SummaryAction, Horror, Comedy equals one chaotic game.
The GoodI'm really impressed. This one surprised me, from all the previews it just looks like some cheese fest with a novelty of killing a flood of zombies. But actually playing through this game one should appreciate the fact that they've mixed action, horror and comedy in one package. And it all fits in well.
Another surprise, the rather serious storyline is also decent. You play a man called chuck who's wife zombified and eventually died in the Las Vegas outbreak. His daughter Katey although bitten by her zombified mother hasn't turned into one thanks to a daily intake of a drug called Zombrex. In order to afford Zombrex Chuck takes part in an inhuman game show known as Terror is Reality. The game show involves human contestants riding dirt bikes with blades attached and slice through the zombies released into the stadium. After this show there is an outbreak and Chuck is framed for the crime. Chuck and his daughter head to a safehouse where the rest of the survivors are and awaiting military rescue.
Which brings me to why I gave a detailed synopsis of the story. In this game you've got 72 hours to prove your innocence. This is only done by completing the main story line missions. This game is however very non linear and lets you continue the game even if you fail completing a main storyline mission. However, you will not get the true ending and the game ends in 72 game time hours no matter what. If you've been a good boy and completed the main storyline on time, the game continues for another day and you get overtime mode which is the proper ending. Also every day at 7 a.m. Katey will need a doze of zombrex, which requires you to head out of the safehouse to find some. Another interesting feature is that you can restart the game anytime while maintaining your current level and skills.
There are some interesting characters as well all very well voiced with some good expressions. Chuck is a role model dad and has an adorable daughter Katey. Then there's Stacey who comes across as a closet dyke with no sense of humor, Rebbecca the busty and slutty reporter who actually wants a big story since there's no higher ups to go down on in the outbreak. There's also Sullivan the military guy who watches over the safehouse. One observation though, during cutscene with Rebbecca there is a lot of focus on her breasts but I ain't complaining.
There's a long stretch of free time between each main mission. So what are you going to do till then in the game? It's your choice you can just run around smashing and beating the herds of zombies then check your watch by pressing “T” and see if it's time to head back to the safehouse. But the game gives you side missions. These however will appear and specific times in the game.
Most of the side missions are escorting survivors back to the safehouse. A lot of the escorts involve you just talking to survivors and bringing them back. But many require you to fulfill a condition, it could be stripping down to your underwear, judging a stand up comedy routine or just bribing them to be rescued. Side-missions is where the humor is, as the main storyline is rather serious. Other than the escorts come the best part of the game....battling Psychopaths.
Oh boy, each of the psychopath fights are interesting and challenging with some dark, gruesome storyline behind each. You know you're heading into one as they each have a cutscene unlike the escort missions. The voice acting further enhances the morbid tale the cutscene has to tell. My personal favorite was the sex starved virgin who uses the zombie outbreak to get married and laid.
Completing side-missions help you level up faster. Every time you level up you earn New skills, increase in health, speed etc. And Combo cards for crafting weapons. You can use almost anything as a weapon, yeah even a newspaper. But you can take things further and combine weapons. You see that box of nails? Looks pretty useless by itself right? Find a baseball bat head into the nearest maintenance room and combine the nails and bat to make a spiked bat. You can either figure out these combination by yourself or by acquiring combo cards. Many of them are highly creative and exaggerated but it all just works. Much like the weapon combination you can combine drinks to make power ups. The character models during cut-scenes are superb. Environments look standard but what do you expect if a game is rendering at least a thousand zombies on screen. Having this with Crysis like graphics would blow your PC, Xbox or PlayStation up.
An interesting soundtrack, there's a lounge version of Cherish the love and some more licensed tracks mainly by the artist Celldweller.
The BadOne thing which annoys me about this game is the random grabs which happen. Lets say you got a few more minutes left to complete a particular mission and your hasting back to the safehouse to make it in time. As you run through the zombies after some time BAM! One randomly grabs you and you need to shake your mouse to get him off (none of this is sexual just to be clear). I think Dead Rising would have been even better if they had cutscenes or simply just voiced the Escort side mission characters. The conversations are displayed in text only. Picking up stuff in this game can be a problem. Your fighting a psychopath for example and you're running low on health. You run towards a large soda cup which is lying amidst some other garbage. You will end up picking the garbage instead of the soda. Yes picking up objects in the game can be a pain in these situations, it wont react with where your mouse is but where your character is standing.
Lastly the berserk zombies are just fail..
The Bottom LineDead Rising 2 is worth buying or renting, it's re-playable and more importantly has a very entertaining concept and flow. Main Story, Side Missions are all fun and well thought out while just running through the open Fortune City experimenting with various weapons or riding a dirt bike through the swarm of zombies provides a satisfying experience and serves as a good connection between each element of the game. But the game offers a lot of things to do and that's important which open world games.