Frank West is a pretty cool dude. He’s an investigative journalist who gets things done. When he ends up on an assignment where there just so happen to be zombies, he doesn’t run. He gets in there and keeps reporting on what’s happening, all while cobbling together the best and weirdest weapons and getting incredible footage of every atrocity. Capcom’s Dead Rising 4 E3 demo continued that balancing act of business and pleasure. Zombie-killing being the pleasure, of course.
As I stepped into Frank’s shoes again, I found myself taking on the exact sort of mission he’d sign up for. It was called, “Find the lost patrol.” A squad of soldiers had gone missing in a fire station. Given what’s happening in the Williamette area, this isn’t the most encouraging thing. People who disappear? Well, they’re probably dead. I headed out.
That meant grabbing all kinds of weapons. There were so many available even in this early build of Dead Rising 4 . I had a bat with barbed-wire around it, of course. You can’t have one of these games without it. Also, fire. Fire is absolutely your friend. Not zombies’ friends. The undead hate it. But grab a flamethrower in Dead Rising 4 , and you’re in for a good time. Upon clearing zombies from the fire station, I found the soldiers. They were hanging on the wall. After getting a photo, part of the task, Frank went to see who could have done this.
That’s when he found one of the best parts of the Dead Rising 4 demo. Basically, Frank’s getting power armor. It’s called an Exo Suit, and it’s a mechanized armor he can climb into. It has a power suit and, when worn, increases his strength and durability. It also means he can use new weapons. Like a car. Once I got into the street, I could make Frank grab a car, pick it up, and throw it at zombies. In the full game, you’ll even be able to customize the armor. Like Fallout 4 ‘s power armor, the Exo Suit can only last for so long on a charge.
It was then that I saw who was responsible for the earlier atrocity. It was time for a boss fight against a man who also happened to know the joy that comes from having a flamethrower. Except he was trying to use it against me. We can’t have that. Since I had the Exo Armor, it wasn’t such a big deal. Even though he was in his own armored suit, he was no match for my grit and determination.
It was all very creative, but still focused on Frank. He’s a Dead Rising icon, and even the E3 demo recognized that. Capcom didn’t just throw us into a map where we could play around with the old and new weapons and Exo Suit. The company could have. Instead, it actually gave us a mission where Frank had to do what he does best, expose the truth while happening to kick some butt along the way. It was heartening to see even this first example of gameplay stay true to the series.
For a game that was only just officially revealed this week, Dead Rising 4 did a lot of things right at E3. It brought back a character we love, taking him to a larger version of a memorable place. It gave us a substantial map to explore, filled with lots of zombies. There were all sorts of weapons to experiment with, as well as a new Exo Suit to test out. Most importantly, it saluted the series’ roots by making Frank do what he does best: expose the truth. It was detailed in a way you don’t expect from such an early product, which was quite refreshing.