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Dead Rising 2 Survival Guide

by Jeff Cork on Sep 28, 2010 at 03:35 AM

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Dead Rising 2 can be pretty tough at times. Aside from the legions of undead, Chuck Greene (and players) have to contend with a ticking clock, survivors and psychopaths. Fortunately, we’re here to help. While we’re not going to spoil everything, we’ve compiled a few tips that are sure to make your life in Fortune City longer and more enjoyable.

  • Weapons, weapon components, and other items almost always spawn in reliable locations. If you pick up a sledgehammer in a store, for example, it’ll be back when you return from another area. The same goes for health items, too. With that in mind, you’d be a fool not to stock up on the best goodies.
  • As with the first game, orange juice is one of the best healing items. Not only does it replenish a good chunk of health, but it’s stashed all over the place. Coffee creamer is a slightly less effective (and palatable) alternative, but it’ll do in a pinch. To make healing items more effective, be sure to grab the magazine at the kiosk just to the left after you leave the safe house. It’ll take up a precious inventory slot, but it’s definitely a handy way to boost the effectiveness of even the weakest healing items.
  • After you get access to the game’s maintenance rooms, don’t pass up a chance to make new weapons. Using those combo weapons earns Chuck prestige points, which level him up. Higher levels mean more hit points, better attacks, more inventory space—things you’ll want. There are a lot of combo weapons out there, and you’ll earn cards (essentially recipes) for some of them as you escort survivors and level up. Even if you don’t have the official recipes, however, you can combine items. You won’t earn as much PPs, but something’s better than nothing.
  • There are a few components near the safe house that are reliably good, and useful from the beginning of the game to the end. I usually kept two or three spiked baseball bats with me at all times. The charged attack nets some decent PPs, and even the basic swipe knocks crowds back if it doesn’t necessarily kill enemies outright.
  • Two of the cardboard boxes near the lower stairs just before the maintenance room are worth checking out. They each contain cans of spray paint, which can be combined with traffic cones to create an air horn. It’s slow to kill, but it nets a hefty chuck of PPs with each kill. When you're in the safe house proper, grab the vacuum cleaner and fire ax. Both of those items can be combined with items you can find right outside the vent. (Sawblades for the vaccuum, and a sledgehammer for the fire ax.) They're also great weapons that you can make early on.

  • Another one of the easiest weapons to acquire is also one of the most effective. Early in the game, the Royal Flush area is infested with groups of looters. You’ll know you’re close by them when you hear their whiny voices. They typically hang out in groups of three, and you can easily take them on at once. In addition to the 500 PPs you get from killing each one, one of them is equipped with a flashlight. Combine it with gems—easily found in one of the Royal Flush’s jewelry stores—and you’ve got yourself a lightsaber-type weapon that kills zombies in one shot. Make a couple of those things, hang out at a crowded casino exit and go to town.
  • As I said in my review, the AI survivors are a lot more effective in Dead Rising 2 than in the first game. There are a few tricks you can use to make life even easier. Some come armed with weapons, which is handy. Chuck can give unarmed survivors weapons and healing items, or even trade weapons with those who are armed. A lot of the survivors aren’t interested in some of the crazier combo weapons, so I just stuck with the basics. Crowbars and bats are a good choice, and handguns are generally better still. As good as it is, survivor AI still does some annoying things from time to time, particularly when a large group of survivors is surrounded. To minimize collateral damage I avoided extremely large swinging weapons, like picket signs, or weapons that have a large area of effect, like shotguns
  • You’ll be going to the safehouse a lot during the game, and you’ll eventually learn the route. Until then, when you’re lost and you have survivors with you, there’s a better way to get back than popping into the map every few steps. There’s almost always a mission that involves talking to a friend at the safehouse. Set a waypoint to that one, and follow the beacon home.
  • Reading is FUNdamental. Inventory space is limited when you're starting out, but once you have a little room you might want to start picking up some magazines. There are lots of them scattered throughout Fortune City, but a few worthwhile reads are found in the Royal Flush casino area. When you exit the maintenance room area, there's a kiosk called Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow just to your left. There are a few magazines there, which increase the effectiveness of healing items and the amount of PP you get from weapon kills. Upstairs, there's a bookstore named Ragazines. Scour its shelves and you can find periodicals that give you a 25 percent PP boost for slaying the undead and make you a much more effective gambler. There's also a book that makes your hand-to-hand attacks deadlier, but if you're wandering around without a weapon you're doing something wrong.
  • The last tip I’ll offer is a simple one: be on the lookout for interesting weapon components when you’re near a maintenance room. There are almost always a couple of items around the workbench that can be combined for a quick combo weapon. If you don’t see anything useful, walk around the immediate area for a while. For instance, outside the Yucatan Casino there are a few tiki torches laying on the ground. Combine one of them with the maintenance room’s spitball gun and you’ve got yourself a sweet weapon. A weapon, by the way, that’s quite useful against one of the last bosses, who just so happens to be a short walk away…