Dead Rising's E3 build looked worse than the zombies that filled its world. A poor frame rate, terrible screen-tearing and low resolution made it an advert for PlayStation more than Xbox One, and a seemingly stupid shift towards being po-faced worried those that lament the need for everything to be so, well, dull.
Things have improved largely since then. Frames still tear and drop, but this is Dead Rising as you know and love it: steamrollers, flamethrowers, suits of armour, lightsabers, hordes of zombies, and the feeling that if all games took themselves as seriously as this the world would be a better place.
The demo saw me controlling Nick Ramos as he headed out onto the streets of Los Perdidos at night, making the zombie horde even more dangerous. Whereas what we've seen so far took place in the daytime - with a washed-out look that wouldn't look too out of place in an advert for The Walking Dead - at night there's a tone shift into real horror, helped, of course, by the impressive engine. Lighting and effects are very atmospheric, with showers of gore crashing against a background of low blue light. The amount of NPCs on screen - always Dead Rising's calling card - is both intimidating and enticing, and I couldn't wait to get amongst it.
Which I promptly did, using the new crafting mechanic to mix a motorcycle with the aforementioned steam roller and flamethrower to create an instrument of death that even the US government would be proud of. Smashing through zombies down side streets, across fields, basketball courts and wide-open parks, it made a mockery of the fears that this Dead Rising had lost its humour.
Graphically, the engine kept up admirably, rendering the burnt-out cars, abandoned residential buildings and various other detritus well. But it's the zombies - and the way you interact with them - that are the real stars here. Always dangerous - especially the ones that remember their past lives, like the American Footballer that tackles you - they are nonetheless your playthings, and crafting weapons and cutting through the mob is a pleasure.
Questions still linger over the storyline, and how deep the crafting mechanic can be. But this is a game where you can throw pies into the faces of zombies, wade into a sea of the undead and emerge out of the the other side with a gigantic smile and a cool story: you cause the sort of havoc you know you actually would want to should the zombie takeover ever actually take place...