The whispers came, those turned into a lot
of coverage on a game coming soon with a horror survival feel, something
that would take advantage of the power of the Xbox 360. By this time of
course the first wave of 360 games have come and while the gee wiz that
looks incredible knee jerk reaction is still there when a game uses what
the 360 has to offer…we are perhaps just a bit more harder to impress
now. A game with eye candy alone is not going to do it.
Now, Dead Rising shambles into the gaming arena with some pretty awesome
visuals, and hundreds of flesh munching zombies to wade through on
screen at once. Other games most notably the Resident Evil series has
brought Survival horror along it’s way in the gaming realm and has used
Zombies, but never before like this. Now with so many flesh munchers on
screen, you really do cringe as you’re trying to make your way past the
hordes of animated corpses.
The town is quarantined by the military but this of course won’t stop
you, you’re playing Frank West a photo journalist. Hiring a Helicopter
pilot you find your way past the military road blocks and on the way
hovering over the town you take pictures of the strange riot that is
taking place. Soon you are realizing there is more to this than meets
the eye. Getting dropped off on the roof of a shopping mall you are all
set to get the story and the pictures that will get you set as a top
photojournalist. You have a mere 72 hours before the copter pilot is
coming back for you…what could go wrong?
Well it all goes to hell pretty fast as you find yourself in the lower
level of the Mall with a few survivors who are trying to barricade the
doors to keep the Zombies out. Of course some one (I won’t ruin it for
you) causes the Zombies to get in…and everything gets worse from there.
But it all means more fun for you in this zombie bashing romp from
Capcom. While it could get little old putting zombies down to a final
demise, there are some almost mindless survivors to interact with, some
you will end up trying to save, others will become foes who are doing
there best to kill you, and so you have to try your best to return the
During game play as the character finds out more information about the
events that have taken place, and how they caused all of this mayhem,
Case Files are created. Over time and game play the case files pieces of
the puzzle fill up and more is learned about the events and also what
exactly is going on. After all, The Dead rising from the graves would be
way too simple…wouldn’t it? There is more to these creatures than meets
The game is a roller coaster ride of both fun and frustration at times.
One of the biggest things that will cause you to cringe is the limited
save options…there are no save any where options here. Oh no friend, you
will have to either find your way back to the security center, or find
the public bathrooms to save your game. This in itself ads a bit of
dreaded urgency to the game. One wrong step and poor Frank is eaten by
zombies, and you have to start back at a save point. Plus you now have
to make your way through all the hordes of zombies once more. Now if
that does not cause your nerves to get on edge I don’t know what will.
Another bit of an annoying thing are the text messages that come over
the radio… yes, I said text messages over the radio. The text is pretty
darn small; I am running the game on a high def Sanyo television with a
30 inch screen. I cannot imagine trying to read the text on a smaller
Speaking of graphics, the games over all look is just incredible. The
designers used what the 360 is capable of and really brought this game
to life. As day turns into night the lighting changes appropriately,
floors and liquids on the floors reflect nicely. The models and
locations all look colorful and detailed and even with double and triple
digit number of zombies on screen manages to keep the frame rate running
at a smooth rate. Small things like some areas like stores loading its
graphics only as you’re near to it do nothing to degrade the fun of the
game at all.
Sound has enough punch to it that the wet crunch of a zombie’s head
being bashed in causes you to either wince or sit there with a big
stupid grin on your face. Voice acting is done pretty well and lends it
self well to the over all environment of the game and the situation. If
anything did cause me some annoyance it was some characters that cry and
whine about their whole situation. But hey, the varied reactions of
these characters make some sense, after all how would you react to
something like this? In control? Totally out of your mind? Wallowing in
your own hopelessness? While I understand the concept, the survivors
some times try my patience, some times I just wanted to feed them to the
zombies and be done with it and to hell with the clues.
Well now, you may be asking yourself how the heck do you get to kill off
these animated monsters? The ways are various and all are pretty wild
and, dare I say it? Fun. Yes it is a wicked indulgence to say so, but it
is fun. Almost anything can be grabbed hold of and used as a weapon or a
distraction. Amongst the obvious weapons like firearms, there are
knives, shopping carts, chain saws, base ball bats and even caution
cones that can be used to drop on the head of a zombie and blind them.
One of my favorite things to do is to have a hand gun and then in the
middle of a large gathering of flesh munchers hope to see a propane
tank…shooting these causes a very decent explosion that takes them out.
But have a care, if you’re too close to the blast radius you too will be
You’re going to be bashing zombies a lot in this game, there are just
way too many of them not to. From the firearms mentioned to such things
as potted plants and even Ketchup containers… (If you get a chance use a
ketchup container on a zombie. it is funny as all get out.) As you do
more combat your character levels up and the skills become more
advanced, such things as health also improve which is a good thing
because, from zombies biting you or swatting at you, or some other
survivors shooting at you…. You will need your skills just to survive.
As health goes down the character is able to replenish themselves by
finding various food substances around the mall. The food court is a
good location for finding health goodies. You are also able to carry a
number of items, I suggest trying to keep at least two food items handy
as often as you can. You will need it, also save as often as you can
What’s really sweet about this game is that even though you’re doing
pretty much the same thing over and over again, it almost does not feel
repetitive. The whole key is not only so many different ways to do
battle against the Dead hordes, but the fact that there are some
tactical things sprinkled through out, in strategic places there are
scaffolds that the character can climb onto and there for get a much
needed breather and a safe haven away from the dangers of the dead ones.
It is a game that you will find yourself playing over and over again,
just for the jolly of opening up new achievements and skills.
One of the best things about the game is being able to start all over
again, but being able to do it at the current skill level. What a
wonderful thing to have! It makes me forgive the designers for not being
able to save any time or place in the game.
Dead Rising brings on some of the best elements of the survivor horror
genre and ads some twists to it here and there. The more interesting
things are the twists with the zombies…I won’t ruin it for those who
have not played as of yet…especially since the editors in Australia have
just gotten their hands on the game…but Dead Rising has all the elements
of a hot title that burns bright for a time, you put it down and then
the glow just draws you in to play a bit more. Addictive, horrific fun.
Have fun, play games.