Review: Dead Rising 2

The zombie outbreak has now overtaken a good portion of the world now. Cites have been destroyed, human life is now precious even more so now yet everyone with a pulse has seemed to come to terms with zompoclypse. In fact, they have come to such great terms that game shows have popped up surrounding the total destruction of all of the infected. The most popular being Terror Is Reality, which has taken up shop in the new city of Fortune City just miles outside of a destroyed Las Vegas, NV.

Speaking of Las Vegas, remember the Case Zero Review? We pick up right after all of that. For you lazy ones out there, Chuck and Katey Green escaped Las Vegas before it was overrun. Katey unfortunately bitten and on a constant dose of Zombrex. Chuck is off to play in Terror Is Reality to make sure that they don't run out of Zombrex until they can cure Katey. Well until the horde used for TIR is unleashed and all the living need to ban together.

Now you know the lead in. So how was the rest?

Graphics:

Ok to say that there have been massive upgrades since Dead Rising on the graphics would be a bit of a stretch. Don't get me wrong, they are improved, but it is nothing like the jump other titles have taken. Also, I am not listing this as a bad thing because it works for Dead Rising. They are not piss poor, just not something truly jaw dropping. At least at the core.

It does seem though that they did take the time they would have spent on creating photorealistic graphics and placed it into the character and environment models. That is the detail to make it feel like you are in a city based of Las Vegas. Even down to the actual look the tourist zombies would have and not the glamorized versions. There are just as many fat, awkward and unattractive people that roll into towns like this as there are "socially pretty" people. So while there are a few zombie dancer/strippers shambling around, there are more of the fatties that couldn't run away from the buffets fast enough to not become a zombie's buffet.

It's those little things that made Dead Rising 2 a bit more enjoyable for me. That is also not saying all the costumes you can don or weapons/items you can use on the zombie hordes.

Audio:

During a zombie plague, one would assume that the air would be filled with a cavalcade of sounds. People screaming, explosions, gun fire and the never ending moans of the hungry dead flowing around the ear drums to keep silence at bay. This is really not something that goes on in Dead Rising 2, at least not enough to strike my fancy for the zombie apocalypse. I mean there is some of this, but it is like sound doesn't really travel in Fortune City. At least not enough to give that really sense of urgency in a city over run with zombies.

This plague also seems to flow over to the survivors of the outbreak as well. They have a set of repeated text they say over and over, so there is a voice actor for each of the survivors, but it seems they were not needed more than just "Help Me!" or "Over Here!" You can read that as, "you still have to read scrolling text for any conversation not in a cut scene." With some of the characters saying phrases longer then their text box, why not make the 60 or so survivors actually speak their lines? This really bothered me as I had to sit and read while trying to fend off a wave of the undead.

You had the actors. A few more lines really wouldn't have killed you would it Capcom?

Controls:

The controls for Dead Rising 2 are just as basic as they were when Frank West was running the show. Only this time there is no "Take A Photo" portion of the controls. It has been simplified due to that fact so there is less to worry about and understand. I actually think this is a really good thing as I found the need for the photo stuff in Dead Rising to be a little taxing on my fun. It was a poorer version of gun aiming.

I am curious on why there was no mechanic or control for running though. I mean, we have an option to look at our watch and listen to a radio, but no running. Well no running unless you are holding or wearing an item designed to charge things. Let alone you are surrounded by masses of savage cannibals but you are also on a very truncated time table, why not give us a control to run. Brisk walking is just not a good option in my opinion here.

Game Play:

Run out, get weapons, dress funny, save people, find Zombrex, kill those who have snapped due to the onslaught of zombies, rinse and repeat. That is what the majority of Dead Rising 2 is all about when it comes to how the game is played; at least in story mode. There are other things like collecting crazy custom weapons to help kill the zombies in new ways, but you have to fit that into your rushing around Fortune City trying to save everyone and prove you are not a terrorist.

When I say rushing, I mean rushing. Since there is no run option and it is a bit before you get a vehicle, you have to briskly walk to get to places throughout the game world by a specific time. This is a mechanic I will say I hated in the first and in Dead Rising 2 I hate even more. I can understand being rushed to save the extra survivors or do side missions, but for the main story the timer should be turned off. I hate having to rush to get a story point only to have to rush to another. I feel I am missing something even though I really am not.

That is the way Dead Rising has always been, but I still am not a big fan of it. What I am a fan of is the new co-op and online multiplayer for the franchise though and actually the online multiplayer more than the co-op.

As it had been teased all the way up to launch, Terror Is Reality is how the multiplayer works. A game show where you and four others compete in crazy zombie killing events with a comical twist. All to gain more kills or points depending on which of the nine events you are playing. They may seem a small part of the game as they are short events, but they are insanely fun. That and you get to carry your winnings over to the main story so you can afford that Zombrex to save Katey.

Overall:

When it boils down to it, Dead Rising 2 is a good game for all those who were fans of the original. It plays and uses all the basic mechanics of the original so you will all be able to hop in with great ease and continue the story of the zombie outbreak and how the survivors are coping. As for snagging new fans, outside of launching on the PS3 and opening up the franchise a bit more, I don't think it will grab the attentions of those who have not already been giddy for Dead Rising 2.

I am not saying that Dead Rising 2 is not a good game at all. Not in the least bit. I am saying though that I don't think it is a good enough title to snag new fans with the sequel. I would suggest all of those hardcore PS3 fans to give it at least a rent and read up on the first if Dead Rising 2 wins you over. All of the PC and XBox fans should already be on their respective sides of the fence on buying or renting Dead Rising 2.

Dead Rising 2 was developed and Published by Capcom on September 28th 2010 for the PS3, PC, and XBox 360. The game retails for $59.99. A PS3 copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.