thedarkprince's Dead Rising: Case Zero (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

The Dead Have Rose Again(!_!)

 Dead Rising returns in this bite size chunk.


 Story (May Include Spoilers)

The story involves the protagonist of Dead rising 2, Chuck Greene, who begins the game in the small desert town of Still Creek, population 753, not far from the glitz, vice, and recent zombie outbreak of Fortune City(a city that is modelled after Las Vagas). He is caring for his daughter, Katey Greene who is infected with the zombie virus (due to her infected mother biting her on her left wrist). He has a truck full of Zombrex, the medication that keeps the Zombification process of the infection at bay in 12 hour doses, but the truck is stolen within the first few minutes of the game. Desperate to save his daughter from military quarantine and being taken from her father, Chuck has to find more Zombrex and a escape vehicle before 7PM. 


 My Views On The Story

  I felt that the story did not deliver what Capcom promised: a more engaging tale exploring the back story of the protagonist of the original Dead Rising, Frank West. Instead I found the story poor, unengaging and rushed.

Game Play? New Features?

The gameplay, which is the same design we’ll see in the full disc release, is similar to the original Dead Rising in that you can use all sorts of items to kill Zombies from bowling balls to rolling pins, garden rakes to nails. You name it you can use it. What is new/different is how you gain PP (Prestige Points, Dead Rising’s version of Experience) has changed as Chuck is not a Journalist (like Frank west was, he is the protagonist of the original Dead Rising) instead PP is gained by killing Zombies in different and creative ways, PP can also be acquired by creating “Combo Weapons”, these are weapons that are made from 2 or more componentsL For example, a Box of Nails and a Baseball Bat combine to create a spiked bat, which doubles PP.  In fact, all combo weapons come with a PP bonus.  DR2: Case 0 also adds a strong attack, used by holding the X button for 5 seconds, awarding even more PP.  Plus, it looks cool. The save system has also seen improvements, with 3 slots instead of 1 (like the original Dead Rising, which was a real pain to be frank, pun intended), this allows for multiple playthroughs as well as grinding. The new save system is also help if you fail a crucial mission.


The combat controls have definitely improved, but the driving controls are feel clunky and awkward, even if they are only used briefly.  Overall, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero controls better than it’s predecessor, but it falls short as soon as our hero climbs in the driver’s seat.


Although Dead Rising: Case 0 is a graphical improvement over it’s predecessor, the visuals seem to fall short of today’s standards.  Up close, Textures can look blocky, and select costume textures sometimes become discolored in cut-scenes. (Chuck’s hair under a cowboy hat, for instance.)  Hopefully these shortcomings are only a result of compacting the Dead Rising Experience into an XBLA title, and not something we’ll see in the full disc release.


Overall, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero retains and improves upon the gameplay of the original, adding an interesting item creation system, and expanding on the Dead Rising universe.  The improved controls and save system are a definite plus, but it does suffer a few visual shortcomings.  On a final note, we would have liked to learn more about the outbreak’s back-story: where did this new outbreak come from? What happened to Frank, the hero of the first game? How long have Zombies been public knowledge? Hopefully these questions will be addressed in the main title, but if nothing else, Case 0 is a good primer for DR2 – and for only 400ms points, you’ll be hard pressed to find a cheaper, more entertaining XBLA title.

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