The first Dead Rising was a great game but did have a few problems that spoiled the game experience at times. Now, 4 years on, we are just a few short weeks away from the release of Dead Rising 2 so, Capcom hosted a swanky doo over at the Empire Casino in Leicester Square to promote the game. Is Dead Rising 2 the sequel that fans have been waiting for? Read on to hear what I thought about the game and the event!
Waking up at 6am on Saturday in order to get the train down to London wasn’t the best start to the morning but in just a few short hours I knew I would be getting some hands-on time with one of this year’s most anticipated games, so it was worth it! Walking into The Casino at The Empire, I felt a little strange because not only had I never been into a casino before, this was the first event like this I had been to and didn’t know what to expect. After battling the zombies, (well people dressed as zombies…) I managed to get myself into the private area that Capcom had hired out for us at the casino and was eagerly excited to play the game and also exchange the fake $100 bill I was given at the entrance for some chips so I could start betting away (it was more exciting than it sounds, I assure you!).
Right, let’s start with the game and speak about the event later, as I’m sure most of you reading this are mostly interested in that. I managed to play both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Dead Rising 2 and quite frankly I didn’t notice anything different between the two versions so, I won’t be making any comparisons as they are not needed. The game begins in Fortune City, where the game is set, with the protagonist of the game, Chuck Greene, fixing up his motorcycle. This isn’t just any motorcycle, this ride has two chainsaws strapped to the handles for one good purpose – to kill zombies! Chuck is slung into an arena packed with a large audience of survivors of the outbreak from the first game and has to compete against 3 riders to see who can kill as many zombies as possible in a minute. Like the first game, there are multiple routes you can take depending on what you do in the game. Winning the arena match nets you more cash and you get treated a little better by other characters in the game and as this runs through the entire game and leads to multiple endings, this is great news for re-playability.
Once you finish the arena match, Fortune City is overrun with zombies and Chuck races to find his daughter, Katey. Once he does and gets her to safety with a few other survivors he is told that it will be 3 days until the military arrive to quarantine the city and rescue the survivors (sound familiar?). Unfortunately for Chuck, his daughter was bitten some time ago and will turn into a zombie but with ‘Zombrex’, a drug which slows the transformation time it takes to turn into a zombie, he can help her and this is essentially what you must do in the 3 days it takes for help to arrive. Starting out in the mall of Fortune City, you are spoilt for choice, thanks to the large number of weapons on offer, from baseball bats, knives and other normal weapons to guitars, stuff toys and coat hangers – much like the first game. Of course, if this isn’t enough you are then able to combine some items to create even greater weapons. Some of my favourites were to put a spear on the end of a drill in order to keep more distance between you and the incoming zombies, and the Blanka Mask (yes, from Street Fighter) strapped with dynamite which you then shove on a zombie’s head and watch him go boom along with any nearby friends – Fun!
As with the first Dead Rising, every time you kill a zombie you gain PP (Prestige Points) which, when you gather enough, will allow you to level up and gain new abilities, increase your health and give you a larger inventory. As far as I could see from the developer console, there are 50 PP levels in the game. One feature that will please fans is the implementation of co-op, which will allow you and your friends to play through the game together – this might make the killing x number of zombies in 3 days achievement a little easier this time! Again, like the first game there is a large amount of different clothes you can wear, such as pyjamas, dresses, suits and the Blanka mask! You will also not always be killing zombies as you will come across some nasty looters and crazy survivors.
Overall, the game feels very similar to the first game except looking a lot nicer with very nice graphics and a new lead character. The introduction of co-op, the 50 PP levels and the notorious killing zombies achievement along with the huge amount of customizable weapons will give you hours of replay value.
Now onto the event! Aside from the rows of consoles set up for us to play Dead Rising 2 on we were also given the opportunity to learn how to fight off a zombie attack from combat specialists! Now, I doubt we will ever be faced with what we see in the game but at least I can sleep knowing that I can save myself should the situation arise! Chuck’s motorcycle was also on display with the two chainsaws strapped to the handles along with various weapon props from the game. You could get your picture taken on the bike or just sit on it feeling awesome. If you wanted to look like you survived a zombie attack or even become a zombie yourself, Capcom had brought in some makeup artists who were giving away free transformations.
In the next room we had a private blackjack and roulette table that we could bet our $100 bill on. This is where most of us spent our time after playing the game as we were told whoever had the most chips at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock would win a jacket like the one Chuck wore in the game! Sadly, I didn’t quite get enough but it was still a lot of fun and congratulations to those who won. It was great standing round the tables and making new friends and just having the feeling you were betting a ton of cash away, but seriously, if it was real money I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent for the next year!
Overall, I had a great day and Capcom sure know how to treat us game journalists. The game was fantastic and if you enjoyed the first one or are looking for something different and highly addictive, I strongly recommend you get this one when it comes out on September 24th in the UK and September 28th in the US.