BADGP Reviews: Dead Rising 3

Dead Rising 3 (Capcom Vancouver, Microsoft)

Released: November 22, 2013

December 20, 2013

Isaiah Standridge & Alex Linna

Review   

Dead Rising 3 is a hugely ambitious game. It is a game designed from the ground up to truly make a statement about what is possible with a next gen console. It has taken quite a different route than expected to make that statement, however. Dead Rising 3 possesses a grittier and darker feeling as displayed in the game’s opening moments.  This does not, however, keep it from being ridiculous, over the top, and from exuding campiness.

Dead Rising 3 starts quietly enough. There is a short tutorial that takes place in a rather dark enclosed space with not many zombies. This continues until you exit onto the street and see hundreds of zombies taking up the entire road. This is a breathtaking moment that truly felt “next-gen” to me. There are so many zombies that have to hop from the tops of cars to avoid getting swarmed.  The sheer number of zombies ensures that you are always on edge during every part of the game. At any moment your weapons could break and you will be stuck completely and swarmed by zombies.

Speaking of weapons, wow! The crafting system has seen a significant overhaul in this game. The biggest change is that you no longer need a workbench to combine weapons. Anything you see in the world can be picked up and probably combined with something else lying around. The combinations start pretty simple, but get completely over the top and insane as the game progresses. The weapons were the most enjoyable part of the game for me. There is a true sense of wonder in discovering over 100 different types of weapons. One of my absolute favorites was the “electro-fire staff”. It is created by first combining a car battery with a stop light and then by combining that weapon with a propane tank. The weapon alternates between shooting chain lighting and fire balls. There is nothing like killing almost 600 zombies in less than a minute!

Where Dead Rising faces its biggest hurdle is in its open world. It mostly works well enough. The city is divided into four districts with highway connecting them. There are safe houses scattered around the city where you can instantly spawn 2 of any weapons you have made. There are also car garages scattered around where you can spawn any vehicle you have driven. The game forces the player to drive back and forth between the districts incessantly.  This is a pervasive problem that pads game time and becomes obnoxiously tedious.  There are also optional bosses around the world based off of the 7 deadly sins. I don’t want to spoil any of these, but I highly recommend seeing as many as possible.

The biggest problem for me was the lack of fast travel. It didn’t seem like a big deal at first because you would spend a whole chapter in a single area. But as the game progresses you start to have to travel more and more. It quickly becomes tedious driving across the whole city just to be sent to an entirely different part of the city. They really tried to mitigate this tedium by introducing craftable vehicles. These vehicles are often more armored and have guns on them. But it’s often too far to get the garage to feel like it’s worth it.

The story in Dead Rising 3 is decidedly okay. The voice acting is good and the animation rivals some of the best. But the story is very predictable and does not do anything we haven’t seen from a zombie story. Cliché’s abound. Some of the characters were somewhat interesting and there were some enjoyable connections to previous Dead Rising games that come out of nowhere near the end of the story.

Opinion has been heavily divided on Dead Rising 3’s graphics for months. On one hand, the hundreds of zombies and open world do nothing but wow the player but on the other hand, this game has become something of a rallying cry for PS4 fans that point and laugh at the “Xbox 720p”. Before playing I had heard rumors of inconsistent frame rates and choppy gameplay. Luckily these issues all appeared to be fixed in final build of the game. The game is overall very pleasant to look at. It does look like a very high end Xbox 360 game apart from the hordes of zombies.

Overall I found Dead Rising 3 to be extremely enjoyable. It probably is not worth buying an Xbox One for, but it makes a strong case for the power of the next gen consoles. It probably is one of the most polished an enjoyable launch titles I have ever played though. So while Dead Rising 3 isn’t cause enough alone to buy an Xbox One, there are many games in the near future to instill a great deal of confidence in the system. The future of the Xbox One is bright.  Dead Rising 3 is blast to play through despite the minor shortcoming of running back and forth.  The core gameplay and creative weapons justify at least one play through and tour of Los Perdidos.

Score:

Isaiah: 7.8            Alex:   8.0             BAD: 7.9 out of 10

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