Release Date: September 28, 2010
ESRB Rating: Mature
Like most men in today’s society, I’ve spent hours planning the perfect zombie escape plan. If this sounds like something you’ve done before, then pick up the computer you’re reading this on, throw it out the window and go buy Dead Rising 2. Seriously.
Dead Rising 2 follows retired motocross star Chuck Greene as he tries to pick up the pieces of his life, torn apart by previous zombie outbreaks. His wife was zombified in Las Vegas, his daughter Katie was bitten, and now Chuck must scramble to earn the expensive drug Zombrex to keep Katie from turning into a zombie as well. The game revolves around Chuck’s surviving an outbreak in Fortune City, an Atlantic City-esque amalgamation of strip malls, slot machines and psychopaths. As it turns out, finding Zombrex for his daughter, locating other survivors within the city and combating surviving humans who have gone insane is only scratching the surface of the bedlam that lies within Fortune City.
Despite the intriguing plot line, Dead Rising 2 is a zombie-survival free-roam game at its core. Chuck has the ability to level up regularly through the collection of “prestige points” (PP). With this RPG element, players have the ability to gain intense combat moves, improve physically and earn combo cards. Combo cards are the newest aspect to the Dead Rising series; they describe how players can combine two separate items to form one amazing weapon. For example, combining a child’s water gun with a container of gasoline creates a flamethrower. Or, on the more comical side, you could combine something like a car battery and a wheelchair to create an electric chair. This is one aspect of the game that provides endless entertainment, as it seems like there are an infinite amount of possible combinations.
From a technical perspective, game developers have taken all of the great elements from the original Dead Rising and improved them. Dead Rising 2’s character movements seem more natural than that of its predecessor. For example, humans have a more realistic gait to them and Capcom included a larger variation in zombie animations. An added bonus is that Dead Rising 2’s graphic capabilities allow for hundreds if not thousands of zombies to be onscreen all at once, as opposed to Dead Rising`s hundred or so zombies onscreen. This adds more realism and a better sense of setting in the player.
Capcom decided to follow Dead Rising’s layout, requiring players to make it to an in-game bathroom before they can save their game. They also retained a time limit for all missions, requiring players to complete certain parts of the game on a timed schedule. If players miss their opportunity to complete that mission, then that mission is failed. This was a major issue to many players in the first Dead Rising because some felt that not enough time was allowed for exploration and non-story related missions. Fortunately, Dead Rising 2 allows much more time for players to explore and rescue survivors between story missions than the first game.
Dead Rising 2 is an excellent game. The main story line has over five different endings, stats are carried over into game replays, it supports online co-op and there are so many different things to do that the game is just begging to be replayed over and over. Not to mention that the competitive online multiplayer “Terror is Reality” is like American Gladiator with zombies. And at the very least, Dead Rising 2 will become your own personal reference when you’re working on that zombie escape plan.