During a hands-off E3 demo, Capcom set aside Dead Rising 3's story for some random zombie-slaying shenanigans. The lighthearted play session may not have been the most serious look at the game, but it still taught us a number of important things about the ambitious next-gen sequel.

A Brave New World: Dead Rising 3 takes place in Los Perdidos, a fictional city based in California that's comprised of four distinct districts. Capcom says the new game world is so large that it can fit the entire environments of the first two games with room to spare. During our demo, the Capcom representative cut a path of chaos through just a small section of a single district, which included a few joyrides in different cars. Building interiors are also being hand-built, so you'll stumble into fewer generic areas while avoiding the undead. The entire demo was streamed seamlessly, with no stops for loading.

Why So Serious?: As many suspected from the reveal trailer, Dead Rising 3 does strike a more serious tone. Capcom says the decision was made to make zombies seem like dangerous, formidable foes, and to introduce some more horror-based moments to the game. Despite the shift in tone, there will still be plenty of craziness. The crafting system allows you to build a wide variety of ridiculous weapons, and killing a bunch of zombies in a row allows you to pull off gruesome finishing moves. Finally, there will be plenty of comedic outfits hidden in the world, which will once again show up in cutscenes, allowing you to make the story as goofy as you want it to be.

Deadlier Than Ever: Capcom's attempt to make Dead Rising 3's zombies scarier than past installments doesn't end with the shift in tone. They're also smarter this time around, and travel in packs thanks to the advanced horde AI. Screaming zombies will attract nearby members of the undead, as will other environmental sounds; during the demo, protagonist Nick breaks through the window of a gun shop to stock up on weapons, triggering an alarm. By the time he's done pillaging, a large horde of zombies has amassed outside of the building, with a few undead crawling through the broken window. Dead Rising 3 will also feature stronger enemy types that are grounded in reality, such as fireman zombies.

Home Sweet Home: Players will be able to clear out a number of safehouses in Dead Rising 3, which come with some major perks once they're taken over. Each safehouse contains a closet that contains every outfit you try on in the game, as well as a locker with every item you've used, including combo weapons you have crafted. As an added bonus, weapons can be crafted without the need to travel back to a work bench, and combo weapons will be much more durable.

Put The Pedal To The Medal: One of the most impressive moments in the demo featured the player mowing down dozens of zombies with a souped-up sports car. Dead Rising 3 will feature a wide variety of different vehicles, but just because you're behind the wheel doesn't mean you're safe. Trying to plow through a dense crowd of zombies can bring your car to a dead stop depending on how powerful it is, and even when you're moving at a decent clip, zombies can hang on and pull you through the window. Given the size of the world, we expect automobiles will play an important role in the game. The fact that Nick is a mechanic makes us think that upgrading or customizing vehicles may also be in the cards.

Come back later in the week for even more Dead Rising 3 coverage.