Review: Dead Rising 2 / Xbox 360 / Capcom | game4anything.com Video Games, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, nintendo, wii, ds, sony, microsoft, PSN, XBLA, Onlive, Playstation Vita, Wii U,
Posted by moonhead on Nov 2, 2010
Review: Dead Rising 2 / Xbox 360 / Capcom

Review: Dead Rising 2 / Xbox 360 / Capcom

Capcom, The Undisputed King’s of Video Game Zombies Bring Back The Dead Again.

Having already played through the downloadable prologue for this title I was seriously looking forward to getting hands on with Dead Rising 2. I knew what to expect from the game and yet I can’t help but still feel slightly disappointed with it. In my review of the prologue Case Zero I did point out that a concern that it had shown to much of the full sequels hand to soon, I now know my concern for this was entirely correct. This does not make Dead Rising 2 a bad game just a touch over-familiar. This is not only due to the prologue, but mainly because Capcom have not differed the formula from the original 360 exclusive Dead Rising.

Courtesy of the prologue we know that you play Chuck Green the all-American ex-motocross champ who is looking after his daughter Katy. We also know that Chuck needs to continuously give his little angel daily doses of the anti-zombification drug Zombrex. This is to stop her becoming a literal ankle biter. To pay for this expensive drug Chuck is a combatant in the hit reality TV show “Terror is Reality”. In this show you compete against others to kill as many Zombies as you can. But as usual things inevitably go wrong, somebody lets the captive Zombies loose and a full outbreak occurs. What is worse is somebody is framing you for causing it so you now have three days to prove your innocence, keep little Katy from becoming a brain muncher and save as many survivors as humanly possible. All of this before the military arrive to rescue any humans and wipe out the Zombie threat that has completely taken over the fictional gambling mecca Fortune City.

Graphically this title is good step up even from last  months downloadable prologue. It’s never going to win awards for its looks but they do the job more than adequately.  Things look a little sharper and tidier here and things do not slow down even when there are hundreds of Zombies on-screen at once. Again the sound does exactly what it needs to do, dispatching the shuffling brain muncher’s sounds as it should. The script and voice acting are again purposefully over the top and are the perfect accompaniment to the main event, killing Zombies in as many over the top ways as you can find.

The game structure is exactly the same as the original. Missions are given to you by the security officer in the safe house via radio and are all timed. You can keep a check on the status of all missions by looking at your wrist watch via the LB button, but be warned that when doing this you are still vulnerable to attack. Story critical missions require you to reach your goal on the specified time whilst others need to be completed before the time runs out. The game plays  out over 72 hours and the whole system’s been designed with the thought of multiple play-throughs. You will definitely need to play it a few times to see all the endings and save all of the survivors as it is just not possible on your first go.

Killing Zombies is really what this game is about, that and having fun with one of the most interactive open world games ever conceived. By this I mean if you can see it you can pick it up and wield it as a weapon, eat it and even wear it. From cuddly toys to chainsaws, everything can call be used to fight the horde. As in Case Zero you can combine items to make new weapons and its these things of death-dealing beauty that bring the most joy and PP points (PP points is basically XP). Some of the weapon combinations can be a touch obscure but the more PP you attain the more combo cards you get which tell you the combinations that will work.  Also increased PP will improve your abilities like increased health, extra inventory space, new melee and escape moves.

Of course Zombies are not the only things you will be fighting. Not every human survivor is taking things as laid-back as you and some have totally lost the plot. These are of course the psycho’s and form the boss battles and it is here that your gaming skills truly get tested. Faster, quicker and more devious than the brain muncher’s these can be tricky to deal with and are the only instance where a gun is possibly better than a melee weapon.

The game is full of humour and most of it you make yourself. For instance, I will bet my house that this is the only game where could you ride around on a children’s tricycle, wearing a mankini, green wellingtons and a mohican haircut. All of that in a shopping mall during a cataclysmic earth changing disaster. And the humour keeps coming to with each newly found weapon or silly costume generally out doing the last in some style to. The game does supply some of the laughs for you, generally these come in the form of the survivors you save. My particular favourite being the Goth metal band that has continued to their performance on the strip oblivious to the fact that the crowd in front of them is a Zombie horde and not a bunch of head banging fans. A special mention must also go to the survivor who fell asleep on a sun-bed and is rather burnt and needs to be carried back to safety.

Added to the game and a first for the franchise is an online multiplayer mode called ‘Terror is Reality’. It is based around the faux reality TV series and is little more than five below-par mini-games allowing four players to face off against each other to kill as many Zombies as possible. In short it is rubbish, but it does allow you to take any money earned into your single-player game, which is a nice touch. Also you can play the story mode in online co-op which works exactly as it should and again is a nice addition.

So it is all sounding good so far yes and it does what most sequels should do. Most of the gripes with the first game are gone such as the save system which now allows for three slots and not only one. The AI of the survivors is hugely improved meaning they will keep up with you and fight their own way through the brain muncher’s. It has even added some online stuff and the game world is larger and more imaginative.

So why have we not enjoyed it as much as we should? In short it is the repetitive nature of the game-play, the combat is just button mashing. The variety of weapons on offer is staggering and amusing but one press of the X button is much like another as is each foot shuffling Zombie and it all just starts to get old very quickly. Even  the psycho boss battles feel too similar to the original. It is a huge shame especially given that this was the only problem to be found with the first game. I go back to my review of Case Zero and my concern that it may have shown too much of this games hand and I was unfortunately proved correct. In fact it has got me thinking that this genre of game would be better being dished out as episodes as I thoroughly enjoyed Case Zero and Dead Rising 2 before it became boring far too quickly.


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