Dead Rising 2 Story Mode Hands-On ImpressionsBy Jake Gaskill - Posted Aug 25, 2010
Zombies to the left of me. Zombies to the right of me. Zombies to the front of me. Zombies to the…back…of me. The shambling, undead hordes extend in all directions for as far as I can see. The glittery neon signs of Fortune City’s Silver Strip of casinos and shops light up the night, giving the evening’s festivities an air of the spectacular, even though I’m about spend the next 15 minutes bashing, slicing, shooting, and crushing hundreds of walking dead with everything from a bat covered with nails to a bucket outfitted with three power drills to a standard lawnmower. It’s at this moment that I truly feel welcomed into the world of Dead Rising 2.
And actually, the situation I just described, was by far the most enjoyable part of the five or so hours I spent with Capcom’s upcoming sequel. There aren’t too many big developments story wise in the first part of the game, other than we find out that protagonist Chuck Greene has been framed for the zombie outbreak that has turned Fortune City into an undulating sea of animated corpses. Greene and a number of other survivors, including his long ago zombie bitten daughter, Katey, have holed up in a security facility, biding their time until the military rolls into town to clean up the mess.
Because of Katey’s condition, she requires a shot of the zombie suppressant Zombrex every 24 hours (or around two and a half hours of actual gameplay). You can search for Zombrex while you’re traveling from mission to mission, or stop by a pawn shop and throw down $25,000 to buy some. Fortunately, I didn’t find it very hard to come by, but I could see how not being able to find some (or being able to afford to buy some) would add a tremendous sense of anxiety and fear to the already intense situation.
While I’m still not fond of the Dead Rising structure (fight your way through a bunch of zombies, find survivors, escort them back to the safe house, do a story mission, repeat), the sheer number of walking dead on screen is staggering, and the various themed casinos are spectacularly detailed, so traversing the world is consistently enjoyable. If there weren’t thousands of zombies trying to eat your face, you’d definitely want to take some time to stroll around sightseeing for a few hours; it’s just that pretty.
I wasn’t able to try out the online co-op or multiplayer mode, Terror is Reality, but the game opens with a TIR event in which you ride a motorcycle with two chainsaws attached to the handlebars through crowds of zombies trying to rack up as many points as possible. It’s a shame having to go from this fast paced, chainsaw-fest to the slower, on foot combat and somewhat tame weapon choices of the early part of the game. Of course, once you start leveling up and earning combo cards, which let you start building custom weapons like a leaf blower that shoots jewelry or a broom with a machete attached to it, the zombie slaughtering reaches all new levels of ridiculousness.
I encountered a few psychopaths (i.e. mini bosses) in my playthrough as well, and like the first game, the creepiness factor of these characters is out in full force. Unfortunately, fighting them is far less enjoyable than their cutscene introductions, since you can only get hit six or seven times before dying, and yet it takes dozens and dozens of hits (I unloaded 100 bullets from a light machine gun at point blank range on one guy only to see his health bar barely decrease) to bring down the psychopaths. Worst of all, their animations take precedent over yours, so while they can interrupt your attacks, you can’t interrupt theirs, which is always good times.
From what I’ve played so far, Dead Rising 2 appears to take everything that fans loved about the first game, and amped it up in every way. The absurd and blood soaked sandbox is definitely in place, but we’ll have to wait until the game ships on September 28 to see if the game can rise above the ever increasing zombie game pack.