Dead Rising 2 Review
2006's Dead Rising was a game that was divisive. It “looked” like your typical zombie slasher game, but it played differently than other game that was released at the time. In taking hints from NES and SNES games before it, Dead Rising was game that couldn't be beaten with out dying. The tricks of Dead Rising 1 was reaching a certain point, dying, then starting from the beginning and preparing yourself for the boss battle. In while that seems like chore, most players were able to reach their last checkpoint in less than an hour. This game play mechanic, along with some others is what kept a lot of players away from Dead Rising 1. Basically you either loved or hated Dead Rising 1
That hasn't changed in Dead Rising 2.
Well.. it hasn't changed much. In Dead Rising 2 (DR2), you play Chuck Greene who makes his way to Fortune City, with his daughter Katey. Katey, was bitten by a zombie and Chuck needs to give her Zombex, the miracle cure in the Dead Rising universe. Players familiar with the downloadbale game, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, will remember that Chuck needs to give Katey Zombrex every 6 hours, three years later, which is where Dead Rising 2 begins, a better version of Zombrex has been created, now Chuck has to give her Zombrex, every 24 hours. While Chuck searches for Zombrex he stumbles over a conspiracy which somehow leaves Chuck framed for the Zombie outbreak in Fortune City.
Keeping in line with Dead Rising 1, this story takes place over the course of 3 days. Over the 3 days players will go through tricks, turns, twists and various other staples of the Dead Rising series. As well as playing through Chuck's story to clear his name, player will be saving survivors and fighting psychopaths (the bosses of the Dead Rising games). Unlike the previous game, the survivors are smarter this time around, in what amounted to the most frustrating part of Dead Rising 1, was having to babysit the A.I. While they hopelessly tried to kill every zombie in their path. Now, they try to avoid getting grabbed and tend to stay close to Chuck, you do have to thin out the crowds a bit, but now it isn't a giant headache like it was in the first game.
Honestly, the story isn't why you are playing this game, it's the Zombie killing business that Dead Rising 2 invests in, and business... is booming. The obvious hook of this game is the item combination system. Chuck, a famous motocross rider, is quite the handyman, or just amaster of duct tape. By finding various work benches, Chuck can create a number of combination weapons in order to add a larger arsenal of zombie killing madness. And creating combo weapons isn't just for fun, and it is fun, using this weapons will lead to player gaining more PP or Prestige points, and PP leads to leveling up, and leveling up leads to gaining more inventory slots and improving various stats like speed, strength, etc.
Now, in saying the Dead Rising 2 is the same as the first one, isn't a fair observation. The game now has multiple save files, so now players can save their progress at certain points, so when players hit a choke point, they can simply load an earlier checkpoint and attempt a different way of finishing the mission but, most hardcore players will opt to start over, but it is a welcomed change.
In what seems like a great step forward DR2 still seems held back by some gameplay flaws. While there are many combination of weapons the player can make, outside of the PP bonus, there never seems to be a real reason to use them. Most players can get by with the most basic of combinations, while some of the more, creative ones are hampered by long animations and the inability to store items in inventory Stuff like this would have been okay if there was some sort of item box that players can store items that they don’t to use now, but once you make it, you're stuck with it until it breaks.
Another thing is the map system. The world map is large and most players will be able to memorize their way around the map, but not being able to set waypoint are just things that just seem unacceptable in 2010 and open world games in general. Zombies respawn as well as items respawn, while this doesn't seem like a negative, items that regenerate is another thing that keeps players from trying out new weapon combinations.
But one of the games best additions is the multiplayer. There is a competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. In the co-op mode plays will join their friends as a second Chuck as they team up to kill zombies. There is no story in the co-op mode, so there is no explanation why there is a second Chuck running around the world, this is fun for awhile, but you don’t keep story progress. So if you play a significant chunk of the game with a friend, you should hope that you are the host of the game, because if you are not, none of the progress will carry over. The competitive mode has player splaying an episode of the game's Zombie killing games show, “Terror is Reality”, hosted by the eccentric T.K. The game types really just boil down to minigames that turns into an American Gladiators rip offs. There is the giant hamster balls, a game in which players wear helmets with dear antlers as they fling zombies to scales, and also the motorcycles with chainsaws attached to them as player vie for the highest kill count. These are fun, but these modes wont really have players returning in droves.
In my time with Dead Rising 2, these complaints are minor... but can turn most gamers off. I hate saying things like, if you liked Dead Rising 1, then you'll love Dead Rising 2; but it seems like a fair thing to say. Dead Rising 2 is a HUGE improvement over the previous games, but small missteps stop this game from really being the truly great title it can really be. But once you accept DR2's way, you will find yourself hooked by hours and hours if slaying zombies and creating insane weapons. Because let's be honest, who isn't gonna crack a smile after duct-taping 2 chainsaws to a Kayak paddle?