It’s never fun slagging off a game you love. Unless its Killzone 2. A game i quite enjoyed yet rather enthusiastically tore strips off over its numerous, teeth grindingly shit frustrations. But it’s with a heavy heart that i must include a game i love more than internet pornography itself, Dead Rising 2 on my list of mild disappointments for 2010.
Dead Rising was the game that sold me on the 360 as a viable gaming platform. Until it’s release, i had been an avid PC gamer, and was convinced my purchase of an xbox had been money i might as well have wiped my arse with. However with my PC nearing the end of its life, and another upgrade seeming like a waste of money, i ventured into the murky waters of the 360. After the initial glut of shit PC ports (COD 2 & Quake 4), the 360 began to shine, with slightly less shitty ports of games like Oblivion. However it wasn’t until Dead Rising that i finally realised, here was an exclusive game that was genuinely worth playing, and maybe the 360 wasn’t a complete bag of shit after all.
Dead Rising had it all. Humour, Ultra violence, Sex, a genuinely interesting storyline, brilliant psychopaths and Disturbingly hot zombies. It was unlike any game that had come before it with it’s ‘love it or loathe it’ save system and timed missions. Developers of Dead Rising 2 Blue Castle had their work cut out for them creating a follow up to such a bizarre game. And, in most ways, they succeeded. But, in alot of other ways, they failed harder than a fat kid on sports day.
First off it would be completely remiss to only point out the flaws of DR2, even in a review based around what the game did wrong. Honestly, theres no way in hell anyone could cycle a grown man through a mill of zombies on a childs pink bicycle, complete with training wheels and not raise a laugh. The same goes for dressing up in womens clothes and throwing zombies off of balconies. Or duct taping lawnmower blades to a servbot mask and running around with spinning blades of zombie death strapped to your head like Inspector Gadget gone postal. Hell, Dead Rising 2 even managed to get in quite a bit of over sexualised perversion just like DR1!
On the face of it, it improved on every aspect of DR1. Even more fucking zombies on screen. Multiple save slots for the whiny little babies who complained about only having 1 save slot. Combination weapons. Fucking CO-OP GAMEPLAY!? Better framerate and no screen tearing. Strapping an everloving chainsaw to a motorbike and ploughing through fields of zombies like some kind of motorized scythe!? FUCK MY ASS! This game is fantastic! Seriously. Its one of the best games this year, no question.
But sadly, it cant be all good news. One aspect where Dead Rising 2 puts a foot wrong is in it’s storyline. The original had quite a well crafted story, with the antagonist’s motives for unleashing zombie hell on Willamette, Colorado being quite believeable and justified. However in 2, the story jsut isnt as compelling. This starts off well, with protragonist Chuck Greene competing in zombie death sports to pay for an anti-zombifying drug to save his infected daughter. Of course, it all goes tits up as usual with zombies breaking free from their confines and once again wreaking hell on Fortune City, Nevada. Chuck has been framed for starting the outbreak. An interesting new group called C.U.R.E (a pro-zombie rights group) are introduced. did they have something to do with framing Chuck?? And well..it never really goes anywhere from here. Until several hours later when, uh-oh, someone who was a bit part character all along turns out to be behind the outbreak. Ho hum. Oh and he also kills the hottest character in the game, leaving you completely boob-less for the remaining hour or so. Shit.
So the story is a bit of a damp squib.
But thats nothing compared to the introduction of the ‘special zombies’ around the midway point of the game. The special zombies are gas infected super zombies who can run faster than regular zombies, and will completely mob you like Paparazzi on a drugged up Paris Hilton the second you set foot outside the safe room. This means that one of dead risings most enjoyable aspects, exploring the shops, finding new items/combo weapons, trying on new clothes, etc, is completely ruined. The second you stand still, you can expect to be gang raped by hordes of gas zombies. And they just dont fuck off. There’s no getting rid of them, they seem to spawn infintely, and even when the gas is shut off in the games storyline, they keep fucking appearing. Meaning the last 1/3rd of the game is about as enjoyable as watching Danny Dyer gangster epic “Pimp“. That is to say, about as unpleasant an evening as you could ever spend.
Dead Rising 1 had an interesting feature in that if you completed certain criteria, the end of the game wasn’t actually the end. You got an additional 24 hours ‘overtime’ of gametime to try and cure the zombie plague, which took you to all new locations, had you doing new quests, and ended with the fuckawesome fist fight on top of an Abrams tank surrounded by an army of zombies. Overtime in DR2 consists of about 5 minutes of gameplay where youre tasked with finding a few items for the games dickhead-in-chief, TK. And thats it. You’re actually better off getting the ‘bad’ ending so as you dont have to endure another half hour of running away from gas zombies just to get a slightly less crap ending.
So, overall Dead Rising 2 is fantastic. But marred ever so slightly by shit gas zombies, and a shit overtime mode. And a story that starts with a bang but ends with a whimper. But, you’ll have to ask yourself, when you’ve strapped 2 chainsaws to the end of a canoe paddle and are slicing through rivers of zombies, will you really care?