Worried that Dead Rising 3 might be a bit... serious? Don't be. From the moment it starts, subdued colour palette aside, this is the series as you know it. By the time you find and build the dildo gun, you'll wonder what the fuss was about.
It's as fundamentally silly as it was before, with most of the game's systems having been designed for the sole purpose of Dicking Around™. The new combo mechanic enables players to create some outlandish weapons (oversize teddy bear + assault rifle = automated sentry gun) which are as much fun to use as they must have been to come up with. These items need to be crafted by first obtaining blueprints dotted around the city. They make for a great incentive to explore, and their sheer absurdity turns Los Perdidos (a stylised reimagining of LA) into a playground of death. You'll be laughing for about 90% of the time you're playing.
Speaking of the city: it's a sprawling mess of a place. Not the biggest environment, but certainly one of the densest. Among the hordes of zombies – an ocean of the bastards await in every direction, an achievement that is both as intimidating as it is impressive – are downed jetliners, hastily-erected quarantine zones, and incredible amounts of junk. A surprisingly large number of buildings are freely accessible, and inside is just as detailed (and rammed with snacks, weapons and other toys) as outside.
For all these strengths, however, there are some glaring weaknesses. Picking up items is fiddly, due to them being generally grouped together: infuriating when you're trying to navigate a zombie rush. The game also relies too heavily on fetch-quests for most of its narrative and side missions, which are lacking any real drama or drive. Well, on 'normal' mode, at least – playing on Nightmare, with its strict time limits, super-tough zombies, and paucity of save zones, ratchets the tension no end, and is recommended. The city's many blocked-off roads, too, make vehicular navigation a chore.
I get the feeling, though, that you'll be having too much fun to worry about it...
Played for 12 hours.
8 / 10
- One of the best games to simply mess around in.
- The zombie tech is impressive.
- Normal mode a little too easy.
- Narrative and missions missing the spark of Frank West's adventure.