Zombies! The living dead. This cultural phenomenon has been used countless times across every media outlet, and video games are no exception. Dead Rising was however, the first to bring the zombie fest to Xbox 360.Labeled as an action-adventure/survival horror, the game is becoming not only a cult classic, but a main stream hit as well. Dead Rising 2 has sold more than 2 million copies world wide. Capcom has teamed up with Blue Castle Games to bring out the second game in the franchise series. Dead Rising 2 takes place in a new area called Fortune City, Nevada. The game offers more slaying of your decaying enemies by being able to have up to 7,000 zombies on the screen at a time. It also adds more weapons and an all new create-a-weapon feature to ensure more ways of hacking or shooting down your undead friends. Fans will be pleased to know that they now will be able to play co-op with a friend (or random online person). You and a buddy can have fun taking down the hordes of the undead together, and teamwork could be the way to survival. There are also other modes added that bring PvP, for those of you who like a little competition against live opponents.
You take on the role of Chuck Greene, a motocross champion, who after a zombie break out, is taken to a safe house where he must find Zombrex (a medicine that cures the zombie infection). Needing to clear himself of being framed with releasing the creatures, he has to find clues as to who exactly is behind the madness. The beginning of the game has a lot of cut scenes which would normally be annoying, but it actually helps move the story along and keep you excited. The save points in the game are bathroom stalls that you must enter to relieve yourself (potty humor, yes pun intended lol). Pop up boxes assist you in the beginning so you know the controls you need to use throughout the game. Weapons are at your disposal everywhere, and I mean everywhere! Keep an eye on how often you use these weapons though, because they will become unusable after some zombie smashing. Create-a-weapon is a new feature. There are stations throughout the map where, once given the recipe, you are able to combine weapons to make more deadlier ones. When you are exploring the landscape, you will come in contact with various people who are trapped in the zombie apocalypse as well, so it is encouraged that you help save these people because you are rewarded for doing so (not to mention they help kill the zombies). One of the main points of the game is to find medicine for your daughter, and a time limit has been set to when she needs it. You have a watch to keep track of the time, and trust me you want to keep an eye on this or your daughter will become zombified!
The visuals in this game are pretty good, and the environment works well and is diverse enough to keep it interesting. Cramped corridors have you feeling on edge, while open areas have you feeling free to wreak havoc on those brain dead freaks. The zombies actually look fantastic and seem to act on their own accord. The game being able to fit thousands of zombies on screen really makes you feel like your in a place overrun by the living dead. Friendly characters that you are suppose to save have their own personalities as well, and certain people you come in contact with will not join your cause until you do something for them (this adds some realism). The acting in this game is par to sub-par, but who’s really in it for the acting? Right? The ability to play co-op is great and adds a little to the replay value. For those of you who enjoy roaming the appocalypse alone, you can turn off the join mode in the options menu.
Now for some aspects I didn’t like about the game. The timers set on things like your daughter’s medicine and missions can get annoying. The first Zombrex I got with no problem, but I then had to wait what seemed like an eternity till I could inject her. Sure I could have ran around slaying more zombies, but I was afraid of not being able to get back in time. The amount of zombies on screen, while cool, also became a pain in the ass when trying to get around or eat food to gain health. Also, friendly characters that you escort seem stupid at times and fire into zombies close to you, causing damage to your character. Another downside I see in this game is repetitiveness, I mean there’s only so much zombie hacking I can take before it starts to feel the same. The interactions with the environment and weapons seem a little non-responsive or sluggish, like entering a doorway or picking up items/weapons. The weapons are great, but the fact that a sledge hammer becomes useless after 10-15 swings had me frustrated at times. This also hinders the create-a-weapon feature, seeing as I went through the time and effort to create this specialized weapon and it can only be used a short time with no way of replenishing it’s durability.
All in all it is a solid action-adventure/survival horror game. The graphics are great and the zombies and characters seem real. The time limit on missions , while frustrating, are good at keeping up the pace of the game and keeping you on your toes. The massive amounts of zombies on screen at one time really make you feel like the world has been taken over by the living dead themselves. With the addition of co-op, I would suggest playing with a friend or letting someone from online join to get the most fun out of Dead Rising 2. Capcom and Blue Castle Games have made a major improvement over the previous title and have expanded their fan base. With a strong following, this game looks like it may stick around for a while. I am sure this won’t be the last we hear of the Dead Rising franchise, and I suggest giving this game a chance. Make sure you bring your friends for survival and go kill those brain dead freaks.