View Full Version : Game Review: Dead Rising (Xbox 360)

March 15th, 2007, 21:55
Dead Rising
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Reviewed on Xbox 360 by gdf

Ah, zombies. The shambling, brainless undead. Long hunted down by many a gamer, they have created numerous great games over the years, most notably Capcom's infamous Resident Evil series. Dead Rising is another zombie game from the survival horror masters, but is in an altogether lighter, more humorous tone.

You play Frank West, a photographer who has hitched a chopper ride into a sleepy American town that has recently been blocked off by the army. Chasing the scoop, you land on a mall and have 72 hours before your lift returns. When you get down to the shop floor, you find survivors of the outbreak barricading themselves in and fighting off zombies using whatever they can find, and when the undead brain munchers break in, you must employ similar tactics. After the initial scrap, you are taken up to the security room, a safe haven from your enemies, and meet all manner of mysterious people. You can try to uncover the outbreak of the scoop, try to save survivors or just kill piles of zombies, the choice is yours!

To begin with all you have is a camera, a watch and the clothes on your back; however, if you can pick an item up, you can use it in battle. There are literally HUNDREDS of weapons to be found, from novelty masks, to lawnmowers to plastic lightsabers, and almost all of them are useful in some way. Though there is just one attack button, the range of items negates the need for complex combos and each weapon has several different attacks: they can be swung, thrown, made to do a special attack and more, depending on the weapon. Some of the weapons are highly inventive and excellent fun to use and can cut through swathes of enemies. Body parts go flying all over the place and claret pours across the screen as you hack into a crowd with the small chainsaw or bash them up with the sledgehammer. The action is great and there are thousands of zombies to be brutally dispatched in increasingly inventive ways (death by shower head anyone?), so it never gets boring. It's a far cry from Resident Evil: there's no wandering around the same locations for scarce ammo, code guessing, or saving the best guns for the really bad boys; just a huge amount of zombies and an unlimited stock of badass weaponry with which to pwn their sorry hides.

When you bring up your watch in game a list of missions will appear; some important to the story, most just survivor escorts. Escorting survivors is an absolute ******* as they seem to be willing to hurl themselves into large crowds of zombies and get themselves eaten. After a while you'll get used to it, but it's not usually worth the bother to herd a fat man across the whole mall whilst being pursued by a gaggle of zombified shoppers and psychopathic cultists. There is only one door to the security room and save points are scarce, so trying to take others there could result in the loss of an hour or two's play. Hardly fair. Another complaint is that you are extremely unlikely to complete the game first, or even second, time round as it is hard to keep up with the tight time schedule of story missions. You can, however, choose to restart any time but keep your previously earned abilities and level, something that will come as a relief to those who just kept running out of time after the medication mission on day two and saved an already failed game. We know Capcom like to make their games challenging, but this is a step too far. All of this makes completing the game close to impossible to the casual gamer, who is the market this game should really appeal to.

Once you do properly get going on story mode you'll have great fun, and the kill count will rack up surprisingly fast. You can, as previously mentioned, gain new abilities and improve your stats and this is done in a clever way. Instead of the usual killing stuff gets exp. points (prestige points in this game, or PP), here you do it by taking photographs. Each photo you take is ranked and counts up target markers or special events, such as the high ranking PP stickers, which can be taken at specific moments. Once your photo is done you get PP for it and certain types of photo get more than others. This system works well, as it is down to player skill, not just awarded for winning a battle or whatever. PP are supplemented by completing missions or successfully escorting those bloody survivors to safety, and when you level up you improve your stats, and get special moves, like the head-busting knee drop, or zombie owning wall pounce.

After the missions are done you can continue to play, but I can't say much more without ruining it. There are loads of achievements in the game and many can be done with simple tasks like: "walk ten metres over a crowd of zombies"; "hit 30 zombies with a parasol"; "get 50 target markers in one photo" or "fall more than 10 feet". There are also zombie killage milestone achievements and some more challenging ones such as uncovering the true ending of the game or escorting 60 survivors to the security room. The mall itself is large and there are plenty shops and other areas to explore, like the nightmarish underground tunnel or the illegally fun multiplex cinema. The boss characters are challenging and secret passages can be found through the discovery of certain survivors. Weapons are consistently varied and exciting, and the only barriers to progressing are your bloodlust and the annoying mission structure. The now infamous text, unreadable on anything other than a state-of-the-art HD TV, can be irritating, but to be perfectly honest you can live without knowing what inane crap the janitor is wittering on about until it appears in the watch screen, where the writing is just about decipherable. The game's sound is well done (presumably the Capcom boys have been smashing a hell of a lot of cabbages and melons) and the graphics are very impressive, definitely setting the standard that subsequent games should aspire to. The game can be humorous but is continuously inventive and fun, though the execution can let it down on occasion. Despite this, Dead Rising is worth a purchase and is a great example of what the 360 can do; recommended.

Replay Value 4/5
Sound 4.5/5
Graphics 3/5
Gameplay 4.5/5

Occasionally ill judged but in the end an absolute blast; killing zombies never gets tired. Buy this and cross your fingers for a Dead Rising 2!

March 16th, 2007, 00:16
Nice review, looking forward to your next one! :)

March 16th, 2007, 10:20
cheers, thinking of doing either Loco Roco or Oblivion. I'm going to stop submitting so many reviews or i'll run out of stuff to do.

March 16th, 2007, 11:17
cheers, thinking of doing either Loco Roco or Oblivion. I'm going to stop submitting so many reviews or i'll run out of stuff to do.
Yes, take your time with your reviews. No need to rush. I would like to read up on Loco Roco if possible. Looks cute but dont know if it would be my cup of tea.

March 16th, 2007, 12:08
i'll do a review of that then. btw are these reviews going on dcemu reviews website?

March 16th, 2007, 13:20
i'll do a review of that then. btw are these reviews going on dcemu reviews website?
Only forums, they are not shown on homepage. I will frequently post news about the great review submissions that are in this forum.

The reviews listed on the right side of the homepage under "Newest Review Topics".

March 16th, 2007, 15:19
Dead Rising is one of the best games for the 360. Shame I haven't beaten it yet, I was planning on giving a review for that game. Oh well, you did an outstanding job with this review! :thumbup:

March 17th, 2007, 13:49
woohoo! also, it IS pretty damned tough, overtime mode especially. infinite is a laugh though.

March 17th, 2007, 13:52
(sorry for double post, my pc won't let me edit for some reason) Bandit said more than one person can review a game, then people can decide who's is better! ;)

March 17th, 2007, 21:04
Christ! that's a pretty damn good review REP+ for that awesome work dude!

March 18th, 2007, 12:41
thanks for all the comments and the rep 'sade! it says i have to spread rep around before i give you more, but i'll get round to it eventually ;)