Dead Rising

By on January 19, 2007

Capcom comes up with a killer game


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First Impressions
My reaction is

Dead rising is an action-adventure game, whose main point is to kill as many freakin’ zombies as you can.

You start off as a budding paparazzi photojournalist, Frank West, who travels to a town to report on the riot going on there. Or so he thinks, as when he gets there, he realizes it’s not a riot, but zombies killing and eating the residents of the town. Since he is going by helicopter, he stops at a helipad on a mall (wow, since when did malls have helipads?), and this is where the whole game is played. There are a few people who have managed to escape the zombies, and have barricaded themselves in it, until an old lady moves the barricade and runs out to the zombies in an attempt to escape her dog. So, the mall is now filled with zombies, and you have to fight them off, and find out what’s going on, in 72 hours, as your helicopter will return back to pick you up at that time. So the whole game is basically timed. The story is not pretty deep, but it is uniquely presented, with about 4 cases you have to finish. Each case is timed, and you have to periodically check your watch to see how much time you have left. In case you are not on time, you will have to start from your last save and try to be on time or else you will die and its game over. In this way, the story doesn’t progress in a linear fashion, which is an interesting aspect of the game.

The game is very fun to play, with tons of replay value, as killing zombies just never gets boring. Another key asset to the gameplay, is that Dead Rising is possibly, the game which has the largest variety of weapons. Anything you can think of, which would be in a mall, can be used as a weapon. From potted plants, to stuffed toys (Yes, you read that right) to chainsaws, to herbs and condiments, to electric guitars, everything is your weapon. Apart from these, for the serious gamer, there are lots of guns and explosives to use in the game. However, one deterring aspect is the save game.

You can only use restrooms or sofas to save, but the problem is there are precious few restrooms to save. There really should have been an autosave feature, this being an action-adventure game or a lot more places to save. When playing some missions you do get allies, but they are never quite useful. Other than the main missions, there is a plethora of side-missions, like escort missions, where you guide people to a safe place, namely the Security Room. These side-missions will give you a ton of Prestige Points (PP) which ups your level, giving you some benefits, like different ways to kill or evade zombies, or having a larger life, or a greater carrying capacity. As you are a photojournalist, you always carry a camera, and taking good photos gets you a lot of Prestige Points. There are 6 basic genres of photos including Brutality, Erotica and Drama.

Taking photos is quite easy to begin with, but difficult to master, but if you do get good enough photos, you get a tremendous amount of Prestige Points. There are two basic ways to kill zombies, melee or throwing stuff. Most weapons can be used both. But some are better in one way than the other. For example, it’s definitely better to throw a TV on a zombie than to actually hit it over their heads, as that takes time, and makes you vulnerable to attacks from other zombies. Other than zombies, there are also Psychopaths, who are sort of mini-bosses, whom you meet quite infrequently.

The graphics in Dead Rising are good, but not really great. You have to give credit to the fact that the game features hundreds of zombies coming at you and is able to fit all of them in the screen, with no drop in framerate whatsoever. However, some more detail could have been done on Frank West’s animations, as his walking looks very weird, almost zombie-like! Also, the lip-synching during cutscenes is quite bad, although the other player models look and walk fine. Explosions have been done quite well and the mall and its stores all look great and very life-like. A special mention should go out to the development team for making the zombies look scary, but at the same time, look like any person would love to hate.

The audio in the game is nothing short of being great. From the sound of whacking a zombie in the face with a baseball bat, to grinding them under a lawnmower, every sound is satisfying. The dialogues in the game are good, and the voice-acting has been carried out very well. The zombies sound stupid and dumb, which is great, as they are meant to sound like that.

On the whole, Dead Rising is a great game, which is fun to play, but becomes very frustrating because of the lousy save game aspect.

The Scorecard
Fun and satisfying. Unique presentation of story.
No drop in framerate even though a large number of zombies are present on the screen, but below-average lip-synching, good looking environment and player models.
Lovely and satisfying sounds of killing zombies, good voice-acting and good dialogues.
Killing zombies with a pack of cards is a joy every Xbox 360 owner should experience.
Great replay value, as killing zombies just never falls out of fashion. However, game is hindered by a lousy save game aspect
Great game and super-fun.


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