charlie_victor_bravo's Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360) review

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Dead Rising 2 Review - More Brainsss and Less Heart

You know the story. Chuck Green, former motocross champion, is trapped in Las Vegas-like Fortune City which happens to be overrun by zombies. If that would not be bad enough, Chuck is framed for the zombie outbreak and he has also sick daughter Katey, who needs medicine every 24-hours to prevent her from turning into a walking dead.   So it is up to the player to clear Chucks name, medicate Katey and do some gambling- all with in the strict time limit.

 

Compared to the Dead Rising

 

The Same:

Dead Rising 2, like its predecessor, is race against the clock. This time around however you will have little more time in your hands.

Graphics are slightly better but style of the character worked better in the first one.

There are still some strange in-game limitations, like the fact that only 8 survivors can be in the game world at same time. This might prevent some missions from appearing and makes the safe house look rather empty despite having 50+ characters habiting it. 

The Good:

Rescuing survivors is made whole lot easier. AI –companions can now clear their own path and they don’t get ideas like “maybe I will stand here and complain until zombies start chewing my neck”.

There is also now an icon which shows up when survivors are near enough to be transported trough a door to the next area.

Save system has receive little upgrade as well. Now you can save to three different slots, making experimentation little easier.

Controls are about the same. They still feel little unresponsive and animations have too high priority.   Strange button combinations and weird button mapping of the DR1 is gone, making DR2 little bit friendlier in the control department.  

The Bad:

Environment is almost the same as in DR1. Fortune City feels like a mall more than it feels like a casino. Also the layout, shortcuts and features remind too much of its forerunner. Downloadable prequel of DR2, Case Zero, had interesting small town vibe – demonstrating that you can make this kind of game to work in varied environments.

You still gain experience (PP – Prestige Points) by rescuing survivors, killing zombies and trough various other activities. However bunch of skill moves from DR1 are missing and also there are less of them. Instead of certain skills, you get combo cards.  

No camera. This mechanic made Dead Rising unique (in a good way) and lack of it is disappointing.  Think what crazy shots you could get on co-op multiplayer!      

Instead of taking pictures, you can gain extra points for leveling by making combo weapons. These are more effective than normal weapons, but require some assembly. You can discover these weapons by leveling, defeating certain bosses (known as psychopaths) and examining posters or by good old experimentation. Problem with these items is that required parts can be hard to find and after finding them you have to transport them, in your limited inventory, to the nearest workbench. This is time consuming process and rewards are limited, making all the explosive combo weapons almost useless. You will not find yourself making creative and varied weapons when racing against the clock, instead you will find yourself making 2-4 kinds of weapons over and over again.

Story is weaker than in DR1 and a lot of this has to do to the fact that DR2 follows too closely to the key moments of DR1. New and fresh twists would have been welcomed and also I would not declined from better endings as well. In original game it made sense to go out and seek out people because you were daredevil reporter looking for scoops. Now that you are father who has sick daughter, it would seem more appropriate just to get the medicine and guard her in the comfort of the safe house.

Conclusion

Dead Rising 2 puts killing the zombies into greater focus. This was the most repetitive and boring part of the original game and so it is in this one too. Still, if you liked Dead Rising 1, you will like this sequel as well. Difficulty has been scaled down noticeably (mainly due to the some technical improvements) which might detract enjoyment among hardcore DR1 veterans.

 

 

 

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