that, if you filter out the people that rated Dead Rising with 2 and 1 stars do NOT have "Amazon Verified Purchase." Which makes it very unlikely that they even bought the game and played it. Most with 4 or 5 star ratings have Amazon purchase seal, and I am one of them. I am having a  blast playing this game. And the frame rate issue isn't really a big deal, unlike the way the author presented the case. The glitches is not that bad for sand box games. 

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

Maybe I just didn't notice it, but I don't think the review mentions the infamous DR long loading times. That's probably a good sign.... Right?

snaketus
snaketus

I have to say it, I haven't played this game, but all the footage I have watched about this game it should be rated like 6.0 max. It just looks crap.

cyntric
cyntric

I have not had a single performance issue with this game in the 3 days I've been playing it. 

taptwistsnap
taptwistsnap

Haven't had any performance issues at all with this game. Mowing down thousands of zombies at a time without a frame rate drop at all. Out of the 6 xbox one games I've played so far i'd rate this one the best. I think the reviewer needs to have another go at the game with the post launch update and at least amend the article.

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

I wasn't really impressed with the graphics for this game...they don't really look ANY different from "last gen" then again I was dissapointed with all the Dead rising games I've played lol

thatguy2001
thatguy2001

I don't understand the bad performance issue either. I have been playing this game all weekend, and not once have i noticed any frame rate drops or pop ins. And this is regardless if I am on foot, or driving a car through a thousand zombies.


This game is alot of fun, especially in co-op mode also.

marc30783
marc30783

i think this is an awful game...

i get that there are some pretty hopeless games.. this beats it..


Zevvion
Zevvion

Bad performance? All the footage and reviews I've seen say that the frame rate doesn't really dip that often. It's pretty insane what can happen on screen at any time. I'd gladly take some dips to the 20's fps to get that. At least, it is impressive for a launch game.

Ravanofdarkness
Ravanofdarkness

The Game looks like fun though it is a shame to hear about the bad Performance the game is offering and i hope they will fix that with Updates.

carloscanalesv
carloscanalesv

I hope that the characters are able to speak outside of cut-scenes this time.I was playing Dead Rising 2 and when the main character and NPCs began to talk in text-only "windows" I almost lost it!.That, the time limit, the inability of saving in other places other than bathrooms and the excrutiatingly long loading times made me rage quit.

frankj22
frankj22

Im gonna try this one since DR was awesome...and frustrating. I love and hate this franchise but the overall is always something good. I'm still unsure about the fact that most of the cheesy 80s-90s ambiance seem gone in this one. Reminiscing about slicing dumb zombies in a funny costume with a cheesy mall background music will hunt me forever. I love to make my grocery with my headphone and blasting DR soundtrack.

alexfrica
alexfrica

I wish all this little boys stop the console war I got both system and tonight I'm picking my xbone and dead rising game hopefully everything is good and I can enjoy it like how I'm enjoying my ps4

Tao_and_Zen
Tao_and_Zen

Nice review, Martin. I love the final sentence. :-D

aronaouran
aronaouran

this inferior xbone 720p - 30fps game gets the same score as the Superior Killzone, how much cash did you get for that Gamespot !

armedvigilante
armedvigilante

what is up with this i have a ps4 and the only game i have is killzone (and contrast) and i think its a really good game but what is up with all these launch titles getting 7's? Did they just set their standards to high haha

Alucard_Prime
Alucard_Prime

@PixelAddict Same here man, having a great time with this game and have not noticed any performance issues whatsoever. This game must have gotten polished after this review.

kariyanine
kariyanine

@snaketus  " I haven't played this game" 


and that is where I stopped reading your comment.

Dienheart
Dienheart

@taptwistsnap You cant change someone else's opinion just because you have a good experience. If you liked it good, but all a review is, is someone else's opinion, dont like it, dont worry about it.

EXxile
EXxile

@DoomglooM In action it looks a lot better. Also, Dead Rising isn't using new hardware to try to break the walls down on graphics, their goal is to add as many NPCs on screen as possible (as with all Dead Rising games). And trust me, they achieve that. There had to have been one point in the game where I saw nearly 1,000 zombies on screen at once.

DoomglooM
DoomglooM

nothing above average really they are

Zevvion
Zevvion

@aronaouran I'm wondering the same thing. I can only guess how much Sony paid them to get a similar score to Dead Rising.

SamehH99
SamehH99

@armedvigilante Launch titles have always sucked. They are usually rushed to meet the console launch date with little to no innovation what so ever. The good games will start to pop up after at least a year of the console's launch date.

taptwistsnap
taptwistsnap

 @Dienheart @taptwistsnap i don't care if he liked the game or not that is his opinion and he is totally within his rights to review it however he wants but to say

 "It's also impossible to avoid the game's performance issues. Dead Rising 3's frame rate is extremely choppy, the pop-in eminently noticeable" and then mention it as a con when the game does not have these issues when the day one update is applied is giving the wrong impression of what people will actually get to play if they purchase the game... as long as they have access to the internet to get the patch. 

MiltoxBeyond
MiltoxBeyond

@EXxile @DoomglooM Seriously, at times it was a challenge to get past that I took to car hopping, and especially with the spots.  That's why I always carried the ElectroFire Staff and a Grim Reaper Scythe with me to carve my way past at times.

Zevvion
Zevvion

@Death_Masta187 THPS isn't really a launch game though. Yeah, it was a launch game for a new system, but it wasn't made specifically for that/those systems. 

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

@SirAardvark @SamehH99 @armedvigilante  

Here are a few other amazing launch titles for other consoles.

Mario 64(N64), Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (GC), Super Mario World (SNES), F-Zero(SNES), Pilotwings(SNES), Super Mario Bros.(NES), Baseball(NES), Excitebike (NES), Duck Hunt(NES)

Dead Rising 3

  • Xbox One
Dead Rising 3 places players in the role of Nick Ramos who must find a way to escape a city full of zombies before an impending military strike wipes the city of Los Perdidos, California, and everyone in it, off the map.
ESRB
Mature
All Platforms
Check out even more info at the Dead Rising 3 Wiki on Giantbomb.com