The first Dead Rising was released during the early days of the Xbox 360 and although it had lots of promise, ultimately it didn’t deliver – at least for me. Sure you could have lots of fun killing the zombies in a variety of ways but the combat system was flawed and the timed plot events were something that really grated. I was hoping they would do away with these in the sequel but they’re back again, only this time far easier to manage. There’s also 3 save slots for you to save to as well so if you do wish you’d done something differently you can at least return to a previous save where you know you’ve got time to make it to the next timed event.
This time you play as Chuck who gets involved in an outbreak in Fortune City during his participation in a gameshow called Terror is Reality, a show where you win cash for slaying as many zombies as possible. So, you end up in a safe house in the shopping mall and have to rescue survivors, stay alive for three days until help comes and find out why the outbreak happened in the first place. You’ll also have to hunt for Zombrex – a drug which stops your daughter turning into a zombie if she doesn’t get a dose once every 24 hours.
This sequel actually feels very similar to the first game. You can still use zombies as your play-things, putting traffic cones and buckets on their heads and hitting them with sledge hammers. There are still psychos to fight but you can now combine items together to make more powerful weapons which give you extra prestige points. For example you can combine some boxing gloves and motor oil to make some flaming fists, and some nails and a propane tank to make a rather effective nail bomb. This way you can level up quicker and get the ability to carry more items, move faster and learn some new fighting moves.
The zombies are actually a pushover if you don’t get sloppy but inversely, the psychos are very hard to beat. Because there’s no lock-on or cover system, fights can be frustrating, especially when a successful hit seems to only take a slither of their health away. I also don’t understand why there’s not full voice acting in the game. When you meet survivors you just get a text conversation which is fine on the DS but not in a full-price PS3 game.
And you’d think after the install onto the hard drive you’d have no loading screens but there are many and they’re about 10 seconds long each time they pop up. They pop up before and during cut-scenes and any time you move between locations. They really break up the flow the game and make it much less enjoyable as a result. The frame-rate also suffers due to the amount of zombies on screen at any one time.
Dead Rising 2 did make me want to play it to the end which is more than I can say for the first game – however I can’t help get the feeling it could have done with a couple of months in development to sort out those loading screens, the combat and a shoddy frame rate. Apparently once you’ve finished it you can start again from the beginning with your new more-powerful Chuck to try and get a different ending but I just couldn’t bring myself to sit in front of all those loading screens all over again. It gets 7 out of 10 but I really feel it should have got more.
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