Dragon’s Den Halloween Month: Dead Rising 2
Dead Rising 2
Fighting and Waiting your Way to the End
Now here’s a game near and dear to my heart. This was a title I looked forward so much as I got the “Dead Rising 2: Case Zero” demo/DLC just to prepare for the things to come and to learn of any more story that I could experience among just playing the general game. But have these years really made this title age well? Click to read my review on Dead Rising 2.
The story is about Chuck Greene, a family man having to earn money through zombie-related sports games so he may be able to afford Zombrex (a temporary vaccine to the zombie virus) to his infected daughter, Katey. After his latest match, explosions begin and the zombies are freed causing damage along with loss of other lives as the zombies begin their latest outbreak. Chuck and his daughter, along with a few others, make it to the designated safe house when he realizes he’s run out of Zombex, the vaccine keeping his daughter from also becoming a zombie. Before setting back out to Fortune City’s mall to find more, the television reveals that Chuck is being framed for the explosion and now he has to go discover the truth of what happened while also keeping his daughter alive and rescuing any other stray survivors there might be. I really like this concept as it shows how easy it is for you to relate to the protagonist because he’s a father trying to protect his daughter the best he can and shows he has the willpower to do what it takes to make sure she stays that way while also going out to prove his innocence.
The graphics are well enough, showing enough detailed as could be expected with such a large sandbox game. I enjoyed that despite the city going downhill, the areas still showed lots of color and and even life when you went outside the mall. I did notice however texture pop-ins at times but not enough to be considered a hindrance. Character models look emotive enough to display what they’re going through along with the lip syncing could have been better done. Sadly, I can’t really think of any music that stuck with me in all of the hours I put into the game, nor can I recall music playing at all during my many playthroughs outside of maybe a handful of boss fights. The one thing can hamper the overall experience are the loading times. Any point you need to walk outside or to another section of the mall or between cutscenes, you’re met with a loading screen.
The gameplay consists of Chuck running around the entirety of the mall searching for Zombrex for Katey, various survivors, defeating psychopaths, and collecting evidence to help your case. Not only are you able to protect yourself from zombies with random items you might find such as plates, fire axes, or even sledgehammers, you can now use the many workbenches to combine two items to create an even deadlier weapon (thanks, duct tape!). You can create a number of items to help your journey such as a football with a grenade duct taped, a bow and arrow with dynamite to explode your enemies from afar, to just sticking nails or knives in boxing gloves to do more melee damage. These combinations can be very devastating or impractical in some cases like having a teddy bear with an SMG duct taped to its arms while it sits on a wheelchair for you to push around the store, mauling down zombies in your path.
Just like with the previous Dead Rising, there’s a leveling system that allows you to become more powerful as you save more lives, kill certain amounts of zombies, and taking down bosses and you’ll be able to increase your inventory space, the range of your throws, your overall damage, and you’ll learn new attack moves that are for the most part, useful. But also like the previous Dead Rising, the sequel also includes the missions to be on a timer, so if you ever failed to reach or complete a story mission it’s basically game over. Luckily however, you are able to import your level progression and any money you’ve earned to the next playthrough, so you can be free to do whatever you’d like no matter what you’re doing in the game. Now this where the game becomes more of a mixed bag for me, as I love being able to do virtually anything I wanted to do whether it’s completing the story to get the S ranking, trying to rescue every survivor, to defeating every optional boss in however way I saw fit with the many weapons at your disposal. But at the same time, the controls are slow and sometimes unresponsive at times to the point it seems you’re fighting said controls instead of enjoying the game. Another thing I questioned was why had the AI still not have been improved since the previous installment, as you can still give survivors a way to defend themselves as you escort them but they will still run off and fight off hordes of zombies and get attacked in the process. The funny thing about this is the fact that you can obtain an item that you can hold at all times called “Leadership”, which allows the AI to be better than it was before. Why does a game need to have an item to improve your allies’ AI? It’s not much hassle to obtain the item, but the inclusion of it nonetheless still confuses me. Back to a positive note, every boss in the game is satisfying to fight against as each have a varied way of combat. You could fight a chef that can attack you with a knife and then run away to gorge itself on food to heal himself, to a mascot character rollerblading around firing makeshift flamethrowers, to a man who will run up to you swinging a massive pink chainsaw around.
Now if you’re looking to platinum this game like I have, get ready for a massive grind as there are so many things you’d need to do and most of the time it’s in a single playthrough. Obviously completing the story with an S ranking will give you some trophies, but then there are some that will just eat away at your will just trying to obtain. These trophies include getting to level fifty, rescuing a certain amount of survivors, defeating a certain number of psychopaths, obtaining all of the combinations of weapons you can find (although this number does transfer to other playthroughs), beating the story again but with a co-op partner, killing zombies with just about every weapon in the game will give you a few trophies, the list goes on and on. Some of these trophies I can appreciate as it gives you an incentive to try new weapons to see what works to just having fun throwing a giant perfume bottle at the enemy, and even wearing every piece of clothing available (including women’s clothing). But then there’s the amount of zombies you’d have to kill, mind you again in a single playthrough, up to seventy-two thousand to get the “Zombie Genocide Master”, which can be impractical unless you use a very specific method to run over large groups with the SUV that you can purchase. But even with this method, it can take hours to reach this point. The same could be said for the “Big Spender”, which requires you to spend six million dollars in Fortune City can be a grind to get unless you exploit the game to obtain the money needed.
But with all of this said, I still enjoyed Dead Rising 2 very much and barely minded any extra playthroughs I had to go through due to just me goofing off for too long because I had so much fun fighting the same boss after the fifth time. The graphics still hold up and though the many loading screens began to bother me and at times I had to fight the controls to do what I want, I still enjoyed the game overall and I would still recommend it to anyone, even if they do not like the concept of being under a timer to go through a story.
+Relatable Character -Loading Screens
+Good Story -Lack of Memorable Music
+Many, Many Things to Do -Poor AI
+Great Bosses -Questionable Use of AI Improving Item
+Combination Weapons -Poor Controls at Times
+Costume Customization -Very Grinding Trophies