Dead Rising 2 Xbox 360 Review

January 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Publisher – Capcom – Developer – Blue Castle Games – Genre – Action – Players – 1-2 – Age Rating – 18+ – Other console/handheld formats – PS3

Seemingly one of the primary reasons zombies exist is to die in the most gruesome ways imaginable and Dead Rising 2 grants you more methods of carrying out this deed than any other game featuring the walking dead has ever done. Slicing, impaling, shooting and burning are just a few examples of making them simply dead instead of undead.

Dead Rising 2 is the sequel to the divisive 2006 original, a game of which had too many quirks for a lot of people to find love for, though those who were able to tolerate its flaws and played it in the way it was intended, largely discovered Dead Rising to be an enjoyable game.

The sequel focuses on motocross star Chuck Greene, who is trapped in the Las Vegas like Fortune City, whilst caring for his zombie infected daughter, Katey. Finding the drug Zombrex to counter the effects of Katey’s infection is always a common background objective in the main storyline.

Its somewhat dark story is a bit at odds with what you’re able to get up to on an interactive level. Chuck can wear all kinds of different outfits and when I say that I mean it, he can wear women’s and kid’s clothes and even a Blanka mask. The zombie bloodshed is also more comical than it is shocking and much of the weapons are ineffective and just exist for the amusement factor, at least when used alone anyway.

Like the original game, with the sheer number of zombies displayed on your screen and all round chaos, Dead Rising 2 creates an effective illusion of a zombie apocalypse.

However, if you head to the maintenance rooms, which are liberally dotted around Fortune City, and combine seemingly useless weapons with certain objects you’re able to knock together a combo weapon – an often outlandish and deadly combination that will reward you whenever you use it to gory effect on a zombie (or thousands) with additional PP (Dead Rising’s name for XP). To use combo weapons to their full potential, you must obtain the respective combo card of the weapon, otherwise you won’t get the full PP bonus and aren’t able to utilize their strongest attacks.

The combo weapon system doesn’t require much in the way of guesswork, as if you have an item in your inventory that will combine with one lying around, the icon will flash to let you know, though it’s not perfect as limited item space means that most people will find themselves having to drop some items to be able to carry others, and some sort of storage box would have made it an easier process. Because of the hassle, a lot of people will just stick with the always easily accessible baseball and nails combination and in the process miss out on brandishing some of the most delightful weapons in the game.

Structurally, Dead Rising 2 employs the original game’s time limit, of which once again isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste, particularly those that like to explore and such at their leisure without being dictated by a time limit. You’re not really offered enough time to be able to do everything in a single run through the game, though it’s designed to be played through multiple times and there’s plenty to do even after seeing the story through to the end.

There are also people waiting to be rescued around Fortune City, of which you must safely guide back to the salvation of the safe room for a hefty PP bonus. Some are injured, drunk or simply old and decrepit and must be carried. They all have their own mini stories, many of which are amusing, such as a rock band that think the zombie masses are an adoring crowd.

There are psychopaths too, most of which are optional. These are essentially Dead Rising 2’s boss fights and, much like the sane survivors, they’re a colourful bunch, though true to their name, have twisted tendencies. It turns out that it’s a godsend that they’re largely optional as many of them are badly designed; utilizing cheap attacks and they’re easily the worst aspect of Dead Rising 2.

Just like seemingly almost every game these days, there's a multiplayer component and in this case it only really offers limited entertainment.

The save system of the original game, of which for some left the game feeling broken, whilst for others it added to the tension, is much more generous this time around. Now you have three slots to save your game to, which allows you to try out different things and not feel as if once you’ve made your choices it is irreversible. There are no checkpoints though, which is archaic and results in some frustrating situations if you forget to save and end up losing a fair chunk of progress in the process

Dead Rising 2 isn’t vastly superior to its predecessor, but it’s a more forgiving and refined game and retains many of the eccentricities of said predecessor. So if you were a fan the first time around and just as long as you can accept that it’s not hugely different to the original, you’ll likely fall in love again. Everyone else should bear in mind, that just like the previous game, Dead Rising 2 isn’t going to be everyone’s taste.