|System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Blue Castle Games|
|Release: October 11, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, Blood and Gore, Use of Alcohol, Intense Violence, Language|
The camera also plays a major role in Frank's newest adventure, with many missions revolving around the handy gadget. If you played through the first game, you're undoubtedly familiar with how this works. You can use the camera to take pictures of the action you come across throughout your adventure, and you can also use the camera to take pictures of the stickers hidden around the environment (much like in Case West) to receive Prestige Points (PP) and combo recipes. The pictures you take reward you with PP and are based in a variety of categories, including Brutality, Horror, Drama, Erotica, and Outtake. Snapping pictures of people being eaten alive falls under the Horror category, Brutality pics tend to involve a lot of blood and gore, and Erotica is more about, well, I'm sure you can imagine.
Since a majority of Off the Record is "seen this, done that," the only thing that really makes this worth checking out is the new sandbox mode. I've always despised the time limits in this series—mainly because it's not very easy to save your game and the penalty for running out of time is so harsh—so this freedom from a timer is the thing I most wanted to experience in Off the Record. This sandbox mode finally answered some of my burning questions about the series, like "How much more fun is it to mow down hordes of zombies without the looming threat of a Mission Failed screen?" or "What would it be like to remove the one thing that manages to suck all of the fun out of an otherwise mindlessly enjoyable game?" Well, I have my answers, and they're pretty much what I expected. Off the Record is far more enjoyable without the time limits, so if you're like me and you've never been a fan of being hurried through the game, this alone might make it worth a rental at least. What makes this mode even better is that it's available from the beginning and you can play it alone or with a friend.
Whether or not Off the Record is a good idea is a pretty difficult question to answer. If you enjoyed Dead Rising 2, then Off the Record is much of the same with a few new weapons, missions, a new environment, and the return of the camera system from the first game. The time limit-free sandbox mode is a welcome addition to the series and one I hope they carry into the inevitable Dead Rising 3. However, if the wacky story, forgettable cast of characters, and repetitive gameplay are starting to wear out their welcome, than Off the Record might not be worth it for you. It's tough shaking the feeling that this game offers little to make it worthwhile to anyone who played the second game, but if you're itching for some more gory zombie action, then Off the Record shouldn't disappoint.
CCC Contributing Writer