Hello all! Last week’s game was a controversial title back in the day. Sadly, that’s all it really was.
This week’s game is an early Xbox 360 title, built with an eye towards displaying the then-state of the art console’s power. It was pretty fun, too.
I say “an eye towards” showing off what the Xbox 360 could do because that’s partly why Capcom’s 360-exclusive Dead Rising exists: to show off the huge amount of enemies the system could display on screen. In this case, it was a lot; hundreds of zombies take up the screen at any moment. As photojournalist Frank West, you drop into a mall in the fictional town of Willamette in order to find out why the town has been sealed off. He quickly finds out its zombies, and must survive for the next three days, finding survivors, defeating bosses, and generally not being killed.
You avoid being killed by picking up one of hundreds of weapons and bashing the thousands of zombies who get in your way. Since the game takes place in a shopping mall, there’s tons of stores to explore to find whatever you can use as a weapon. Combat’s simple enough; push a button and Frank swings whatever weapon he has. It’s a basic meat-and-potatoes system.
But what always separated Dead Rising from the 53,594 other zombie titles out there was it’s charm. Dead Rising isn’t a game that takes itself seriously at all. I mean, really:
You can dress as Mega Man and fight zombies with an umbrella, guitar, stuffed animal, etc. Who wouldn’t like this game? Besides owners of standard definition TV’s, that is.
Keeping things basic and humorous makes Dead Rising accessible, and accessibility doesn’t mean simple, or “easy.” You’re on the clock in Dead Rising; three in-game days and the story ends whether you’ve completed all the missions or not. Some people don’t like time limits in their games, but Dead Rising kind of needs it to drive you forward. You wouldn’t think it, but exploring the mall and killing zombies with no goal in mind gets old pretty fast.
There’s also boss battles. They suck. That’s really all I have to say about them; everyone knows they’re crappy. Moving on.
Also you can take pictures! Snapping pictures of things that fall into five categories helps increase your PP, which increases your level in a sort of very basic experience system. Taking pictures is surprisingly addictive. Kind of like in real life.
I dunno. I like Dead Rising because of it’s pick-up-and-play appeal. Despite the simplicity, it’s a game that has to be explored and experimented with in order to succeed. I like it’s laid back, comedic approach to the zombie genre; I really can’t handle another super-serious zombie game, aside from State of Decay, that is. Characters, too, are a standout here; they are classic Capcom-esque characters: paper thin, yet inexplicably charming. I like the sheer maximalism of Dead Rising; there’s thousands of zombies and you’ve got seemingly endless weapons at your disposal. It’s like a big toy box you can wander around in when you need a break from the gritty, deep stories we’re fortunate to have in gaming these days.
Sometimes you just wanna bash zombies, and that’s whar Dead Rising delivers. It’s not a deep title, and the plot isn’t interesting, but maybe that’s the point. The plot is a basic “here be zombies” tale, but it’s there just enough to give you a reason to have fun. That’s what Dead Rising is, really: it’s just fun.
Thanks always for reading my stuff! As always, leave comments, suggest future games to be featured as Game of the Week, read more of my stuff at Current Digital (see what I picked for Game of the Year!) and find me on Twitter!
Next week-I’ve written about Indigo Prophecy some time in the past. Let’s look at it’s successor, called Weighty Precipitation, I think.