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Dead Rising Xbox360 Review

The easiest way to describe Dead Rising is to call it Resident Evil meets Grand Theft Auto. In Dead Rising, you are free to roam anywhere (GTA) in this mall invested with zombies (RE) and it all adds up to a very very good time. Yes, Dead Rising came out awhile ago, but it is a recent purchase for me so deal with it.

Gameplay: 9.5/10
Pros: So much fun to play! Just download the demo if you don’t believe me. You can pretty much pick up and use any object as a weapon from CDs to Lawnmowers (a personal favorite). It’s all great fun and the story is actually pretty cohesive. Level-up system is genius and as you kill zombies and save people you earn new abilities, can hold more items, etc. Another great aspect of this: a “ChronoTrigger” save system where you can restart the game with all your abilities and current level. Photography aspect and scoring is great!
Cons: Many other reviews have smashed the save system…It’s not all bad since it creates tension between saves and a sort of risk/reward. Do you want to restart and keep all those exp points you earned since your last save? Or reload and continue on with the story etc? I think that having some save checkpoints wouldn’t be a bad idea- spend some exp points to revive yourself and whatnot. Save system works though but 1 save slot is unforgivable. The only other thing is that the controls are stiff, especially when aiming with some of the weapons.

Graphics: 9 /10
Pros: The amount of zombies on the screen, weapons, and all that is very impressive. There is excellent lighting and a good variety of environments for everything taking place in a mall.
Cons: You notice how low some character’s and other object’s polygon counts are during the cut scenes or when zooming in with the camera. Load Screens (which seem long for Xbox 360) happen too frequently.

Sound/Music: 9.5/10
Pros: The music is all very appropriate and will even bring a smile to your face. The voice acting is pretty good and all the different sounds of the weapons, head splats, etc. are great. Dead Rising has excellent Audio.
Cons: I could have used more voiceovers since answering the walkie talkie in the middle of a zombie invested mall and then reading text at the bottom of the screen is no fun.

Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
Pros: The game is really fun to explore and play and although the time crunch can be frustrating, as soon as you beat the game you’ll yearn to boot it up again. Not to mention the survival mode and overtime mode that is offered. A lot to explore and do!
Cons: This is where the 1 save slot frustrates because you don’t want to lose your leveled up Frank, but at the same time you may want to switch from a 72hour story mode to survival or whatever and you’re forced to kill your 72hour game and recover your character to bring into the mode you want to play. Really sucks!

Average: 91.25%
Tilt: +1.75%

Yes, there are design flaws and the game is not perfect, but the game is very unique and is the first “survival horror open sandbox” game. GTA3 had immense issues too and they were addressed in subsequent titles. I hope that Dead Rising spawns sequels as well because the end result is that the game is just really fun to play. It’s fun to steal stuff from shops and use them as weapons and it is fun to take pictures of things and getting a score on your photography. Adding experience points was a great call! It really adds a lot of replay value and gives you a reason to keep playing beyond Xbox Achievement points (which are meaningless if you ask me). Dead Rising is a very good game that warrants a lot of your time.

Verdict: 93%

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