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Dead Rising Preview for Xbox 360
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Dead Rising 

Preview for Xbox 360

- Chris Pereira, Senior Editor
Sunday, May 28, 2006 

Dead Rising

Xbox 360
Mature (M)

Dead Rising Screenshot Gallery

Dead Rising Screenshot Gallery

Dead Rising Screenshot Gallery

What do umbrellas, park benches, chainsaws, barbells, golf clubs, baseball bats, clothes hangers, plants, propane tanks, cash registers, shotguns and knives all have in common? The last two may have given it away, but if you haven’t managed to guess, then you may be surprised to find out that they are all among the colossal list of useable weapons found in Dead Rising. Nearly anything you come across that hasn’t been permanently latched to the ground or wall is available for use to you in this exciting new action title from Capcom.

As Frank West, professional photojournalist, you’ll begin the game by receiving a tip that leads you to the town of Willamette, Colorado. Upon arriving, Frank will be stranded in a shopping mall – filled with zombies, no less. Combat will obviously take the front stage in Dead Rising, but that doesn’t mean that this is one a one-dimensional beat-‘em-up. In addition to the staggering arrangement of weapons, you’ll have a camera handy which allows you to take photos of the events taking place. And aside from wanting to escape the mall with your own life, there will be other humans who need your help.

When you take a photo, it will receive a rating and be placed into a genre. That is, a picture of people helping one another will go under Drama, while humans fighting off a horde of zombies would be put under Brutality.

The premise of the game is fairly straightforward, but outside of the inclusion of zombies, you’d be hard-pressed to find any similarities between Dead Rising and Capcom’s featured zombie title, Resident Evil. You simply need to survive until a helicopter can arrive to airlift Frank out of this hellhole, which occurs 72 hours after beginning the game. However, the game itself lasts in the range of three to four hours, so the game is heavily reliant on its replay-ability. The mall itself is quite large, sporting around 120 shops from the food court to an antiques store. There will also be roughly 100 NPCs to find and interact with.

While you may choose to simply slaughter countless zombies or to help the other survivors, there is also the path of following the lead that originally led Frank here. Events occur in real time, so you’ll want to play through Dead Rising multiple times so that you can be witness to all of them. The time of day will have a drastic effect on your zombie buddies: during the day they will be slower and less motivated, whereas they are much quicker and stronger when the sun sets.

The NPCs you’ll encounter will often require your help in one way or another. Continuing with the sandbox style of the game, you can decide to ignore them, but doing so may not be the best decision. Depending on the individual, (because we know escaped convicts aren’t the friendliest bunch) they may become hostile towards you for giving them the cold shoulder. Being a good samaritan has its benefits, as helping your fellow anti-zombie compatriots can provide you with new weapons and areas to explore.

During your stay at the mall, you’ll also come across scoops, which are events that require your attention. These scoops will help with your quest to find out why these horrible creatures would dare take over one of the few locations at which you’ll find a Cinnabon.

Scoops will net you ‘prestige points’ which can also be earned by rescuing survivors and fighting zombies. Grab enough points and Frank will level up, giving him access to new skills and increase his hit points, speed, agility and other attributes.

Of course, you will need to keep Frank alive long enough to level up. This is a mall, after all, so there is food to be found which can give your health a slight boost. However, you need to be sure that the food you’re having Frank consume is fresh; otherwise he may be hurt more than helped.

Graphically, Dead Rising is impressive but suffers from some problems. Everything, most specifically the environment, is extremely shiny; while it may sound like a minute detail, it can be fairly distracting. There is also some concern over whether the frame rate can keep up with the furious action, but recent builds of the game have suggested that this has been cleared up.

Dead Rising certainly seems like a title worth keeping an eye on as its release creeps closer and closer. Mixing countless zombies, tons of weapons and a photojournalist, and Capcom may have a hit on their hands. With its clever style and high replay factor, this may be the must have title for the Xbox 360 this summer.

More Reviews for this game: (displayed by authors name)

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