Developed by Capcom (2006)
Reviewed by Ronin, added on Jun 30 2007
I bought an Xbox 360 to play this and a few other games. Zombies, a mall, anything as a weapon? Capcom? Sign me up! It is indeed a great joy to smash zombies with a bat or a chainsaw! Sweetness! Then……… it starts to set in, the boredom. That, “been there, done that” feeling sets in real quick and I think for me it was just about the 4th escort mission that I started waiting to play Splinter Cell some more. But before I go on, I need to mention that the copy of the game I rented from Blockbuster was apparently damaged goods, and always liked to give me an error message at the worse possible time. Usually right after a boss battle with the nearest save point far away, leaving me with little health and a mass of zombies before me. Be that as it may, I shall do my best to review Dead Rising.
The game’s plot line in a nut shell is something like this: You play as a freelance journalist named Frank who gets a tip that there’s a big scoop in this little town. As he flies in by helicopter, he sees that there is clearly something really wrong with this town. (I just want to mention real quick that this part is fuckin’ awesome.) He gets dropped off on the roof of the town mall, and left on his own for 3 days. 3 days of play time. Zombies invade the mall, and now Frank and a small group of survivors, have to stay alive for the 3 days (72 hours as the all the commercials like to say) and try to figure out just what the hell went wrong in this town…yeah, that’s about how far I got in this game before the disc would choose to be bitchy at random. I know the military has the town on lock down. DHS (Department of Homeland Security) is looking for some old man that is apparently the guy that started this whole out zombie problem. There’s a weird cult, and a Mexican that keeps popping up and shooting me (as Mexicans tend to do in zombie invested malls…..) Yeah, it doesn’t really make sense to me either.
This is one of those cases where one aspect of the game is cooler than the actual game. Think ‘Spider-Man 2’ or ‘Hulk: Ultimate Destruction’ and I think you’ll see what I’m getting at. It’s more fun to just meander around the mall seeing what weapons I can make outta random items than the plot, escort missions, and bosses the game likes to throw at you. The chainsaw and katana are clear favorites. But I do warn you to stay far away from guns in this game as the aiming system is imprecise as fuck. When you make a survival horror game, aiming is an after thought? Fucking Heretics!!! Luckily melee shines through with all the awesomeness that a bat colliding into an undead skull can deliver. It’s really cool to see all the creative ways Capcom came up with to turn every day items into weapons. Knives and stabbing weapons make for the best tools of death (katana and chainsaw baby). The soccer ball is surprisingly cool and you even get to use a shower head has a weapon to impale in your enemy’s…head. If only the game was just a little more forgiving with its save points and save zones. You can only save your game in two places; the restrooms, or the security room. Both just never seem to be close enough when you need them.
Dead Rising does have some pretty cool parts besides the whole ‘locked in a mall’ aspect. Earlier I mentioned flying in on a helicopter. That part has you taking pictures of the zombies in broad daylight being zombies. Killing people, eating people, trying to tip a bus over to get at the living inside. This part was awesome. You can take pictures at any given time (Frank’s a photojournalist), which is pretty nifty. The better the pic, the more XP (PP in this game) it’s worth. Yeah, you actually level up like in an RPG, gaining more health, more item slots, and attacks. You also get PP by saving survivors. Too bad they’re all IDOITS! They like to just stand around…running in place…not fleeing. Capcom sold me queer AI, I want my money back. Maybe they’re like that chick in Return of the Living Dead that thought it would be hot to be eaten in a graveyard? God damn, I hated that movie. You do luckily get some PP for trying to save them. You’ll get double that if you can lead them back to the Security Room. Good luck with that though. Hang around with me, and you’ll quickly find out that I fucking H-A-T-E escort missions. And the bosses aren’t that much fun since they move a hell of a lot faster then you. They can attack a hell of a lot faster. And Recover a hell of a lot faster. Guns could have leveled this playing field…could have. Remember what I said about aim being shitty? Aiming sucks, thus the guns suck. And you can trust me, I’m your friend.
This game shoulda been the bees knees. It comes so close. It’s not a bad game, just disappointing. It is worth playing, worth renting, just probably not worth buying. If the inevitable sequel fixes the aiming, and the escort missions go bye-bye (or the survivor AI gets fixed) I’ll be all over it. Man, I so wanted to fall in love with this game too! Shit happens.
Comments from Steve...
You're a fucking heretic for not liking Return of the Living Dead!!!
All hail Linnea Quigley.