Dead Rising 2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

There is something gleefully rebellious about the way Capcom defies the prevailing trends of the day. At a time when every publisher under the sun is trying to make gaming a family-friendly, gather-round-the-coffee-table experience, Capcom is scowling in the bathroom, shaving its hair into a Mohawk. Watch as Capcom stomps down the stairs in a pair of Doc Martins, kicks over a bowl of pimento-stuffed olives and spits in the face of the assembled casuals. "I AM CAPCOM!" it growls, "AND I WILL ALWAYS BE HARDCORE!"

It probably won't surprise you to learn that Dead Rising 2 is a game that embraces old-school values, and that it's a thumpingly hard one too; this is, as we well know, "the Capcom way". For many of us, this dedication to tradition is something to be praised and greatly admired, but if you're the kind of gamer who's grown used to modern design crutches - things like regenerating health and the omnipresent ability to save your game - then you may be in for a rude awakening. Four years have passed since the release of the original Dead Rising, but while Capcom has handed the development reins over to Vancouver studio Blue Castle Games, this long-awaited sequel is a virtual retread of its predecessor.

Once again the central conceit is that the player takes on the role of a lone hero, trapped in an open world packed with zombies. Last time we played photojournalist Frank West, at Willamette Mall; now we're in the boots of Chuck Greene, a former motorcross star who now earns cash by participating in Terror is Reality - a dodgy, Gladiators-like TV show that encourages contestants to butcher zombies in exchange for cash prizes. When the show arrives at the casino resort of Fortune City, someone uses a bomb to free the living dead from their cages. Zombies flood across the surrounding hotels, casinos and shopping malls, chomping on the locals and adding them to their swelling ranks. And just to top it all off, someone frames Chuck for causing the initial attack.

What follows is a 72-hour mission against the clock, with Chuck battling to rescue survivors and to clear his name before the military show up to arrest him. The action unfolds in accelerated real-time, with specific events taking place within set windows. If you're late for one of the appointments that are connected to the main plot, you may lose track of the central narrative thread entirely - preventing you from seeing the "true" ending. Somewhat perversely, the game tries as hard as it can to lead you off the beaten track at every opportunity. In addition to the near-endless array of side-quests and rescue missions, there's also a generous set of mini-games to find and try - from golf swing simulators to a Crystal Maze-style cash-grab booth. Towards the later stages of the story, there's even a rather unexpected (and given the circumstances, rather imprudent) opportunity to enter a game of strip poker.

In addition to all this, there's also the same 'raid any shop, grab anything you like' dynamic that made the first game so memorable. Rather than giving the player a set of stock weapons, your arsenal comprises of anything that you find to hand. You'll find yourself taking down zombies with everything from swords and fire axes, which lop the limbs off your foes or split them clean in half, to useless-yet-hilarious items like dildos and inflatable hammers. Dead Rising 1's Frank had the ability to take photos of the undead masses, but this has now been replaced by Chuck's uncanny knack for blending items together - a talent that is utilised by bringing specific items to one of the many maintenance rooms scattered around Fortune City. An aerosol can and a traffic cone, for example, can be used to make a klaxon that causes zombies' heads to pop, while strapping a car battery to a wheelchair results in The Electric Chair - a crowd-clearing trolley of death.

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Highest Rated Comment

Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

As a PS3 owner, who has never played the original, I really feel that this needs a demo. As it stands, I only see myself realistically picking this up in a few months time when the price has gone down.

Case 0 would have made perfect sense on the PS3, due to the lack of a previous game on the console.
Posted 09:17 on 24 September 2010

User Comments

player66's Avatar

player66

God, I love this game. The multiplayer is useful, but not very fun. The co-op is functional, but not user-friendly. The single player can be punishing and clunky. I don't know why, but none of these shortcomings detract from my unabashed joy at playing through the game. Dead Rising 3 couldn't come soon enough!
Posted 18:29 on 09 October 2010
Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis@ Wido

@Wido – I don’t link that many reviews to IGN but yes I do use their site a lot. As a journalist myself, I score games using the 20 point scale but that’s just my personal preference. I think one thing most people can agree on is that the 100 point system, i.e. 54% or 5.4/10, is ridiculous as there is no way you can score a game that precisely (which is actually what IGN have recently altered from).
Posted 00:38 on 25 September 2010
Ginger_Jesus's Avatar

Ginger_Jesus

Haven't posted for a while but I brought this today from my local gamestation. Brought the special edition, really like the pen. Shall use that at work. Will get some strange faces looking my way but screw them.

Read the review and what a good read it is. Dead Rising is a game that you can't really take it seriously. I can't anyway. I simply brought this for the amount fun you can have with it. Mean, a electric wheelchair with two machine guns. Come on, you don't get a crazed patient on casualty do that on a Saturday night on BBC1.

Only played it for an hour as the missus wanted to watch her crap on TV. Sod's law I guess.
Posted 20:36 on 24 September 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu

Good read Neon.

Looking forward to getting this as it looks fairly fun.
Posted 19:54 on 24 September 2010
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

*Awaits inevitable "7???? I HATE YOU VG!!" comments*
Posted 19:51 on 24 September 2010
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ mydeaddog

"Cheeky Lee sometimes talks about how he'd like to see a system which just has "Buy It" or "Don't Buy It". I'd orobably throw in a third category, so that you'd have "Definitely Buy It," "Worth Considering" and "Avoid". That's really all you need, but there's not a snowball's chance in hell that you'll ever see sites or mags adopting it."

