Welcome to Willamette Mall. A nice cozy place with a small problem, try over 50,000 zombies infesting it!
Yes, we all love George Romero, but this game is not about his movie, this flick he did in the 70's, called Dawn of the Dead. It does take place in a shopping mall, but it is far from the movie Romero created back then.
This is more of a tribute to it, as well as everyone who loves the Zombie Genre.
You star as Frank West, a hotshot reporter looking for a big score about the problems in Willamette. You get trapped in a mall for 72 hours, and need to uncover the truth of the zombie outbreak.
Sounds easy, but it isn't.
Graphics- Graphically, the game is not like other 360 games. Instead of hyperdetail, like in Oblivion, we game decent detail for all the human characters, great cut-scenes, and a ton of zombies. About 800 can be on the screen at one time, giving a whole new meaning to the word outbreak.
What's even more fun is the over- the-top non stop violence you inflict on them. throw benchs at them and they drop in piles of blood. Cut them in half with an axe, or splice them with a katana. All of it is in nice, gory detail, and fun to watch. What makes it more fun is that just about everything, from horseshoes to hand grenades (and the lead pipes and 2x4's in between, ) can be used to beat the crap out of the undead. Throw in homages, like a lawnmower, garden shears, karate moves, and a slew of old school capcom nods (Jill's Sandwhiches! Mega Buster!) and you got a real nice game graphically.
Final Score- B+
Gameplay- Dead rising has a strange structure for a game. You can choose to do the story thats there, or you can do what you want. The benefits from doing the story, however, is that you unlock the infinite mode everyone wants to have. You also have options to rescue, fight, or watch other survivors live or die. Some of them can be saved, some of them are to far gone to save. It's up to you to decide your path, but for me, it was more rewarding to rescue people and do the main story first, then do what I please the second time around.
One problem though is that the human AI is as dumb as the zombies. When humans have no weapons, they feel like fighting the undead. Then they get swarmed, and they go after you later on. It's really bad AI for the humans, so you got to guide them, and sometimes in groups of 4 plus, thats a hard feat to do.
The controls of the game are easy to pick up though. You can punch, kick, do karate moves and other neat tricks without weapons. Ever rip a zombies intestines out? It's really fun! One drawback though is that you have to level up to get it. To do so, you need to complete missions, escort survivors, kill lots of zombies, psychopaths (the games bosses), snap photographs and other odd things to get it. As you level up, you gain more strength, item slots, speed, and combat moves to preform against your opponents.
And taking pictures is a good idea. As a journalist, you need to snap some photos to get a good score, and a better ending. The game has 6 endings, one being the true ending, and the others either positive or negative, depending on what happens in the game. To do this though, you got to go through the annoying save system. You only get one save slot in Dead Rising, so make it count each time. Luckily, if you do fail a story based mission, you can save your current level and go through it again at the level you saved it to, which is a great idea, especially if you start out in the game early. Navigate that though, and its worth it in the end to see the endings, and play the infinite mode. The only flaw is that in infinite mode your health deteriorates over time, so if you have full health, you have about 20 minutes to live unless you eat something.
Final Score- B+
Sound- From the Zombie gorans to the sound of metal bashing a skull, the effects in the game are great. The voice acting in the cut-scenes is surprisingly good, and it adds a nice element to make the speaking parts more human and sympathetic to them. Rhe music is also really good, with heavy metal and rock songs during boss fights, and nice orchestrated for the drama moments in the game.
Final Score- B+
Overall Score- Dead Rising is a fun game to play. While killing zombies might be boring, try killing 50,000 of them. OR even better, survive 7 days without dying, or stopping the game (which I am trying to do now, im about 4 days in at this point, with a while to go still.) Boredom is a problem, but thats why they invented reviews right? This is one of the few titles on the 360 that is worth the 60 dollar price tag, and is a must for X-Box owners. See you all in the mall.
Final Score- B+
Overall Score- B+