Consoles: Xbox One & PC
Release Date: November 22nd 2013
Developer: Capcom Vancouver
What do you say when you see a zombie being blunged to death by a stuffed bear and another being blown apart by a firecracker? You say Dead Rising is back! From developer Capcom Vancouver (also known for the zombie franchise Resident Evil) Dead Rising 3 hits the next gen console. This is considered the 3rd full-length game in the Dead Rising franchise and one of the main launch games for Microsoft’s Xbox One. The Dead Rising franchise is known for taking players into a zombie infested zone and race against time to stop the zombie infestation. How do you stop the infestation? by killing thousands of zombies and psychopaths in some of the most ridiculous ways possible of course. This is the first time Dead Rising has made it to the next-gen console and more importantly a launch title. The question is? does it deliver and bring zombies to the next-gen glory or does stink as bad as the corpses.
I have been a big fan of the Dead Rising franchise since the first game came out in 2006. I was expecting to play one of the most over the top zombie hack slash games to date. Well, for the most part I am glad to say it succeeds. The story takes place 10 years after the events of Dead Rising 2. The story follows hero Nick Ramos, A local handyman/mechanic who is trying to escape the city of Los Perdidos (along a few of his friends) before the government takes severe action. Throughout the story you try to save as many people as possible and take down psychopaths, the Zombie Defense Control and of course ZOMBIES. The story itself is not hard to follow and has some twists and turns that are definitely better than the previous two games. (You DO NOT have to play the other two games to understand the story, but it definitely helps).
There is plenty of time to explore the city and find over 100 blueprints and battle the deranged psychopaths. There are not as many crazy psychopaths as the previous games. Which was one of my favorite things to do in the game, but there is enough to make for some fun battles. A good amount of the psychopaths have dark profiles and some are insanely goofy (especially one in an all you can eat buffet). The game does add some nice features if you don’t feel like doing missions. The addition of Power Point trials adds a challenge to the zombie killing. For example some challenges would be “Kill 100 zombies in a minute using only explosives or vehicles”. Now If you don’t like challenges there are tons of collectables to find. Throughout the city there are 70 golden Frank West statues to find or “Tragic Endings” where you see a corpse and a pun comes up (a majority of them are down right hilarious).
When Dead rising 3 was first shown at E3 2012 it promised to have more zombies on-screen then any other Dead
rising in the past. That I can definitely see in this game, the streets are filled with zombies. At one point in the game I bulldozed over 150 zombies in one small area of the screen and there was still another 100 zombies on the other half of the screen. Dead Rising 3 changes the atmosphere from being trapped in a mall to the streets of the city (which is bigger then the other two games combined). There are plenty of stores and houses to explore and unlock. The addition of vehicles was added in the second game and they are back to help get you from area to area. They definitely feel sharper and make running over zombies at top speed a lot of fun. The vehicles definitely make some great combos to help build up the kill count. The in-game map is okay but has some issues where you can only zoom in so much and doesn’t necessarily show what is in the world. For instance, you might be driving along to get to a spot on the map that looks clear on the map but only to realize it is blocked off by debris. Which makes it a little bit of hassle when you are up against the clock.
The gameplay is pretty identical to its’ predecessors which is a good thing. In the city there are hundreds of items to use. From guns to traffic cones to a homemade mini nuke which all have a basic attack and strong attack. Most can be combined to create new super weapons. Now having all these options are great so you can decapitate those zombies your way. Unfortunately they sometimes load a screen with so many items that you will grab the wrong item and drop your favorite item. This is a minor complaint but it does get annoying.
Ah man, I got blood on my favorite shirt.
A feature that is finally added is the in-game save option. The game now autosaves after missions or manually at the pause screen. This is definitely a big improvement that fans have been asking for (including me) since the first game launched. Now if you don’t like that concept, there is a mode that is opened from the start called “Nightmare Mode”. This mode adds slightly harder enemies, accelerated clock and the old save system of restrooms and portapotties. Which honestly feels like the original Dead Rising.
A brand new feature to the series is the use of Xbox One’s Smart Glass. The Smart Glass app can be used on most cellphones and tablets and adds another level of gameplay. This application can be used as another map, a radio to receive side missions, side story information, and key codes to unlock ZDC weapons chests and artillery. This a great feature, when it works. It has quite a few bugs and issues connecting to the console. One last addition to the game is the leveling system. Capcom added a brief RPG like element where you decide what you level up and when. No more waiting to turn level 20 in order to get an extra cube of health. It is now up to the player.
Now for some downsides to the game which unfortunately keeps the game from being amazing. Before I started playing the game, I waited for the game to fully install. When the screen loaded up it took about a minute before I got to play. Which is okay since I knew there would be a lot of items and characters to load the on-screen. Well I was hoping to see zombies in all the next gen-glory. Unfortunately it started playing and looked more like a 360 + game. The graphics were not as strong as I was hoping and looks like it could honestly run on a last gen console. The cutscenes looked great (for the most part.) The graphics were dimmed down to ensure the gameplay would run smoothly which is fine, if that were the case. Cutscenes and areas of the level are still having texture and objects constantly loading when I am actually playing. Now if that was to happen once in a while I would let it slide, but it happens too much. There is still the occasionally frame rate issues that bog the game down but not as bad as the past. Zombies and characters do get stuck in invisible walls from time to time and watching them twerk is funny, but I rather chop them up with my machete. The character models in the cutscenes of the game looks pretty good. When we get to the actual gameplay and the characters are interacting, the movement looks stiff and watching their faces makes it feel like I am watching a dubbed 1950s Godzilla movie.
Dead Rising 3 is a great game but with minor hiccups. The in-game map, awkward character interactions, and old graphics keeps it from really being a fantastic game. By no means is this a bad game, it definitely did some great things. It took three steps forward and one step back. Hopefully when the next game comes out we will see these issues fixed. Until then if you want to get your zombie hunting fix this is definitely a great way to fill your craving. I give it 4 bloody machetes out 5. Now I am off to break a kill count of 100,000 zombies.
reviewed on July 8th 2014
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