I never played the first Dead Rising game, but when I bought my XBOX 360, Dead Rising 2 was the first game I completed.  When I caved and bought the XBOX One on Black Friday, I decided I would christen my new console the same way, so to speak, and spent quite a bit of time getting reacquainted with cutting zombies in half.

It has been a long time since I’d played Dead Rising 2 and I never played the game that came out between 2 and 3, but I vaguely remembered what the story was.  Chuck Greene was the protagonist for the second game, Frank West is the protagonist of the first game.  In this latest iteration, the audience is introduced to a new character, Nick Ramos, a mechanic who gets trapped in Los Perdidos with some of his friends, struggling to find a way to get out and avoid getting bitten or killed.  The story was surprisingly robust and while I happily mowed through zombies (and others) as the player is forced to run in circles throughout the game to achieve all types of wacky goals.

The gameplay was slightly more robust in this version.  I liked that you could build things wherever you were, not having to go to a specific location to build things. There was such a variety of insane weapons that could be created, it made the mind wander and yet I ended up sticking with about four main weapons and that was it.  I didn’t waste attribute points on inventory as much as ranged weapons and health and that got me through some of the harder boss battles, save the one with the mechanical arms, which I needed better melee with, but I powered through it.

It wasn’t just the game play that had evolved.  The second Dead Rising game centered around Chuck Greene trying to get his daughter, who had been bitten by a zombie.  The entire game became tiresome with the constant check-ins and need to find the zombie medication, zombrex.  I still enjoyed the game, but in this third game, Nick is not hampered by such things and I found that I had time to do all the side missions I could and while that almost cheated the usual time constraint of the game, it made it more fun and I picked up some very interesting accompanying characters.

I was really surprised by the story.  I hadn’t expected it to tie back to any of the previous games.  In an effort to avoid spoilers, this game answers some questions, but adds a whole slew more.  In a way, it legitimizes what was a weak story for the second game.  I never felt invested in the second game, but in this one, as the story continued and the involvement of other parties came to the forefront, I felt more interested.  In a way, the story makes a silly game a good game.

I was surprised by how much fun I had with this game and how quickly it became addictive.  I can’t say I see a huge gameplay difference either from the old game or from the new console from the old one, but I had fun and that’s what counts, right?  I got this game for $25, I think, or $20, and the replay value is high, if I didn’t have so many games waiting in the wings.  For an opening game for a new console, this was a solid entry.