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Game review: Dead Rising 2

Posted by: riiaan

Tagged in: Xbox , review , Games , Dead Rising 2


“Ok kids, sit down. Today we have to talk about a very serious subject – zombie holocaust.”

“A zombie holocaust is very real and can happen any day now. Zombies are unstoppable killing machines and if one of them gets in here right now he will tear you apart like wet lettuce. Suzy stop crying! This shit is serious!”

“Fire up your Xboxes while I hand out these Dead Rising 2 games…it is time we start training…”

Dead Rising 2

Dead Rising 2 is about killing zombies. It is the best zombie killing training you will receive in your life (other than a real zombie breakout). Dead Rising 2 stands out as the game with the most computer controlled characters on screen ever. At any moment there can be 7000 zombies on screen!

Jumping into a swarm of zombies with a baseball bat or a chainsaw is the most fun I have had in a game in a long time.

Keep playing till you get your hands on the keys for the Hummer. Driving through the sea of zombies is the best thing you will ever do in a game. It almost gets hypnotic. You don’t want to stop, can’t stop. I spent an entire Saturday morning in the Hummer eventually killing sixty-thousand of the bastards.

Dead Rising 2 (DR2) is unique when it comes to open world gaming. You are free to explore where you want to, however, you just have three days to do it. Once the time runs out, it is game over. You can restart and keep your experience points but you lose the items that you collected and the mission progress you made.

Because the three days are so short you will never be able to do everything in one play through. In one play through you might focus on doing the story missions, in another, the side missions. Sometimes you would ignore to the missions, choosing instead to just run amok, killing zombies in new and funnier ways. Since you keep your experience points every time the game restarts you come back stronger than before.

DR2 is about killing zombies for fun. But after playing for a while the fun stops and frustration creeps in because DR2 made some conscious decisions to limit the playability of the game.

This limited playability is a trademark of the horror survival genre. It is just like in horror movies when the girls can’t seem to run away from the killer. They fall over their own feet. They run into locked doors. They just can’t get away, the killer is always there, merely a step behind them. It heightens your anxiety.

These exact same tricks are used in horror survival games. Your character moves slowly and the clunky controls will make you feel clumsy and vulnerable. You can’t save when you want to – raising the tension till you can eventually save your game.

Unfortunately this does not work for DR2 since it is not really a horror survival game and, let’s face it; it is more of an arcade game. Sure there are zombies, but the zombies are there for you to play with; they are not something you fear.

For kicks you can grab silly masks and stick it on the zombies to watch them stumble around. Throw marbles on the ground and they will spin in one place just like a cartoon.

This game is not about horror but about having fun in a mall where you can use nearly everything to torment the zombies with.

The biggest problem with DR2 is that after you explored the whole mall and the excitement is gone, getting from one place in the mall to another starts to be a horrible boring job. So boring in fact it starts to remind me of work. Please don’t remind me of work!

Here is a list of things I think they can do to make the game more playable:

·       Storage room. Items you bring to the storage room will spawn in there every time you load a new game. That way you don’t have to make a tedious trek across the length of the mall for an item you already had in your position at some point in time. If the number of items you can store is limited – that’s cool. Just store a few of the items you find most useful (like the gambling magazines).

·       HUD to help you find your way through the mall. Saves you from having to flip to the map and back the whole time.

And then there is the saving. There is no auto saving function in DR2. You actually save your game by taking a slash. Yes, you go to the toilet to save your game. The thing is, sometimes the closest toilet is far away, meaning another tedious trek across the mall.

Just add an auto save function for crying out loud! Every time you leave an area – SAVE! Every time you start a boss battle - SAVE! That is not so hard to do and will increase the playability with miles!

Shit, after all that ranting it might seem that I don’t like the game, but let me assure you, a love this game. One of my top games of all time. Just sort out the playability issues for Dead Rising 3 and you will have one of the most influential games of all time!!!


Comments (1)Add Comment
de Villiers
written by de Villiers, November 01, 2010
This sounds so much fun, mmmm Fenzy Zombie killing - AWESOME!

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