Xbox One, PC
December 6, 2016
Microsoft Studios, Capcom
Ever since the first Dead Rising game on Xbox 360 I have been a loyal fan, I’ve played every single one of them and I enjoy slaying zombies in a comical fun way, however it’s more the story of surviving the zombie apocalypse that really catches my eye.
When I heard that Dead Rising 4 would feature the original protagonist Frank West and no task timer was going to be included, I was already head over heels.
Dead Rising 4 is based many years after the original Dead Rising game and sees an older Frank West return to the zombie infested town of Willamette after his protégé Vick tricks him into thinking they are going to go play mini-golf. They find a secret military base conducting illegal experiments run by the U.S Government and the Pentagon, and plan on exposing and shutting down their absurd plans to build a zombie army.
Truly this game has some very unique levels to it; the engaging story accompanied by its amazing character portrayals is spot on, not to mention that it has some pretty impressive yet comical gameplay to accompany it. I found myself chuckling at the dialogue from Frank towards other characters and I felt Capcom really did well in portraying a cocky and big headed reporter that was still likeable.
The story is well paced and well balanced with clues, which is helped solved by a new gameplay feature that is added to Frank’s camera. It’s a sort Batman-like detective gadget that can sense finger prints or objects of interest. This greatly influences you to explore further and want to uncover what is happening in Willamette.
As intriguing as the story is, I felt there were too many characters in this game that aren’t really needed and don’t really benefit the narrative at all. It felt I was doing chores for them and then they just disappeared without being seen again. I was also hoping they would be of some assistance in the conclusion to Dead Rising 4, but they are not as valuable as I hoped they would have been.
The gameplay within Dead Rising 4 is not much different from past titles; it still focuses greatly on combining weapons and vehicles to make even stronger defenses against the army of the undead. The highlight is hands down the new EXO Suit, which is actually amazing! You run around in this juggernaut suit and completely obliterate any enemy in your path. You can pull out ticket meters, massive axes, mini guns and more to rip your enemies apart, plus Hulk gloves are amazing to use and are perfect for pulping enemies.
I found melee combat was a bit of a nightmare. Half the time i was swinging around aimlessly trying to hit anything I could. There is no lock on system to properly focus attacks on your enemy, so half the time I’d have a cheap death because while I was slicing, I’d have half a zombie crawling on the floor hacking at my feet.
Maniacs and Bosses are, strangely, not challenging at all. There isn’t really any trouble taking them down, which is disappointing as the maniacs and bosses from previous Dead Rising games really gave you a run for your life. Most of the time I drove a car into the arena and just ran them over killing them after a couple of reverse and forward movements.
Maniac cut scenes have been removed, which is an aspect that never should have gone. They were a highlight because they’d really show how insane and crazed they were, but also added to the overall feel of the gaming experience that made you cringe with how messed up things felt. With these gone, you enter the battle straight away and it just doesn’t feel the same.
Dead Rising 4 also introduces a new super-saiyan breed of zombies, known as Evo’s, which are annoying to put down. They are extremely fast and deadly and can have you killed within seconds, forcing you to employ new strategies. Sometimes hacking and slashing isn’t the best option, so you’re encouraged to think your plan of attack through. Firearms are hopeless against these guys due to their incredible speed, so a good ice sword will freeze them in their tracks before you put there lights out with a nice shotgun to the face.
If you’re a gamer that enjoys collecting every single item in the game, go right ahead as there’s no timer stopping you from that 100% completion. In previous Dead Rising games the timer really strained exploring the world properly as you had to complete the main story quickly, so it’s truly a relief not to have that stupid clock ticking.
I would like to add that motorbike vehicle game play in this game are evil and should be destroyed. Numerous times i could not ride the bike without tipping all over the place and losing control.
“Dead Rising 4 is in a league of its own when it comes to creative zombie-slaying.”
Unusually, co-op has been removed from the campaign so you cannot explore the zombie-infested universe with a friend. Instead, multiplayer is its own separate mode, which you have the choice of picking four unique characters with their own unique skill sets. Broken up into 4 episodes, you can go solo or play in a team of up to four players. Each episode has its own set of missions you must complete, but while they are all extremely fun; they do tend to get repetitive.
What is always rewarding about a Capcom game is after you complete the main story once, you can play again with everything you have already unlocked in your first play through, so that’s definitely #winning in my eyes.
- Engaging story and characters
- Impressive new crafting weapons
- Humorously unique
- Not very challenging Bosses or Maniacs
- Multiplayer Mode scaled back
- Some technical glitches
- Melee combat lacks polish
Although Dead Rising 4 has some things that need polishing up, I was still able to enjoy the experience overall. It provided a dark yet fascinating story with mysteries that were engaging all the way through. The gameplay was at top notch in terms of fun and the ability to create exciting weapons and vehicles. Removing the timer that made exploration stressful was a good move, although multiplayer should have stayed the same. It’s engaging enough for me to go through a New Game plus with everything I’ve unlocked; after all, there are literally thousands more zombies that need to be obliterated while I take some truly mad selfies.