Dead Rising 2 Author: T_H_Schafer -- Posted: 2010-11-30
So, America's got this infatuation with zombies recently. Well, maybe that interest has been around a while, but zombies are everywhere now, at least in gaming and television. Call of Duty, Red Dead Redemption, Left 4 Dead and a dozen other games promote the slaughter of innumerable waves of brain-hungry scurrying corpses. In a sense, Dead Rising 2 is a back to basics zombie survival affair. It's a lot like the original. You've got a time limit, you've got zombies, you've got survivors, you've got a mall, you've got psychopaths and you've gotta survive. It adds some substantial improvements which make the game more interesting and fun but it doesn't get too far away from the themes of American capitalism present in the first Dead Rising, and more importantly, George A. Romero's work.
First the old stuff in the game. Dead Rising 2, as mentioned above, sticks to the original formula pretty stickily. There are a ton of stores to peruse as you mow down, blow up, chop up, electrocute, etc. etc. those who which wish to nibble on your precious memory blob inside your skull. You can fight off the hordes with everything from swords to purses and from wheelchairs to wheelchairs with batteries duct taped to them (more on this in a second) so as to send many volts of Zeus-juice through the animated corpses loitering in the mall. So the enemies are the same, the time limit is the same, having to escort survivors to a safe house is the same and so is the ability to do whatever you want till the military comes. Even if that means sitting in the bathroom for a couple days like a total coward.
Now for the new. If you choose to follow the story and not hide in the bathroom for a couple days like a total coward, you will be greeted with an all new protagonist and storyline, as all new games should have. Again, it carries the same sorts of themes and weight as Dead Rising / George A. Romero's work. The new location also shines with numerous malls and casinos set in a Vegas esque local. The new mechanic is in the games weapon crafting. You're no longer limited to objects you pick up, this time you've brought a seemingly endless amount of duct tape with you to strap everything together with. Like axes? Like sledge hammers? Yes? Well you'll like them even better when they're all duct taped together and looking like some kind of freak war hammer as it casually obliterates some scalp-sucking, red-eyed monstrosity.
Dead Rising 2 also incorporates some new online modes which definitely up the enjoyment of going about the zombie filled malls and casinos. You can co-op with a friend to slay as you may or win some cash in zombie plus American gladiators mini games. I had a lot of fun with both modes, but the mini games tend to lose their appeal after a while.
Overall I give Dead Rising 2 a favorable score. I recommend it. I'm still playing it and still having fun with it. It still gets a tedious kind of feeling sometimes and the boss fights will make you say all kinds of new cuss words, but that's nothing game breaking. Oh, and on a side note, I had to do some finagling to get my non Xbox controller to work with the game, which is just plain lame. But, to end on a good note, Dead Rising 2 is pretty good.