Dead Rising (Xbox 360) review
" When I first heard of Dead Rising I couldnít wait to get my hands on it. Now that Iíve had a chance to spend some time with the game Iím only slightly disappointed. The game drops you into the shoes of Frank West, a photojournalist looking for his big scoop. He gets more than he bargains for when heís dropped off at the local mall where a zombie outbreak has occurred. From that point he has 72 hours (not actual game time) to get his story. "
When I first heard of Dead Rising I couldnít wait to get my hands on it. Now that Iíve had a chance to spend some time with the game Iím only slightly disappointed. The game drops you into the shoes of Frank West, a photojournalist looking for his big scoop. He gets more than he bargains for when heís dropped off at the local mall where a zombie outbreak has occurred. From that point he has 72 hours (not actual game time) to get his story.
The sheer number of zombies on screen at any given time is just awesome. And the game gives you nearly as many ways to dispatch them. You can use almost anything as a weapon: trash cans, chain saws, umbrellas; you name it and your almost sure to find it some where in the mall. And most weapons have their own unique animation and sound. Bust a electric guitar over a zombieís head and youíll hear a riff. The mall its self offers a huge environment to explore. As you would expect thereís a wide variety of stores to browse and the game rewards exploration. You can find books that will improve your stats, clothes you can change into, and hidden weapons.
This brings up one of several missteps. I canít understand how a game that offers so much to explore doesnít allow you to do just that. The cases that you are following all occur at certain times. So you have to allow yourself enough time to get to certain points within the mall. Meanwhile you also get side missions to tackle and these missions are also time sensitive. Though you donít have to complete these side missions, they reward you by leveling Frank up. Giving him more health slots, weapons, and moves. So you have to juggle both the main and side missions at the same time. But if you miss a mission in the main story line your screwed. Once you miss one case the whole story line goes cold and you have to start the game over.
Thatís right folks you have to restart from the beginning. This brings us to the most glaring problem in Dead Rising: you only have one save slot. You see if you miss a mission die you have to either load your last save or start over. So if you save at a point that doesnít give you enough time to get to you next case you canít finish the rest of the story. You can choose to keep playing but you wonít be able to see the ďreal endingĒ. Granted if you do start over, the game saves all your stats and youíll begin the new game with them. This seems to be an attempt to add replay value to the game. And though Dead Rising is replayable Iíd rather decide for myself rather than let the broken save system do it for me.
The gameís controls offer problems as well. Aiming a gun is just ridiculous. You have to pull the right trigger which brings up a new camera that may or may not be pointed in the direction you want it. Then you have to use the left analog stick to aim, which moves so slowly that by the time you get it positioned youíve been tasered by a three hundred pound cop. Some of the special moves you earn require odd button presses; making them difficult to pull off as well. Taking pictures though is actually fun since the game rewards you with points depending on the type of picture you take. The story of Dead Rising is nothing great to be sure but the characters actually take the plot so seriously that itís funny at times.
Dead Rising certainly has some problems and can be frustrating at times. If you can look over them there is a lot of fun to be had. Dead Rising could have been a great game. Instead its just good.
Community review by scrarecrow (August 25, 2006)
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