The lights are on
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
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.
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
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