Capcom made every zombie nerd’s wet dream come true when they released a game where you could use every single item found in a mall to hack, slash, cut and stab your way through an infestation of the dead. The only thing that held back Dead Rising from reaching past the cult status was the Japanese design philosophy. Now the zombies are back in Dead Rising 2 with a new western developer taking a jack, slash, cut and stab at the title.
Dead Rising 2 picks up five years after the first game ended with a new protagonist Chuck Green, who’s looking to score some Zombrex to save his bitten daughter. Zombrex is the so called cure for the disease and costs ten thousand dollars for every dose. The catch? It must be taken every twelve hours or the victim will cross over to the brain eating brigade. The only way Chuck can afford some Zombrex is for him to compete in a game show which has him taking down zombies by any means necessary. He’ll need to last 72 hours in Fortune City while unraveling a conspiracy plot that points to Chuck as the reason for the outbreak in the casino city.
Developer Blue Castle Games seems to understand what made Dead Rising work and design choices made it stuck in the last century. Gone is the need to take pictures to gain PP; now you will gain them just for smacking the zombies around with weapons. To gain more PP, you’ll need to find combo cards that allow you to combine different items in the world to create devastating weapons of mass zombie decimation. Combine a chainsaw with a row boat paddle and you’ll have a double ended chainsaw staff able to chip bones into dust which puts the game over the top. Using PP, Chuck will level up in the same way Frank West did, gaining new abilities and more health. Along with PP, Chuck will need to collect cash to purchase the Zombrex. Cash can either be picked up in the environment or Chuck can participate in mini-games that’ll earn him big cash rewards.
The player will also have the option of restarting the game with your current character level if you miss out on a story mission. Story structure will be the same as in the previous Dead Rising: you will get tasks that involve some type of story or you’ll need to escort a survivor across the world and help them escape, but if you fail or miss the mission marker at the time that it starts you’ll need to start the game over again. This time around though phone calls can be ignored or put on hold while you level yourself up. The entire story takes place over 72 hours inside Fortune city which is a massive resort containing several malls, casinos and environments.
Other staples of Dead Rising will be returning along with a new feature that will bring another Chuck into your game controlled by an online friend. The entire game can be played through with a friend, although they will not be taken into consideration when cut scenes play out. With each person playing as Chuck some might think it’ll be hard to tell them apart, but that’s where one of the neatest features returns. Playing dress up with the hundreds of clothing options available in the unique mall will have players wearing some of the freakiest or downright disturbing combinations. Co-op zombie massacre may be one of the best new additions to the game, let’s hope player progression can be saved and used on the non-host system.
Very little about the story has been revealed except the origin of Chuck and his escapades will be in a paid prequel made using the same engine as Dead Rising 2 available a month before the release date. This prequel will be available exclusively for Xbox 360 through Xbox Live for an unannounced price. Dead Rising 2 will be released on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC on September 28th 2010.