* Warning: Minor spoilers for Dead Rising 3's campaign mode and Operation Broken Eagle are in this review.
Dead Rising 3 is my favorite launch exclusive between both Xbox One and PS4. I liked it. A lot. When Dead Rising 3's first DLC episode, Operation Broken Eagle was announced, I was happy; when it got delayed just five days later, I was sad; and when it was finally released? Well, after having played through Operation Broken Eagle, I'm a bit upset.
Now when I say upset, I don't mean I'm going to go pack a lipper or anything, but I don't quite feel like everything's OK. Let's go ahead and start at the beginning.
Dead Rising 3: Operation Broken Eagle puts you into the boots of Commander Kane, a mid-boss from Dead Rising 3's main story mode whom Nick must defeat. In typical Dead Rising fashion, your chopper is shot down and it's up to Kane to locate his crew, recover the chopper's black box and capture the president on orders from General Hemlock.
If you like Dead Rising 3's gameplay, you'll be right at home in Operation Broken Eagle. Though playing as an antagonist, many of the game's core mechanics stay the same. Instead of destroying ZDC cameras, Kane will hack them; instead of entering and clearing hideouts, Kane will infect them, thus killing the "illegals" inside.
The only gameplay difference, though minor, would be the the approach Operation Broken Eagle takes to side missions. Side missions are one of two varieties: Find and recruit a survivor, or kill a zombified teammate and collect their dog-tags. Aside from that, nothing has really changed, and in my opinion, that isn't a bad thing.
Commander Kane does bring a few new toys to the party, including dual knives, an autoshotgun, a new combo weapon called "The Beast" and a new vehicle, the Armadillo, a couple of which you can check out in the clip below:
Sounds great, right? Why would I be upset, you ask? While Dead Rising 3's first DLC add-on gets some fun things right,the things it gets wrong are far too serious to merit a recommendation.
Firstly, let's talk about the length. With side missions, Operation Black Eagle should take just about an hour to clear. An hour by any standard is ridiculous, there are free games out on mobile that last far longer.
Secondly, and compounded by the first issue, is the story. If you discount the side missions, this game could likely be cleared in 20 minutes. You know what that means? There's a total of three cut scenes during which time the player is supposed to believe Command Kane goes from a duty-bound soldier to someone who questions his commanders motives and acts in the interest of the public. That just ain't happenin' for me.
And thirdly, but most importantly for me, is the price. Capcom is asking for $9.99 for this episode, and $29.99 for the season pass. At $9.99 this is something of a raw deal. Paying nearly $10 for one hour of gameplay is tantamount to charging for a demo. Neither the weapons nor the vehicle on offer in this DLC help to soften the blow of how incredibly short this episode is.
Lack of co-op and SmartGlass functionality are also a bit of an annoyance, but given how short this is, I don't think there really would have been a point to either's inclusion.
With a complete time around one hour, a price tag that's far too high and weapon additions that are neither signifcant nor exciting, Dead Rising 3: Operation Broken Eagle isn't worth your money. Save yourself and your wallet some heartache and spend those dollars a bit more substantial.
Dead Rising 3: Operation Broken Eagle was released on January 21, 2014 and is available on Xbox Live Marketplace for $9.99