I'm absolutely positive I have seen a magazine or two which used such phrases as final indicators of a game's prowess. It might have been 10 years ago, or so, but I know there is still at least one site which follows that system. Can't for the life of me remember what it was, but I'll have a go and see if I can track it down.

I agree with those saying scores are ultimately useless - the summary points should suffice, making the user read the entire review. But I suppose metarating, and the publishers themselves, prefer an industry-standard of comparing themselves against one another...
Posted 16:19 on 24 September 2010
WhoIsThePresidentNow's Avatar

WhoIsThePresidentNow@ mydeaddog

"Cheeky Lee sometimes talks about how he'd like to see a system which just has "Buy It" or "Don't Buy It". I'd orobably throw in a third category, so that you'd have "Definitely Buy It," "Worth Considering" and "Avoid". That's really all you need, but there's not a snowball's chance in hell that you'll ever see sites or mags adopting it."

I don't know like.

It doesn't work for BBC's Snog, marry or avoid. Some of them I just wanna throw off a cliff.
Maybe just actually reading the review will make your mind up like.

Good read as always Neon :)
Posted 11:15 on 24 September 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Nice review Neon. Definitely gave me more of a insight on how DR2 handles itself. Sounds like it has improved from DR1, as in more fun but still looks like it has flaws which will be apparent.

@Rickitis - Seeing as in the past you link reviews to IGN a lot. The scoring system you want is what IGN uses. Not having a dig, but I prefer what VG do. I rather have something simple and straight forward than fannying about with 6.5/10 or 9.5/10. Such as; Its one hell of a game but with some flaws, it doesn't warrant the 10/10, so 9.5/10 is what it gets. Easily just put 9/10 and still get very much received than scoring system that you prefer.
Posted 11:01 on 24 September 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

The VG score seems in-line with what everybody else is scoring. In fact, this game seems to have the most consistent scoring I've seen in a while.

This is how it's scoring elsewhere (thanks VG24/7)

• Eurogamer – 8
• MSXbox-World – 9
• Made2Game – 7
• Strategy Informer – 8
• MegaBitsofGaming – Buy it
• NZGamer – 8.8
• IGN – 8
• Resolution Magazine - 8
• GamePlanet – 8.5
• SquareGo – 4/5
• GamesRadar – 8
Posted 10:58 on 24 September 2010
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Heh, last night I created a rocket launcher with fireworks, and got a zombie right in the groin where it stuck before exploding a few seconds later. Most amusing. It is the little things that make the game a success.

I love this game.

It is a shame Capcom have stated they have no plans for really expanding the game with DLC, other than the 4 skills pack plus a few more in the future. I had hoped they could add in a new casino, or some such, with a few new items, perhaps a storage facility, a couple more combos, survivors, a psycho or two... seems like an idea game for such an addition.
Posted 10:53 on 24 September 2010
mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog

Quote:
Originally Posted by scaz
Was tempted to get this today as i really enjoyed case zero, i was hoping it would of got higher tbh.

Don't be put off; if you liked Case Zero then you'll like this too. Just be aware that it's going to kick you in the balls every so often.
Posted 10:49 on 24 September 2010
Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis@ mydeaddog

The problem is that too much emphasis is placed on the review score where every point seems to count. If the game was scored 7 rather than a 7.5 it would make the difference between buying the game or not for some people. I actually like the idea where there would be no score at all, people would just read the review and make up their own mind whether it’s worth buying or not - but there is no chance of any site doing that either.
Anyway nice review, I’m going to go check ebay for a cheap version of the original...
Posted 10:34 on 24 September 2010
mydeaddog's Avatar

mydeaddog

I've not played review code of the 360 build, though I did play Case Zero; I've also played preview builds of the 360 version. To be honest, i'd imagine that the console builds would be pretty much identical. Visual bugs tend to pop up in open world games, after all.

Can't say I agree with you about the 20 point system; if anything i'd rather we used a five point scale. The idea that "more numbers = more accurate" makes no sense, in my opinion, because you're not assigning numbers to anything tangible. Anyone who's been reading game reviews for a while will remember the bad old days of 90s magazines, when everyone used ridiculous percentages.

Cheeky Lee sometimes talks about how he'd like to see a system which just has "Buy It" or "Don't Buy It". I'd orobably throw in a third category, so that you'd have "Definitely Buy It," "Worth Considering" and "Avoid". That's really all you need, but there's not a snowball's chance in hell that you'll ever see sites or mags adopting it.
Posted 10:21 on 24 September 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

Was tempted to get this today as i really enjoyed case zero, i was hoping it would of got higher tbh.
Posted 10:18 on 24 September 2010
Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis@ mydeaddog

I would love for this website to use the 20 point scoring system (with 0.5’s), which would work well for a game when its almost in between whole scores, just my opinion but I prefer that type of scoring. I might pick this up when it’s gone down in price, I’m actually borrowing my friends Xbox 360 at the moment so I might pick up the original on the cheap as you suggested.

‘The PS3 version (the build tested) is quite prone to the odd visual bug, albeit nothing game-wrecking’
Does that mean you haven’t played the Xbox 360 version of the game? Would you imagine it’s very similar to the PS3 version?
Posted 10:09 on 24 September 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Dead Rising 2
7
Out of 10
Dead Rising 2
  • Original and diverse sandbox fun
  • Oodles of replay value
  • Old-fashioned design can grate at times
  • Boss fights are a major annoyance
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/09/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Blue Castle Games
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Action
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 3,766 1447
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