Published on October 14th, 2010 | by Hubert McReed1
Dead Rising 2 – Review
Summary: Zombies is undoubtedly Dead Rising 2’s appeal but there’s so much to this game than just death
Out of all the apocalypses which could befall mankind, the zombie variety is definitely the least likely, yet as humans we are fascinated by a scenario which could turn sweet aunt Sally into a bloodthirsty cannibal. The devourers of flesh have been the chosen fodder of lots of different games, including Left 4 Dead, Killing Floor and Borderlands, and now Capcom are throwing their hat into the undead ring with Dead Rising 2. But what could they offer this bloated genre? The answer is a lot, most notably an entire zombie-infested openworld to explore.
Likeable ex-motocross champ Chuck Greene stars as the protagonist and he has to survive an outbreak in the Vegas-a-like Paradise City while keeping his infected daughter alive with medication to stem her zombie illness. Via connected shops, casinos, gardens and maintenance tunnels there’s hundreds of different items for the picking and combining, including clothing, weaponry, ridable pink unicorns and chainsaws, to bludgeon, beat or behead and smoosh any zombies in any number of imaginable ways. It would be a murderer’s paradise if there wasn’t missions to complete and fellow survivors to save in a time-sensitive campaign which lasts over three days. Layered over this violent experience is a conspiratorial plot which is actually deep with meaning and enhanced with great direction which means being a slave to the clock is actually an asset rather than a hindrance, adding consequence and immediacy to the slaughter-a-thon. Missing any of the critical missions causes the plot to end, so paying close attention to the watch is a must, however there are opportunities to savour and character progression – PP which unlocks new moves, weapon combinations and additional item and health slots – is carried over, so restarting never feels like your efforts have been for nought.
Multiplayer has also been given thought, with a series of short mini-games which follow the reality show motif that kicks off the story, as well as the option to play the entire campaign co-op with a friend. Unfortunately, only the host’s story progresses but torturing zombies with a friend is always a joy. As ports go, Dead Rising 2 is good enough, yet not spectacular. We’d still prefer to play with a gamepad rather than mouse and keyboard, and the UI seemed unusually large.
The ability to choose from thousands of different items to customize Chuck or torture, maim and kill zombies is undoubtedly Dead Rising 2’s appeal but there’s so much to this game than just death. For some gamers it may feel too alien, as the controls are more animation-heavy than many will be used to, but if you open your mind to this rich yet punishing experience, you’re sure to have a great time.