Platform: Xbox One | Available: Nov 22, 2013
The Dead Rise Once More
Zombies aplenty. This is the defining characteristic of Dead Rising 3. With a simple and fun combat system, the game is all about grabbing one of the games 300 odd weapons, charging into a crowd of zombies and cutting them down as a farmer harvests hay. The game also encourages you to experiment with combining weapons from a leaf blower that launches adult toys to a fully functioning torch-turned light sabre. The game also has a wide range of vehicles to choose from that can also be welded together into combo vehicles which adds further depth to the gameplay.
Dead Rising 3 is certainly more The Walking Dead than 28 Days Later, meaning that a handful of zombies are little more than a minor annoyance, easily dispatched with a nearby pipe or other blunt object. Due to the lumbering nature of Dead Rising 3’s zombies, the game does a good job of lulling the player into a false sense of security, however as the night falls the zombie’s become more aggressive. All too often an ill prepared excursion can turn from a simple drive to the next mission into a full blown emergency. Suddenly you can find yourself surrounded by a large herd of zombies, stripped of the safety of your vehicle and alone in the middle of an abandoned highway desperately looking for safety and quickly running out of weapons. It is these moments of panic and desperation that make the game so enjoyable.
“The game does a good job of lulling the player into a false sense of security”
The game allows you to play co-op online and will often introduce a fellow, random player into your own game which is a nice touch. Added to this, the player can assist random NPCs to allow them to join them in a small gang of survivors. While these survivors can become frustratingly stuck as they attempt to follow you through buildings and scattered debris, keeping your gang alive and well equipped can be part of the fun.
One other area that makes the game enjoyable is the main character Nick Ramos. As the hero of the game, Nick acts in a very real way to his environment, seeming unsure of himself and nervous in the cut scenes. Nick cringes just as any normal person would when encountering some of the characters in the optional ‘Psycho’ boss battles which, at their most messed up, includes a crazed old lady on a motorized kart who proceeds to run down and vomit on anyone who dares come near her buffet.
Some of the downsides of the game are admittedly its appearance and a sometimes stuttering frame rate. Aside from the cut scenes, the visuals really don’t add anything to what most players are used to on the previous generation of consoles. This is, however, just a small disappointment and clearly due to the massive amount of zombies on screen at a time which we feel more than makes up for the lack of eye candy. The other disappointment is the main campaign mode which is a little predictable and isn’t as fun to play as the optional side missions.
As a launch title, Dead Rising 3 isn’t the ground breaking game many were likely expecting. It is however immensely fun and offers players a rich world to explore. The secret to enjoying the game is to make the most of the world by completing the side missions and discovering all the different stories and tragic endings it has to offer.
- Huge amount of zombies and weapons
- Rich world to explore
- Entertaining side missions
- Not particularly pretty
- Frame rate issues
- Not exactly an ‘open world’