Dead Rising Review
Dead Rising 4 returns to its roots in Willamette, Colorado with original title protagonist, reported Frank West. While we return to the setting and main character from the original game, so much as changed over the franchises 4 releases, which has all come together into a fantastic, Christmas time title. While there are a number of graphical hiccups throughout, the title is otherwise very strong.
Returning to Willamette
There are zombies everywhere in Willamette and the surrounding areas – including the very interesting mall – and the developers behind Dead Rising 4 have done a great job of creating interesting environments to drop them in. Everything from the outdoor streets of the town, to the indoor themed mall, looks fantastic and feels exactly as it should – a post apocalyptic, Christmas time city on the verge of complete and utter chaos.
That’s what makes Frank West’s adventure so exciting. Everything has the Christmas theme, but each area of the game does feel distinctively different. Whether you are walking the back hallways of the mall, moving through the different themed areas, or walking around the street, each area has unique weapons, items, and blueprints for you to find. While exploration to complete the game isn’t necessary, it does help uncover some things you might not find otherwise.
A Story that Drives You Through
Games that are as open ended as Dead Rising 4 need a great story to keep everything in check. Without strong characters like Frank West, and a story that keeps you motivated, one could easily get lost in the things you can do around the Willamette area. Whether it is collecting blue prints, audio tapes, or newspaper clippings, there is always something to distract you.
Thankfully, the story is good enough that you want to see it through to completion, so even when I began to wander, I was always quickly drawn back into the main story line. However, that isn’t to say the side quest aren’t interesting or important to complete!
Side Missions Ad to the Story
Whether you are picking up audio tapes detailing the outbreak, or saving trapped survivors, side quests in Dead Rising 4 – while no necessary – do make the overall game more enjoyable. Like all good open world titles, there are tons of collectables to find. Thankfully, however, these collectibles aren’t just trophies lying around, but newspapers and audio clips that add a little extra to the story, and help uncover some of the mystery surrounding the outbreak in Willamette.
Helping survivors is one of the more important tasks you can do, as survivors will open up more shops in the safe houses that you unlock as you go. Survivors will open up shops and provide Frank with a variety of items to buy, including those elusive and always fun blueprints!
The Crazy Side
Throughout your adventure, you will find numerous blueprints scattered around the world. Some are found in locked cabinets, lying on desks, or can be purchased from saved survivors. While tracking them down isn’t necessary, it will make your time in Dead Rising 4 more comical and entertaining.
Blueprint weapons are crazy; really, REALLY crazy! Early on, the weapons you will be able to craft will actually be really beneficial in getting through the early portions of the game. My two early favorites are the grenade sledge hammer – crafted by combining hand grenades and a sledge hammer – and the Fireworks Crossbow – crafted by combining a crossbow with a bundle of fireworks. The Fireworks Crossbow is particularly fun.
When lit and fired, the firework arrows will pierce their target – or become lodged in benches, walls, or even the floor – and explode into colours…and blood and body parts. It’s crazy, it is incredibly unrealistic, and it is super fun. Even vehicles can be combined to create interesting and deadly rides.
Aside from blueprints, there are plenty of other crazy things in Dead Rising 4, including the outfits and medieval armour – yes, I said medieval armour – that you can wear. While I’m sceptical about how much donning armour actually helps in the long run – I believe that all clothes provide the same amount of defence, regardless of what you are wearing, outside of exosuites – it’s still fun to run around with knights armour, a sword and a shield.
Even when you think Dead Rising 4 might be getting boring, the game drops Exosuites on you. When in the suite, you will feel like Ironman in the Hulkbuster suite. You are that powerful, and can do a ton of damage. You also will have access to weapons exclusive to these suties.
Be careful though, because you will find enemies around the world also in these suites, making them very difficult to kill. You thought fresh zombies were difficult to deal with? Try taking on exosuites-mega-killers!
Level Frank Up
Over time, you will level up Frank West as you defeat zombies – your total zombies killed will always display on screen – complete main missions, and finish various side missions. When you level up, Frank will be granted a skill point that can be applied to one of four categories. By using these skill points, you can unlock more health and stamina, better ranged weapon skills, and better combat moves. While it can be easy to forget about these upgrades – which aren’t really necessary to complete the game – it does make it more enjoyable.
I love Dead Rising with the holiday season upon us, it is the perfect time to drop yourself into this interesting world and fight zombies to the death. The game won’t take you to long to complete if you focus on the main story, but it could easily provide hours and hours of entertainment over the Christmas season.
If you love zombies, Christmas, and blowing up people with a variety of wacky weapons, than Dead Rising 4 is for you!