|MICRO CENTER: COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS|
Bring Out The Dead - Capcom's Dead Rising for XBOX 360
When I heard there was a new zombie-killing game by Capcom for the XBOX 360 called Dead Rising, you know I had to try it out. The idea of a George Romero-esque shopping mall filled to the rafters with the undead is right up my alley.
In Dead Rising, you play Frank West, a photojournalist with a scoop about something going on in the small, fictional town of Willamette, Colorado. You get dropped onto the roof of the mall and tell the helicopter pilot to pick you up in 72 hours.
Your main job at the mall is to capture the drama and gore with your camera. Taking shots of the action and documenting the story gets you Prestige Points based on how the shot was framed, how many people/zombies are in the shot and what kind of subject is captured. You also acquire Prestige Points by killing zombies, completing missions, and rescuing survivors. With these points, you level up which gives you more inventory space, more health and new moves (i.e. kicks, dodges, and the like).
Missions get communicated to you all the time (and there are plenty of them) via a walkie-talkie. You choose which ones to complete and which to ignore. The story is completely open-ended and allows you to finish the game by completing the missions you choose. The main plot (what or who is behind this zombie infestation?) is what you, aka Frank, are after, and by completing the primary missions he will uncover the real story. The other mini-missions range from rescuing survivors to defeating psychopaths and it's all done in pseudo-real-time with an in-game clock so you'll always be multitasking.
Sure, there are guns in this game but the real joy is that the mall is filled with hundreds of items you can use as a weapon such as chairs, plates, cash registers, sledgehammers, potted plants, chainsaws, hockey sticks, golf clubs and guitars... just to name a few. Each item will wear out and be discarded eventually, making you choose another weapon. Some items break apart into other useful weapons, like the mannequin that breaks into a torso and four limbs. You quickly learn which weapons are more useful than others. Hitting a shambling zombie with a chair will only put them down for a few seconds. However, hitting them with a sledgehammer will level them permanently. My favorite is the lawnmower sitting in the park. You can literally mow down the undead and leave large tracts of blood in your wake.
Speaking of blood, there's a great deal of it in the game. You should expect nothing less from a zombie game that is rated 17+ (M). For all the blood, this game doesn't take itself too seriously. There is a healthy amount of good humor to go along with the morbid situation Frank has found himself in. Each living character you encounter is a stereotype pulled out of any number of zombie flicks, and it's your decision to help them out or let them be undead treats.
The save system is a bit hard to get used to. There are only a limited number of save points and if you get overwhelmed by zombies and they chow down, you can either load your saved game (there is only one save file) or start over with your leveled-up version of Frank.
Playing this on an HD-TV really shows off the graphical abilities of the XBOX 360. However, this means that on standard-definition TVs it is hard to read the on-screen text for mission objectives and item descriptions. Capcom has responded to the small text issue, telling their fans that they're working on a fix.
The sheer fun of slicing up a mall full of zombies is enough to make for a great time even without the storyline. Will Frank West make it out alive? Will he find out what's really behind the zombie infestation? Will he win the Pulitzer Prize while he's at it? Pick up a copy of Dead Rising and find out.
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