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Dead Rising (Xbox 360) artwork

Dead Rising (Xbox 360) review

"A "Thrilling" Zombie Game! "

A "Thrilling" Zombie Game!

Dead tired of the typical open ended games and all those horror games on the market? Well, look no further because this zombie game actually is filled with life! Dead Rising takes on the typical zombie game horror movie knockoff with uniqueness and a story sure to drag you in!

Frank West, a freelance photojournalist, goes on a mission to get the true story of a riot in the small Colorado town of Williamette. Unknown to him, the source of the rioting is zombies! Once he steps foot into the mall to try to investigate, every zombie in the town breaks into the area and as Frank West, you, the player, must not only survive, but reveal the secrets of the zombie outbreak.

Playing as Frank can be a load of fun and not so much. Advertisements show Frank beating up zombies with wrestling maneuvers, martial arts, etc., but most of the game won't feature that type of action. In fact, Frank's only move at first is jumping and punching like a hardcore dancer, which of course, is totally useless. To make up for such a weak body, Frank must locate weaponry, which is literally everywhere in the game, including some great secret locations.

He'll grab buckets by the buckets, board over stiffs, and even rot zombie's minds with televisions! If you dream it, it's probably a weapon in the game! The only problem is that most weapons only last a little while, so Frank will have to pick up several at a time, especially if he is going to fight a boss, but unless he can carry enough weapons and health items, he won't survive long enough to clear the game. In order to hold more items, raise your health, and learn some nasty new moves such as the zombie ride, you must raise your PP (Prestige Points) by doing multiple goals such as taking perfect photographs, killing zombies in the most brutal ways, killing psychopaths, and rescuing human survivors. PP goes up very slowly, and is actually harder to raise every level. My advice? Find a good photo and take it over and over again. Killing and photographing zombies from the start before you even start the story is a great way to earn PP.

Don't worry too much if you fail. Save points are easy to reach and even if you run out of time, you can simpy restart with the same level you had and try earning more PP by doing easy goals. Case File clearing is even harder than leveling, however, as 1-4 goals must be accomplished within a matter of minutes. Most of the time, the game won't even tell you which goals will help you solve cases, and since the goal text is too small to read on a small, CTR television, you won't even know what the goals are. Luckily, an arrow will always point you in the right way. Just make certain you finish the goal by the time you must be back at the security room.

Trial and error is the only way to beat this game. In fact, unless you play over and over again and level up to around 25, you probably don't stand a chance of clearing the game anyway and even if you do, unless you're careful, your ending may be depressing. Or at least, more depressing than it could be. Don't look for any cheery moments in this game or corny endings like in Resident Evil. This game isn't like RE in the least. It will depress you.

The look of the game is both amazing and depressing. The graphics of the zombies are bland, yet detailed, and the people look just like real small town bumpkins. The mall shops have tons of photographic quality merchandise, but the main problem is the lighting and color. Throughout the game, you'll be trying to see through darkness or you'll want to vomit after staring at yellowish or greenish backgrounds. The game is beatifully ugly like Anna Nicole Smith.

The sound is much better than Resident Evil, but the conversations aren't much more dramatic or intersting than any B movie. In fact, the lack of sound or cut scenes makes the game more interesting as the explanations of the events isn't all that great.

Still, while most games can lack great graphics or sound, if it doesn't have good controls, it's worthless. This game has mediocre controls, but somehow you will want this game if you rent it or you love this game after buying it because killing zombies is so easy and fun! I admit, Frank never seems to aim straight in 1st Person throw mode and his camera rotates like a spinning auto camera, but every other move is pretty clean.

The analog stick moves Frank smoothly and simply tapping X attacks all the time. Items are easily picked up with B whenver you are near an icon. The camera auto focuses unlike some games with cameras in them. The only problem is using some items such as long items, which may miss zombies, and strange items like the golf club which won't really allow you to aim at a target you wish. Honestly, though, the clunky items aren't worth using anyway, so you shouldn't be troubled by bad aiming unless you just really like golf clubs and trees. Or hate them and wish to destroy them all.

Overall, the items are really fun to use, the control should get you out of most zombie filled areas, and the actors all sound like they're really psychopaths. Clearing the game will take 6 hours if you never restart or die, but you really should try it again if you want the most out of the game. Do well enough and you'll get an extra day which mainly consists of finding items. Complete the extra day and you can unlock a mode which will allow you to beat zombies up until you die from hunger. Unfortunately, there seems to be no save, so you may have to leave your 360 paused for hours to get one of the achievements. Honestly, though, the main mode is the most fun and unless you tire of bloody rampages, I would recommend that you rent it for a month from an online rental store or buy it used for half price. This game is a bloody good time!

Philip Hanan

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Community review by japanaman (June 04, 2007)

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