Tis the season to slay Zombies, fa la la la, la la la
Blow them up or run them over fa la la la, la la la
Dress like Santa as you do it, fa la la, la la la, la la la
Take a selfie, just to prove it, fa la la la, la la la…
For various reasons, I’ve always struggled with the Dead Rising series. I enjoyed the first but hated the way the save system worked, I really wasn’t fussed by two but enjoyed 3. But after spending time with 4, I’ve found the most enjoyable of them all.
Yet again, you are back playing as Frank West, a tabloid photographer now turned lecturer. Clearly he is looking for a quiet life, but it’s not to be. One of his students’ tricks him into breaking in to a testing facility and it’s not long before Frank is back fighting is way through thousands of zombies.
You’ll quickly notice that the timer has gone from the game, no longer are you required to manage your time to complete certain objectives, you can now take your sweet time to explore every nook and cranny of the open world to discover new weapons, health boosts and weapon blueprints. You’ll also collect scrap that can be used to purchase items in the various safehouses you come across.
Before you get access to a safehouse, you’ll need to clear the area of zombies which isn’t a difficult task, once that is done you can talk to the various vendors inside to buy weapons, clothing, food supplies and more. As you explore the local area you’ll get the opportunity to help trapped characters, passing the task will send them back to the safe house. In doing so you’ll be able to upgrade the safe house which results in getting access to even more weapons.
There is a story to follow in Dead Rising 4, it’s not very interesting though, it’s all about a big ‘Government Conspiracy’ but I honestly stopped listening to what was going on by the second case. After chatting with the team more about the ending though we came to the conclusion that Capcom have made a terrible decision with the ending, Greg explains more in his news post, be warned their are spoilers but hopefully things can be sorted out.
The missions are very samey, as are the side quests that you get. You’ll spend a lot of time finding items for people and returning it them for more information. You’ll also take part in investigations using your camera, which has been upgraded to have a night vision mode and an alternative mode which allows you to work out keypad combinations to get through locked doors. The investigations basically get you to search for clues, so they are fairly simple.
For me, Dead Rising is all about kicking Zombies asses with a variety of stupid outfits with a huge array of customised weapons. There are three weapons types; Melee, Range and Thrown, as you level frank up you’ll be able to expand the amount of weapons you can store at any time. Depending on your style of play you may favour one type of weapon over the other but I had a lot of fun experimenting with all sorts of combinations. As you search through the various areas you encounter you’ll come across blueprints of special weapons that you can craft, and this is where the game come into its own.
There are Lightsabers, rocket launchers, staffs that shoot explosives gnomes and all sorts of other explosives. There are vehicles to use, which can also be modded to become even more powerful. Not only are they useful for covering large areas of ground, but they are also great for squishing hundreds of zombies, it’s very therapeutic.
As I mentioned earlier, levelling up gives you skill points to use against improving Frank. It’s pretty easy to level up so it isn’t long before you have plenty of points to use up. I spent my first set of points increasing his health and stamina before using them to increase the amount Frank could hold. As you’ll have seen from the screenshots, Dead Rising 4 is all about the Selfies, you are awarded points for taking the best pictures possible, the more gory the better!
There is so much to explore and find in the game, at the end of each case you are giving a score depending on how much you have discovered, and trust me there is a lot. Thankfully there is a New Game plus that will allow you to mop up the second time around. It’s just a shame there isn’t a free roam mode.
It’s a shame that there isn’t a co-op mode in Dead Rising 4, instead there is a multiplayer mode that allows up to four people to play through a survival mode. Each level is a day that you need to survive, during the day you are given challenges to complete while a safehouse is found for you. When the location is determined you have 2 minutes to get there to survive they day. You all earn points for killing special enemies, reaching kill streaks or getting to certain locations first. At the end of each day medals are awarded for the most kills, revives & points. It’s brilliant fun to play.
We’re not sure if it was server issues or bad internet connections (Rich) but we suffered from disconnects for certain players every 10 minutes, which is a huge shame as it’s great fun to play.
I’ve had a blast with Dead Rising – It’s full of humour, the weapons crafting is excellent as is the combat, the game looks great and performance wise is very impressive too, with hundreds of zombies on the screen at one with no screen tearing or slow downs. It’s not perfect, loading times are slow, zombies get stuck in the environments but there are no major issues. If you are a fan of Dead Rising then you’ll love this, but also new players will enjoy this without feeling to overwhelmed. This game is well worth your money.