The introduction to Dead Rising 2 captures the greatest aspects of the game while highlighting many of the largest issues. It starts with a pensive Chuck Greene talking to his daughter as he prepares to enter the stadium for the ultimate zombie game show, Terror Is Reality. When the mayhem is at its peak during the show, the game is at its best, but like the setting of Fortune City, the great moments cannot last forever. Soon, after the opening sequence, Chuck will be thrown into the middle of a zombie outbreak, and this one finds him as the framed main suspect in an intricate plot against Chuck and the pro-zombie group CURE. With time running short and zombies around every corner, Chuck has three days to clear his name while keeping his daughter human.

Dead Rising 2 toes the line of acceptable video game design with the ridiculous action coupled with the equally over-the-top serious moments. You are given an open world full of zombies to kill, survivors to rescue, and weapons to wield, and the only shortage that you encounter is that of time. Everything that you do has a time limit from finding Zombrex for your bitten daughter to completing the main story missions referred to as cases. The rigidness of the time schedule is in contrast to the wild setting of Fortune City. Las Vegas was the obvious inspiration for world where the only things more numerous than the slot machines are the zombies themselves. Malls, similar to the first Dead Rising, and casinos will cover most of your time with the game, but you will also travel through maintenance tunnels and neon-lined streets that add some variety and openness to level design.

The majority of your time in Fortune City will be spent killing zombies, escorting survivors, and fighting psychopaths (bosses). The moment-to moment combat is simple and lacks significant challenge. However, on more than one occasion, I died after a fatal encounter because I did not realize that my health was low. No one zombie kills you, but the constant waves can slowly deplete your health and cause you to lose several minutes of progress. Psychopaths are a different breed of enemy. Psychopaths, the result of humans who cannot cope with the epidemic (or those who cope to well) offer a difficulty spike that often has to be overcome with a long-winded battle or cheesy exploit. The save system requires you to travel to a bathroom in order to record progress. The strict save system and my own lack of attention caused hours of frustration.

Dead Rising 2 - 7.75/10 "A Zombie-Killing Romp Where Fun Trumps Good Sense"

The rigidness of the time schedule and the unforgiving nature of the save system keep Dead Rising 2 from gaming excellence. The psychopaths provide difficulty spikes that are borderline unfair, and the serious tone of the narrative cut-scenes do not match the zany nature of zombie killing in Fortune City. While these issues hold Dead Rising 2 back, if you want to go wild while killing zombies and make crazy zombie-killing contraptions by combining weapons, then this game is for you.



Release Date: 9/24/2010

Developer: Blue Castle Games Inc.

Publisher: CAPCOM CO., LTD.

Genre: Action & Adventure

Review Note - (Reviewed on 360 using digital copy of Dead Rising 2 with post-release patches installed.)