Dead Rising 2: Case Zero Review
Dead Rising 2: Case Zero box art
System: X360 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Blue Castle Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Capcom 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 31, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Storywise, the developers did a great job of striking a balance between making Case Zero feel like a standalone product on the one hand, and making players want more on the other. One hardly even notices the plot is little more than a greatest-hits compilation of zombie-movie clichés.

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero screenshot

The tale begins two years after the original game, and three years before the events of Dead Rising 2. Just outside of Las Vegas, Chuck stumbles upon a safe house for his daughter, Katey, who’s infected. Your first goal is to find some Zombrex; your second is to find five parts for a motorcycle that will help you escape when the military shows up. When all is said and done, you feel like you’ve closed a chapter in the story, but also that there’s more to come.

However, there’s one major problem with the story setup: the time limit it imposes. The bike parts are scattered throughout a fairly large town, and every George Romero fan knows the story won’t end well if the military shows up to find your zombie-infested daughter. There’s no way you’ll locate all the parts in time just by exploring the town on your first try. You can buy hints from a pawn-shop owner, but then you probably won’t have enough money for the wheel (which is purchased instead of simply found). So, unless you cheat (either by looking up the parts’ locations online, or by finding the parts without saving, and then loading your game and running immediately to them), you’ll almost certainly miss your deadline, get a bad ending, and have to start over again, possibly multiple times. If the developers were trying to wring a few more hours’ worth of play time out of this brief title, we sympathize with that goal, but forcing players to re-tread ground is just irritating. In addition, the tight deadline discourages you from exploring the area and taking on side missions (which comprise of rescuing non-infected humans who happen to stumble into the town, mostly).

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There are some smaller issues as well. One is the basic controls still feel clunky, as your character takes too long to execute moves, and the camera doesn’t always go where you want it to. It feels a lot like Grand Theft Auto with an emphasis on melee combat, but if there’s one thing Grand Theft Auto doesn’t do well, it’s melee combat. In addition, when a weapon runs out, it’s immediately replaced by the next item in your inventory, meaning if you’re still hammering the attack/use button when a health item replaces your zombie-bludgeoning instrument, you’ll use the health item whether you need it or not.

These are minor quibbles, though, and in the end, we recommend giving Case Zero a shot. It’s a great introduction to a fun franchise, and at five dollars, it’ll hardly break the bank if you end up not liking it.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
Most of the visuals are fine, but during cutscenes, the character models give off that creepy “Uncanny Valley” effect.
2.9
Control
They’re still clunky; it’s like a Grand Theft Auto game that focuses almost exclusively on melee combat.
4.6
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music and gross-out sound effects fit the game perfectly.
4.2
Play Value
At five dollars for three hours, this isn’t a bad deal, and there’s a lot of replay value for achievement hunters and those who want to see all the endings. The fact that you’ll probably miss your deadline and have to start over is annoying, though.
3.9
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • New experience: Play a completely new Dead Rising adventure set two years after the Willamette incident and three years before the start of Dead Rising 2.
  • Zombie action-fest: The undead are everywhere, creating a dynamic and challenging zombie-killing experience with weapons created to kill massive amounts of zombies at one time.
  • New hero: Meet the main protagonist Chuck Greene and his daughter Katey.
  • Weapon combination feature: Combine two everyday items using duct tape to create the ultimate zombie killing creations. Unlocking combo cards along the way will give you the advantage as the helpful cards will show you what items are best for combining. The more zombies you destroy using your creative combos, the more Prestige Points you can earn to level up along the way.


  • Screenshots / Images
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