Capcom have recently brought us Xbox One re-masters of the popular Resident Evil titles and now they’re back, ahead of Dear Rising 4 with the first two and a half games of the Dead Rising franchise.
It might only seem like yesterday but Dead Rising is just over 10 years old now, Frank West first stepped foot in Willamette Mall back in summer 2006 and the zombie gaming genre has never been the same since. Across the first 2 (and a half) titles, you control the protagonist in a third person action title, which is open enough to allow exploration, but also containing enough direction for those who prefer a more defined path.
Firstly in Dead Rising, you control Frank West, easily the most popular protagonist of the series, which is why he returned for Dead Rising 2 : Off the Record, and returns once again for Dead Rising 4 (Released later in 2016).
The game choices come down to solving case files and unlocking the mystery surrounding the zombie outbreak, rescuing survivors and taking down psychopaths who are scattered around the mall. Over the 3 days, you’ll also want to take photographs of key moments such as a zombie attacking, or a Psychopath and hopefully by the end of the 72 hours, you’ll have done a good variety of each and depending on your progress unlock one of the half a dozen endings.
The varied endings, and open approach to the 3 days, mean Dead Rising one is immensely re-playable, over the last 10 years, I’ve returned to the game on 3 or 4 different occasions, sometimes in search of a different ending but often just for the fun of mowing down a few more hundred zombies, but Dead Rising 2 went one step further.
In Dead Rising 2, you control a new guy, a new guy that people cared very little for… so much so fans cried out to bring back Frank, I don’t mind admitting I forgot his name until I was reminded of the terrible Chuck Green, though the story of caring for his daughter Katey added some personal depth.
This time around the story follows Chuck after a humans vs zombies game show. There’s enough links to join the story on to the aftermath of Dead Rising 1, but it’s isolated enough to ensure new comers won’t feel like they’re missed a major part of the game.
While Chuck as a character wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, DR2 thankfully brought a huge amount of customisation, from the clothes you wear to the weapons you wield and one of the funniest (and also most bizarre) memories of Dead Rising 2 has to be this video from 5 years ago.
Dead Rising 2 also featured more varied endings, characters, weapons and locations, so anyone considering a solo title rather than the entire collection would probably be better rewarded looking at Dead Rising 2, especially when you take into account the 4 player multiplayer mode TIR (which follows the system of the Terror is Reality game show, where you’re tasked with taking out more zombies than your competition.
Moving on to Dead Rising 2 : Off the Record, this 2.5 release is another full game, that borrows 90% from Dead Rising 2, Frank West returns after exhausting his five minutes of fame after the original, and takes part as a guest on the Terror is Reality show, things end up a little heavy, and Frank is once again fighting off thousands of the undead. DR2:OTR doesn’t offer much new over the full DR2 release, but there’s a new children’s theme park area, and many of the characters have been juggled to provide a fresh experience,
Off the Record was released only a year after 2010’s Dead Rising 2, so while still 5 years old, there was already a significant jump from the original (DR1).
Once again Capcom have done a fantastic job of bringing the second and 2.5 instalments to the Xbox One, and graphically they look very impressive, there’s still the odd dodgy texture, or blocky character, but nowhere near what you’ll see in the original,
The Dead Rising Triple Bundle gives you all three titles for £40, whereas purchasing them separately will set you back £16, what’s the best value ?
Well that all depends on your past experience with the games, if Dead Rising 3 was your first foray into the franchise, then it might be worth picking up the triple pack to not only get a fantastic value bundle but also the entirety of the preceding storyline (except for Case Zero / West which where released either side of DR2) , likewise if you had 1 or 2 of the titles but never felt you’d exhausted them, the triple pack is well worth consideration, However if you simply missed out on one of the games, and thoroughly exhausted the other two then maybe a single title would be your best bet.
If it was me, and I could choose only one, It would probably have to be Dead Rising 2 thanks to the 2 player co-op, variety of customisation and the general step up in overall quality over the original or maybe ‘Off the Record’ for the few extra’s that offered, but no matter which you opt for, you can be sure that once again Capcom have done a fantastic job of remastering some old favourites and this is the perfect place to whet your appetite ahead of Dead Rising 4..