Capcom realized that fans of the original Dead Rising want as much zombie apocalypse action as they can get. After all, almost four years have passed since the first game, and the fans are hungry to slaughter another massive horde of the undead. With that in mind, Capcom has released a special download-only game called Dead Rising 2:Case Zero. At only $5, you would think this would be a no-brainer buy for fans, but you may want to hold onto your money just a bit.
Dead Rising 2:Case Zero introduces players to our new hero, Chuck Greene. A motocross racer (who has a look that reminds me of Monster Garage's and Nazi lover Jesse James) is traveling with his daughter, Katey, who had been bitten by her transformed zombie mother. Then, while making a pit stop in the small, deserted-looking town of Still Creek, Chuck's truck is stolen. Surrounded by zombies and with the military only hours away from the city. Chuck needs to find a way out of town before they arrive to clear it of zombies, and perhaps take away his infected daughter.
If you never played the original Dead Rising, first, I'd like to say shame on you and second, you don’t have to worry about how the game plays because it's fairly simple. Killing zombies is the only focus and there are plenty of zombies to kill along with plenty of weapons to use. The tons of weapons that were available made the first Dead Rising game unique and the tradition continues as Dead Rising 2: Case Zero’s arsenal is plentiful, ranging from the traditional to the obscure. Traditional weapons include firearms, knives, swords, bats and the usual things that one would consider deadly. Then come the obscure weapons such as a donkey lamp, a football, a rolled up newspaper, and in a Gambit-wannabe type move, playing cards. Each weapon has its own attributes such as power, speed, durability and reach. You can have multiple weapons on your person, and if he’s completely out of weapons, Chuck can make use of his fists.
Dead Rising 2:Case Zero also gives you a taste of how missions work in Dead Rising 2. Most of the time you will come across survivors who are in need of help and it's up to you to help them or not. Some survivors need help only at certain times so you will always have to factor that in throughout the game. Help the survivors, kill a certain number of zombie or kill them in a particular way and you gain PP, which is essentially XP. Gain enough PP and you level-up, which increases your health, attacks, or other attributes for Chuck.
Along with the wide array of choices present for weaponry are the wide variety of choices for healing items. Pre-packaged snacks, orange juice, and the occasional hot dog are all there for you to consume and increase your health. As you would think, health items are not available everywhere, so don't be afraid to throw trash cans, garbage bags, and boxes around as some healing items may be hidden within. Just like before, you want to make sure that you have a couple on you when running around just in case you get attacked by zombies one too many times.
Carrying weapons and health items in the same inventory slots lead to my first problem with the game. Your weapons break after being used for so long, after which the next item will be equipped automatically. This is great for weapons, but sucks when healing items are thrown into the mix. If you are in a panic fighting off a mob of zombies, you won’t notice until too late that your bat broke and became a jug of orange juice which you are now using in the middle of the fray. Not only have you used an item when you didn’t want to, but you left yourself open for an attack and thus will probably now need a health item. It would have been ideal if weapons and health items were kept separate in order to prevent this.
New to Dead Rising is the combining of weapons and items. Weapons can be combined at specific work benches while healing items are mixed using blenders. In both cases, it's about putting the right combination together to make something awesome. For example, the first weapon you can make is a spiked bat, made by combining a bat with nails. More combinations become available as you experiment or when you level up and receive combo cards that tell you a combination. Healing items should be combined to make them more delicious. Anything that would make Chuck sick should be avoided because that leaves him throwing up all over the place.
What I loved about Dead Rising and its sequel, are the large and varied amounts of zombies. Having hundreds of zombies with several different models present is quite a feat, and they look great. There is plenty of detail in the models and environments with hardly any slowdown, which is impressive considering everything that's going on at once. The music ranges from bluegrass in the gameplay background to heavy metal in the end credits. Since this is just a taste of the bigger game to come, it is hard to make a judgment on it right now.
Dead Rising: Case Zero is only $5 but I am not recommending it to anyone but Dead Rising fans. In all honesty, it is a very nice demo, and yes, your levels do carry over to Dead Rising 2 which is nice. However, at 2 hours to beat and with very limited replayability, there is not much that the game offers. If this had been included with a pre-order for Dead Rising 2, it would have been fantastic. Instead, you should save the five bucks and put it towards pre-ordering the full game instead. Don't get me wrong, the game is fun to play, but event at $5 you kind of expect a somewhat full game, not just a demo.
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