Hello, my friends and welcome to Celtic Gaming, a twice-weekly attempt to distract you from Rappy’s busyness! This week, I felt in a mood to learn new things! This week I learned so many useful facts that can be taken into the real world – there are few games that can be as educational as Dead Rising, for the 360! It teaches you what to eat, what to use as weapons, and how to fight bare-handed in a zombie apocalypse!
You play as Frank West, freelance photographer who has covered wars. He decides to fly into a town that’s been cut off from the outside world by the army via helicopter. We find out quite fast that he is, indeed, a prick. Instead of helping someone on top of a car and a roof, he watches one devoured by twenty zombies and the other forced off the roof, becoming one with the concrete…all the while he takes pictures. As the game progresses, he doesn’t seem to act out of a sense to do what’s right…more…do what it takes to get the story and keep himself alive. He’s not a complete prick, helping out one of the Police Agents when he gets shot in the leg and needs medicine. There’s a whole ensemble of survivors and psychos, with bonuses for saving survivors, and killing the psychos.
Now, you have two options in the main game. You can A) Follow the story missions, and do them – saving the zombie slaying for when you have spare time. Or B) ignore the story missions and kill as many zombies as you can in the time you have. I started off doing A) but I recommend you do B first – killing zombies gives you experience, and with experience comes levelling up, which results in stronger attacks, faster movement, more health, and more item slots. This makes Boss fights ((Psychos)) A lot easier. The gist of the story goes that someone from an island where the government is pissed and is seeking revenge via zombie apocalypse. It’s up to Frank to stop this terror and…I forget how the rest of it goes. I got half way before realising I was outside a hardware store that has a scythe, two by four and chainsaw.
The combat is good and bad at the same time. Stuff like melee is beautiful, with satisfactory slices with a chainsaw and decapitations with the scythe that never get old. The gunplay, which should be the greatest part of any zombie slay-em-up….isn’t the best. You have to hold one trigger to aim, and the other to shoot, but you stand perfectly still – no strafing, no dodging. And the rotation feels a little sluggish too. You’ve got six guns that I know of. The handgun, that is easily accessible. The shotgun, that you can grab at the start of the game, once. The sniper rifle, that you can only seem to grab after defeating the psycho in the gun shop ((You can also get the Shotgun here)). The Uzi, which is so damn fun. The giant mini-gun, however this is the hardest gun to get, as you have to kill some convicts in the park who drive around in a jeep. And Megaman’s Arm Cannon, that you get by killing 53,595 Zombies in one game. This is consistently kept throughout all your next gameplays.
It looks fantastic, and for one of the few games of it’s time to have hundreds upon hundreds of enemies, it didn’t slow down or lag noticeably. Shoot a zombie, and little squirts of blood will come out where they got shot. There’s no ragdoll physics that seem to be in every single game nowadays – just good old fashioned comedic falling over. It is a bit weird when they go at odd angles, and there’s the odd occasion where they seem to faze through my wild flailing swings, but it’s still fun. It’s basically a gore-fest. You also have a camera to gain more experience, with bonuses given for rare, epic poses, brutality, eroticism ((I am not joking, there are zombies running around in their panties)) and sheer large number of zombies/people.
Describing a game like this is hard, because it’s basically “Pick up gun, sword or giant stick, and go kill things that can’t walk straight”. It looks nice, plays nice, and call me easily amused, but you tell me a game where your basic goal is to kill loads of zombies does not make you happy – then there’s something wrong with you
PS: The Wii version sucks worse than Jar Jar Binks in a Black Hole. No camera, around a hundredth of the zombies, and fiddly controls.