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

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A day of the dead: Surviving Still Creek

Being a big fan of the first game I'm naturally excited about Dead Rising 2 and Case: 0 has managed to get my excitement levels through the roof. 
In an interesting and rather unique manner, Case: 0 is both a demo and a well established story element to the upcoming game. The developers didn't skimp on anything with this game and it easily feels almost like they plucked a lengthy tutorial segment from a full game.
Set two years after the events of DR1, and three years before DR2, Chuck Greene and his daughter Katey arrive in the small Arizona town of Still Creek. Las Vagas has suffered a zombie outbreak and they barely escaped with their lives. Unfortunately Katey has been bitten and risks becoming the walking undead. The only means to prevent that is Zombrex, a largely experimental drug that halts the infection for twelve hours. It becomes a race against the clock as Chuck must contend with the zombie filled Still Creek and the approaching military support, who would take Katey away given her condition. 
If you played Dead Rising then the majority of the game mechanics will be familiar. Like in the first game anything and everything is your weapon to survive the shambling hordes of zombies. There are also a number of other survivors around town that need Chuck's help to get back to the designated safe house, some rewarding Chuck's efforts with useful items. The big change from the original is rather then snapping photos to earn PP, Prestige Points, to level up you use combo weapons. Chuck has the ability to combine various items into deadly zombie killing weapons. The first you're treated to is combing nails and a baseball bat. Using these weapons, and other combos around town, gives bonus PP and are a blast to play with.  
Also like the first game there is an in-world clock and timed objectives. You can't simply run around killing zombies forever then choose to continue with the game missions, if you don't get to them in time, you'll miss out. Sometimes it means game over. So if you didn't like that feature in Dead Rising, you won't like it in Case: 0 and Dead Rising 2.  
As I stated before, this is not some cheap cash in mini-game. It's part of the Dead Rising canon, it introduces Chuck Greene and gives players a good taste of what to expect in the full game coming out at the end of September. An added bonus is the PP level and unlocks you acquire in Case: 0 will carry over to DR2. So for $5.00, 400 MS Points, it's not a bad purchase.  
This also really builds up the excitement for DR2. After only a couple hours playing Case: 0 I can't wait for the full game. A single play through won't take you long but given you can play through the story mode multiply times, collecting anything you missed your previous runs, it's a good way to get your zombie fix until September 28th.

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