by Ryan Cope
previewed on X360
A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That
Dead Rising 2’s gameplay follows the style of the previous: a free roam game with a mixture of hack ’n slash button mashing combos and third-person shooting. Players are given 72 hours to follow a variety of missions, also known as “leads”. The main leads progress the narrative, while the others act as side quests and generally see players saving a bunch of survivors from an evil horde of undead. While at other times players must fight off the less than friendly bunch known as the psychopaths (the name pretty much answers itself, but when life goes as bad as a zombie outbreak, it kind of pushes the weaker minded people to the edge, causing them to go a little nutty).
In order for players to defend themselves from the many enemies they’ll need to use whatever they can find to help out. If you’re lucky enough to come across a gun store then you’ll find everything you’d expect in there, from pistols and revolvers to hunting rifles and shotguns. However, finding a gun store is usually a hard task since there is only one in the mall you’re trapped within and sometimes it might be hard to get to. So, until the heavy stuff becomes available the player will have to make do with ordinary items that can be found around the mall. These could be literally anything: a wooden plank, a bin, a garden rake, a shovel, a chainsaw, a plastic mallet, a hammer, a toy gun that fires foam balls or even a loaf of bread. The Dead Rising series offers players the dream of being trapped in a mall with no consequences as to what they take or do.
To make things even better, Dead Rising 2 steps up the game by introducing a work bench tool. With the heat turned up and the mass of undead flowing ever closer, Chuck needs to start thinking and get tinkering in order to up the ante against this infinite enemy. Players can now combine weapons together to create even stronger and crazier styles of smashing, slashing and crushing the undead into tiny chunks. All that’s needed is two items and some sticky tape. Then it is time to let loose with creativity and get inventive. By combining a baseball bat and a packet of nails the player can create a nail bat, even more effective at whacking zombie heads into the floor. There are plenty of options available, such as Portamowers, a combination of a plank of wood and a lawnmower. Or a car battery hooked up to a garden rake can create one shocking zap strike. The advantages of such blending of items gives players weapons that do more damage and last longer before breaking.
Double The Trouble
Sometimes facing off against ten thousand zombies while trapped in a mall or city strip can be tiring and at times, downright hard. That’s why Blue Castle Games have graced Dead Rising 2 with the wonderful feature of co-op. That’s right, if zombie stomping wasn’t fun enough, players can now run around the entire game with a buddy to watch their backs. In the same style that is proving very popular with co-op gameplay these days, Dead Rising 2 allows players to pop in and out of a friend's game at any time, with no need to revert to an earlier save or checkpoint.
Co-op brings a whole new style to gameplay. One player can invite the other player into their world in order to help out in their story. Although Player One has complete control over the story, decisions and the world, the Player Two will be able to keep all the items, weapons and pp (prestige points – Dead Rising’s equivalent of experience) that they earn while playing in a friend’s world. While there, players can help each other out in various ways. For example, they can simply charge mindlessly into the bulk of zombies, swinging their baseball bats wildly, or send in a remote controlled helicopter to distract them while the other player comes from behind and bashes a load of heads in. One player could even stay on a balcony above the other, supporting them with cover fire from a sniper rifle or machine gun etc. The possibilities of gameplay are endless.
If co-op isn’t your thing and you prefer competitive multiplayer then the mode “Terror is Reality” is perfect for you. Four players will get to compete against each other in the worldwide television program that has wowed viewers for years. The same zombie-killing-point-scoring game that Chuck himself stars on in order to earn money for his daughter’s much needed Zombrex. Players take part in a gladiator type battle against each other while trying to survive against a swarm of undead at the same time. Body parts will fly, blood will spill, the crowds will cheer and players fight for their lives... well, their virtual lives anyway.
As the release date for Dead Rising 2 slumps ever closer like the obsessed flesh eating machines that inhabit the entire game, the best thing to do in order to prepare for its arrival is to play the original over and over again. Wrong! A new downloadable content will be available before the release date of the actual game. Dead Rising: Case Zero acts as a prologue for Dead Rising 2. Set two years after the original and three before the second, DR: Case Zero puts you into the boots of Chuck as he and his daughter Katey are trapped in a little town outside of Las Vegas. Another zombie outbreak has graced the world, this time hitting Vegas itself and it’s up to Chuck to get his daughter far, far away from there.
While the gameplay isn’t as refined as the main game itself, DR: Case Zero offers players a chance to try out the new weapons, combos, moves and killing blows that will be seen in the upcoming Dead Rising 2. So, if you can’t wait for the next instalment of zombie slaying bloody madness, then getting your hands on the prologue DLC will certainly whet your appetite for the undead slaughter-fest that is the Dead Rising series.