Dead Rising 2


Written by Chris Price
27 Monday 27th September 2010

When did the zombie become the figure of fun of the horror world? Zombies are fucking scary. My survival in inevitable zombie apocalypse is something that I subconsciously plan for everyday. Just think – an army whose number is populated by man’s innate desire to empty the contents of his scrotum in the nearest female. An army inextricably linked to the root of our survival – that’s a scary prospect, no?

Dead Rising 2 is here to further humiliate the stumbling hordes. Jam showerheads into their faces and giggle as they stagger around listing their brains like a Lucio Fulci-inspired faucet. Or maybe you’d like a bit of battery-powered carnival mask malarkey, chuckle as said wearer wanders around electrocuting all in sundry, popping heads as it goes.  DR2 isn’t played with a straight face. It’s a seamless blend of interactive comedy, action and is a thoroughly assured sequel to 2006’s Dawn of the Dead-inspired document-and-dismember-a-thon. It’s east/west production collaboration is evident, as Capcompays homage to the more garish aspects of American culture: with all the subtly of a Japanese Elvis impersonator wearing Nike Jordans and eating a Big Mac.
The story is a mash of the fear of home-grown terrorism, human greed during times of crisis and the US pharmaceutical dependency. You are Chuck Green– ex-dirtbike star, now single parent and owner of quite possibly the most perpendicular face in videogame history. It’s the near future and zombies are gleefully mulched in a dystopian facsimile of Total Wipeout oddly titled Terror is Reality. Chuck’s in Fortune City (read: Las Vegas) for the next season, in it to win big and save his daughter from a zombie bite.
Suffice to say it all goes a bit wrong, Chuck gets framed for the ensuing massacre and he has to band together with slutty investigative journo Rebecca Chang and zombie sympathiser Stacey in an effort to clear his name and collect enough Zombrex medication to stop his daughter turning into a rotting succubus with a penchant for the squishy pink stuff between his ears.
The first Dead Rising managed to create a functional world where shambling flesh hungry sacks of reanimated gristle became another part of the landscape. Just like the traffic in GTA 4 – an avoidable yet omnipresent hazard. DR2 ramps up the head count exponentially. So much so, combat regularly verges on a Dynasty Warriors-style exercise in crowd control.
DR2’s big hook is the ability to construct your own weapons at a network of maintenance room workbenches. Each DIY product ranks up your score, rewarding more ridiculous offensive holds and escapes. And it’s totally worth spending the time collecting ingredients to make your own. It’s hard not to get excited dumping a bucket laced with power drills onto an unsuspecting zombie. How about igniting a ball gun and bouncing globes of flaming death off their putrid faces, lighting up all nearby? Fashioning fireworks with a lead pipe into an impromptu rocket launcher, hoofing 50 rockets into a zombie horde and watching bits of them comically burst, taking out all in sundry. If you want a quick leg up to the more creative weapons, competing online in Terror is Reality, enables you to cash out your winning $ to the single player, to buy them over the counter from the game’s Pawnshops linking on and offline play. Failing that – rolling giant craps, playing the slots, miniature golf – the options are plentiful.


You’ll need the kit. Numbers are sometimes overwhelming, as the horde turns nastier and more abundant as night sets in, lending to moments of serious slowdown resulting in some untimely deaths. Luckily, save points are more plentiful than DR1. A returning problem is the inventory system: button fumble between food and weapons can leave you facing the masses armed with a slice of pizza.  But, these are moot problems stacked against such a grand vision. Capcom have managed to really shine up the original formula. The emphasised creative aspect is a fantastic development for the series. It might not be on a geographical par with the likes of Mass Effect 2, but for freedom of personal expression it’s tip-top – I haven’t even touched on the customisation of Chuck’s outfit and mixing your own drinks (for a ‘Bartender’ bonus!)
Overcoming the original Dead Rising’s sprawling struggle with infant possibility, Dead Rising 2 is a collection of mini-games linked with RPG elements, played out in a zombie filled sandbox world. It’ s much more than a sum of its parts. The individual mini-games are inconsistent in quality due to showing up some of the more awkward aspects of the game (targeting with firearms, erratic camera), but mashed together with all the other aspects of the game, DR2 delivers a rich, exciting and above all entertaining experience. The more you do, the more you discover. It looks great, it sounds great and every situation is a riot of horror, comedy and chaos. In these times of austerity, it’s great to see a game brimming with value, as well as ideas – how you utilise what’s on offer is up to you. Now – when the inevitable zombie apocalypse occurs - I’m holing up in a B&Q with a Black & Decker Workbench.
Dead Rising 2 is available now on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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  • Guest: elta
    Fri 01 - Oct - 2010, 19:33