Nick plays Nick.
There's a subtle but undeniable kinship whenever the main protagonist of a game shares your first name, as it is for me with Nick Ramos of Capcom's upcoming Dead Rising 3. It's not a new feeling, as I've played as Nick Kang in True Crime: Streets of LA and Nick in Left 4 Dead 2, but no matter how comfortable I become with the character, there's an inherent connection that lends an extra step of immersion.
Whenever NPCs call out to a Nick, my brain has to rewire the mental switch in recognition that they're referring to me as the character I'm role-playing and not me as the player. But sometimes I become so entrenched in the game that I pretend they're directly speaking to me anyway. So for the rest of this preview, just imagine that I'm dressed up as The Hispanic Mechanic. ¿Quién soy?
Nick Ramos, like Chuck Greene and Frank West before him, must soon contend with the zombie apocalypse, this time in the fictional city of Los Perdidos, California. In English, that means "The Lost," and I'm sure you can figure out why. Darker but still keeping with the humor of the Dead Rising series, this third installment will follow the story of the previous titles, though only in a vague sense. It's been mentioned that there will be digital episodes that will fill in the missing time gap between Dead Rising 3 and its predecessors, but by and large this will simply be more of what fans want and expect out of the franchise.
The city of Los Perdidos is a vast open world with multiple boroughs, replete with gun stores, abandoned warehouses, and survivors to rescue. Traversal throughout the city is seamless, without loading times, by virtue of the sheer power and cloud technology of the Xbox One. This undead sandbox is limited only by your imagination, with the ability to pair up with a friend for co-operative play and to craft ingenious weapons from seemingly ridiculous ingredients.
As Nick Ramos is a mechanic from the Wrench-O-Rama, which serves as a handy safehouse in Los Perdidos, he doesn't need a workbench to craft weapons. He can simply grab the tools from his inventory and start duct-taping to his heart's content. This means he may want to save items instead of immediately crafting items, especially since he can encounter different types of zombie hordes that are weak to different weapons.
Though Nick has incredible melee skills (he must practice MMA or something on the side), he can be easily overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of undead, particularly if it's a horde of firemen zombies wielding axes. Situations like these sometimes call for a well-timed shot from a flare gun as a distraction or several headshots from a tactical handgun, formed by taping a flashlight on top of a handgun. But if you're in a more sadistic mood or want a hell of a lot of PP experience, there's no better time than to whip out a makeshift rocket launcher or call an artillery strike from the skies above.
As usual, the more bombastic or the sillier the kill, the more PP Nick earns. That said, running over hundreds of undead with a muscle car never gets old despite it not being worth that much PP. With each level up, Nick can place more points into his attributes, including Life, Inventory, Melee, Ranged, Mechanic, Agility, and Smarts, or invest in a Combo Category which improves his crafting flexibility. Any crafted weapons he creates, along with any costumes like a shark mascot suit, can be obtained an infinite number of times frome the storage closet of any Safe Zone. In this way, Dead Rising 3 may be trying to be the Saints Row of the zombie apocalypse; if so, sign me up now.
Dead Rising 3 is set to release exclusively for Xbox One in November 2013, so expect it to be a launch title, or at least a launch window title, for the system.