It’s been almost a week since I’ve had my grubby little mitts on Dead Rising 2 and having killed a multitude of zombies with boxing gloves, dumbells, sledgehammers, and even some gemstones, I thought I might share some of my initial impressions. While not a review by any point, just a random collection of thoughts about the game that has occurred to me while I wandered the streets of Fortune City.
WOW … this game loves its cutscenes. At one point, I would move a couple feet only to prompt another cutscene. Sometimes, cutscene follows cutscene, making the game feel like an awkward movie with long drawn out pauses between scenes. Granted, it gets better as the game starts to move along but at the start of the game, I felt like I were playing a zombie metal gear hybrid.
Granted, I’m still in the first act of the game, but the story so far has been pretty weak. In the game, you play a motorcross star who is competing in an motorcross/zombing killing television show to earn money to pay for Zombrex – a drug to prevent zombification – for his infected daughter. I was confused right off the bat … was the zombie threat contained? Was the show occurring in a post-apocalyptic society? Are zombies considered pests? Well, I played the event and managed to win it. This isn’t supposed to happen because right after the event, everyone started calling me a loser in all the cutscenes. In fact, two hot women started berating me and I was like, what the hell is their deal? I wish I could have flipped them off in game because their reaction made no sense to me. That is, until one of my friends told me that the motocross event couldn’t be beat. Er, guess not. In any case, the rest of the story deals with a frame up which feels entirely weak in a zombie apocalypse. I later met an uber hot reporter who’s only job was to seductively pose in tight fitting clothes and an “earthy crunchy” who wishes to save zombies (yeah right). In short, we’re not talking Shakespeare. Hell, we’re not talking dime novel.
If it ain’t broke …
It feels as though the developers took Dead Rising 1, did a copy/paste, and changed only a few things. Even the safe house setup feels identical to Dead Rising 1 from the ringing phone to the duct access to the rest of the “mall” (the game feels like one sprawling mall instead of an actual city). When I realized this … I was about to smash my head through the tv until I noticed it wasn’t all that bad. Sure, you still have a countdown clock and survivors were dying all over the place, but the developers sanded off the sharp edges the game. What used to be mind numbingly frustrating design choices were now minor irritations. Granted, it would be nice for the developers to hire voice actors for the in-game content instead of having to read line of text while fending off zombies.
Fun Zombie Killing
Zombie killing is fun as ever. My biggest complaint with the game is that there just isn’t enough downtime to enjoy killing the undead in different creative ways.
Probably the most hyped up feature is a big yawn for me. For the most part, creating the unique weapons is more of a scavenger hunt and while they last longer than normal weapons, it’s just too much work for too little gain. Especially in light of the constant time crunch.
The developers boast that the game can handle thousands upon thousands of zombies on screen at once. What the developers didn’t mention is that you will be seeing the same zombies over and over and over again. One time, I walked into a mob of clone zombies like Jon and Kate’s kids had grown up to be infected brain suckers.
Honestly … this is where the game shines. Co-op is a blast. Having one person swing a bat while another runs down zombies in a golf cart is a blast. The only problem with co-op is that when the host saves his game, the other person is kicked out of it. I’m guessing a patch will be coming shortly.
In summation, after playing Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, I fully expected to dislike this game and while this game does still have a bunch of problems, it is really fun to play. Granted, there are still plenty of boss fights to ruin the fun, but hey, as long as I have a buddy by my side, wearing boxing gloves and a sequined dress, the bosses shouldn’t be much of an issue.