by Ryan Cope, reviewed on
The Past Is Never Dead!
The quiet pita patter of the footsteps of a single person echo from around the corner and down the hall, only to be shortly joined by the loud thumping of hundreds, if not thousands, of decaying feet crunching, sliding and slumping towards you. As they round the corner and march slowly, but inevitably at you, you find yourself holding a plastic Frisbee and a squirt gun, all the while wearing a child’s t-shirt and shorts. And you’re supposed to be sophisticated journalist Frank West.
Well, if you have never experienced such a wonderfully delightful and humorous situation as the one described then you have probably never played Dead Rising. Dead Rising was fresh, original, engaging, fun and downright funny at times. It brought a whole new spin on the zombie/survival horror genre that Capcom are so famous for. Locked in a zombie infested mall for 72 hours, Dead Rising allowed you to spend your time doing whatever you want. This meant you were completely free to follow the intriguing storyline with plenty of twists and turns, or be the hero of the hour and save as many survivors as you could. You could even, if you wished it, simply run around killing (or re-killing) an infinite number of zombie in the coolest ways possible until it was home time.
After four long years of torturous waiting, Canadian developers Blue Castle Games have, with very close collaboration with Capcom, finally brought us a sequel to the captivating zombie slaying/surviving game. Well, almost brought it to us. The wait is almost over as the highly anticipated Dead Rising 2 closes nearer to release.
The Zombies Strike Back!
Set five years after the original, life has changed since the Willamette Mall incident where the zombie outbreak first took place. The undead are now part of everyday life and, luckily for all the living inhabitants of America, this doesn’t mean they got free and had a field day by spreading across the country. No, the virus was contained and everybody lives their normal daily lives but with one difference: a new television show called “Terror is Reality”. No longer seen as vicious and deadly animals, zombies are now wonderfully brilliant actors starring in their own television show. Set in the suburbs, a new family of zombies move into a reclusive neighbourhood and get sucked into the strange goings on and gossipy nature of their neighbours. Just kidding. In reality they’re used as targets for contestants to chop up into tiny pieces and score points in the brutal and highly rated “Terror is Reality”. Taking place in the Vegas-alike casino packed Fortune City (where Terror is Reality is filmed), this time round players will be thrown into the boots of one of the show’s contestants – Chuck Greene.
A former Motocross champion, Chuck has come to Fortune City in search for some big bucks. Using his hard earned skills of motocross, he zips through crowds of undead with chainsaws attached to the sides of his bike in order to score more points than the other contestants doing the same, all so he can get money for his sick daughter.
Chuck hasn’t come to Fortune City alone; his daughter Katey has tagged along too and constantly needs her father’s protection. Having been bitten by a zombie some time ago, the only thing that stops Katey from turning into one of the brain munching mob is a handy little drug called Zombrex. This, however, is extremely expensive and therefore requires Chuck to work his arse off in order to afford his daughter’s treatment. Things seem to be going well for Chuck the zombie gladiator until something goes wrong at “Terror is Reality” and the zombies get loose, causing a whole new outbreak.
This time, the stakes are a lot higher for Chuck than they were for his predecessor Frank. Not only must he fight against a horde of ten thousand undead, race against the clock (once again there is only 72 hours to go), search for survivors of the epidemic and fend off scavengers and psychopaths, but he also has to constantly find another dose of Zombrex for little Katey. With the task ahead of him large and the chances of survival slim, Chuck is going to be facing hell on earth, but with some fun to be had yet.