|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Blue Castle||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 28, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Still, despite some control issues, combat in most areas is fluid and simple. Hammering on the attack button will get you through the tightest of situations, and using your custom weapons (as well as the occasional health or stat-boosting item) strategically will keep you coming back for more. Much like the original Dead Rising, you'll find yourself running though shopping districts and outdoor areas that feature an endless parade of zombies that you can slice and dice.
However, you won't often be chopping up these zombies just for fun. The game's structure features several time-based elements, where you will have small windows with which to accomplish either story objectives, personal objectives, or rescue survivors. Although the story and personal objectives will result in a game over if failed, the survivor objectives are all completely optional. Those who played the first Dead Rising may breathe a sigh of relief here, as survivor missions were easily the most agitating aspect of the original game. But the good news here is that the survivors in Fortune City are a little bit better at taking care of themselves, and giving them a few custom weapons is generally enough to get them through most areas (as long as you stick reasonably close by and do your part to mow down a pathway paved in zombie blood.)
The gameplay in Dead Rising 2 is definitely reason enough to pick it up, but there are a few issues that hold this game back from being the ultimate zombie experience. First up, be prepared for some major loading times. In addition to 3-5 second loading screens in between cutscenes, each new area takes several seconds to load, and even the map screen takes a few seconds to load. Though I'm not normally one to complain about long waits for loading times, Dead Rising 2's frequency and duration of loading screens border on egregious, and really take you out of the game.
Another issue with Dead Rising 2 in the technical department is the visuals. Though the amount of zombies on-screen at any given moment is certainly impressive, the game's visual scheme overall takes a hit due to this aspect. Expect to see plenty of repetitive animation, clipping, and framerate slowdowns when things start getting a little hairy. Another small issue with the visuals is the frequency of stock cutscenes. Though the creation animation is cool the first twenty times you make a weapon, it gets a little annoying after a while, especially because the animation never changes, and it is almost always preceded or followed by a loading screen.
Though Dead Rising 2 isn't a perfect game, there is so much fun to be had with this new entry in the series that its good points far outweigh its shortcomings. The game's variety and huge amount of side-missions ensure that you'll be playing it for quite a while, and its B-movie-style plot is definitely entertaining. The game also features a co-op feature that allows you to mow down zombies with a friend, which adds some new dynamics and strategic elements to the gameplay. All told, if you loved the first Dead Rising, or just need a zombie-killing fix, they don't come much more brutal than Dead Rising 2, and you'll love every ultra-violent minute you spend with this game.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor