Dead Rising 3
Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Publisher: Capcom, Microsoft Studios
Platform: Xbox One
The Dead Rising series has always been a personal favourite of mine, and though the series has always sold well, I’ve always felt it deserved to be bigger than what it has been. With ‘Dead Rising 3’, Microsoft themselves stepped in and offered Capcom their assistance in helping them achieve their hopes for the franchise. Dead Rising 3 is bigger, gorier and takes the series in a more serious direction, but does that make for a better game?
Introducing a new protagonist, Dead Rising 3 tells the story of Nick Ramos, a mechanic in Los Perdidos, California. In it, Nick must find survivors and escape the city before a large-scale military strike obliterates Los Perdidos and the undead that now inhabit it. Along the way, Nick will encounter the zombies, survivors and psychopaths that the Dead Rising series has become famous for.
Scrounging for a weapon to fend off the undead may be a difficult task for some folks, but not for Nick Ramos. Being a skilled mechanic, Ramos is not only able to wield a wrench with the ferocity of a Viking, but he is also able to modify two items together to create deadly combo weapons, as well as combo vehicles (a first for the Dead Rising series).
Similarly to Dead Rising 2, there is a ridiculous amount of fun to be had in dispatching hordes of the undead with combo weapons. Unlike Dead Rising 2 however, players can now create super combo weapons by further adding items to their combo weapons. Adding a katana and a scythe creates the “Grim Reaper” weapon, and adding gasoline to that creates a “Fire Grim Reaper”. Going that extra step and adding a Grim Reaper mask to that creates the ultra-deadly “Ultimate Grim Reaper”, a flaming multi-bladed scythe that launches fireballs out of the multiple skulls that adorn it. Weapons like this are an absolute blast.
Also new to the Dead Rising series are kill streaks. Similar to the Call of Duty series, killing a number of zombies in a set period of time adds a counter to the game screen, and with every ten or so kills, the PP (experience) increases, and the payer is able to execute a devastating special move. Many of these are unique to certain weapons (or weapon types), all of them are extremely graphic and therefore, highly entertaining.
Online co-operative play makes a welcome return in Dead Rising 3, and with a few minor improvements. Instead of simply cloning Nick Ramos and having two of them run around Los Perdidos, guest players will play as Dick, one of the characters present in the single player campaign. Dick also has his own voice actor and lines of dialogue when interacting with survivors found in-game, which makes for a refreshing change compared to earlier Dead Rising games, where dialogue was mainly executed via text.
You’ve probably heard by now that Dead Rising 3 has a mature vibe about it…well, mature compared to previous Dead Rising games. Instead of cartoon-like characters, Dead Rising 3 offers more realistic characters, and while some people may dislike them, I certainly felt they belonged in the Dead Rising universe, perhaps even more so than characters like Frank West and Chuck Greene. Nick Ramos feels more like a normal every day person, caught in the middle of a terrible situation. He’s not used to being depended on, let alone being a hero. He freaks out at the sight of a zombie horde, and when he draws the attention of one, he will say something like “looks like I’ve got company”, which also serves as an audio cue to the player in addition to demonstrating Nick’s somewhat anxious personality.
The Xbox One’s impressive hardware means that Capcom Vancouver were able to have more than three times the amount of zombies on screen at once. Not only that, but there many more character models too, meaning that every horde of zombies feels different, especially compared to previous Dead Rising games.
Dead Rising 3 also sports a slew of Kinect and Smartglass-based features that really add to the game experience. I know that sounds hard to swallow, given the limited use of the Xbox 360’s Kinect, but Dead Rising 3 (and other Xbox One games) make me a Kinect believer. You can lure and distract zombies via the Kinect microphone, as well as instruct survivors via voice commands and hand gestures. You can also access control shortcuts, such as “drop current weapon” and you can even break free of a zombie’s grasp by shaking the controller or your hands in front of the Kinect’s camera.
If you have the Xbox One Smartglass app on your smartphone or tablet, you can use the ZDC (Federal Bereau of Zombie Defense and Control) PDA app in-game to get you out of a jam. While it doesn’t really offer anything you can’t already do without it, you have the ability to call in air strikes and assistance from NPCs that you’ve rescued.
At this point, it is probably worth mentioning to the long-time Dead Rising fans that the series has not lost its unique sense of humour, contrary to rumours. Yes, the series has taken a darker and more mature direction, but if you choose to, you can dress Nick in drag and beat zombies back to the grave with a pink “personal massager”, if that’s your thing.
|Ultimately, Dead Rising 3 is a fantastic game for any zombie fan. The atmosphere is the best in the series to date, as is the gameplay and multiplayer. With so many titles to choose from with the Xbox One launch, make sure you don't overlook Dead Rising 3.||3.8 3.8 ( on 5 rating)|