The Xbox 360 has started off strong in its first year of life, with games coming from all sorts of genres becoming very successful on the new console. One game that has had a lot of hype surrounding it ever since the initial unveiling as an action horror title from Capcom, has finally hit store shelves. The game is Dead Rising, and it is by far one of the most bloody, gory, gruesome games that I have ever played. The big question is, does the gore go to making for a fun gaming experience? Read our full review of Dead Rising for the Xbox 360 to find out!
One of the great features of the Xbox 360 is the ability to download demo versions on some of the games that are coming out. Dead Rising is a game (like Fight Night Round 3) that decided to put out a slight taste of what you would get in the full version out on the Xbox Live marketplace before the release. So I, and thousands of other gamers, got the chance to sink our teeth into this game before it was released. It is an interesting marketing idea and in my opinion it worked, because from this demo I became even more excited about the possibilities for Dead Rising. So how did the final product end up?
The story in Dead Rising, which does play a big part in the progression of the game, is actually one that many horror fans will be familiar with. You play as Frank West, a photographer who has been known around the world for covering intense wars, but this time it was going to be different. In fact, Mr. West finds himself in the town of Willamette, Colorado where out of nowhere the town is overrun with zombies. The zombies are literally everywhere in the town, and from there you are going around taking pictures and trying to figure out what is going on, saving people and taking out zombies along the way.
The game has an interesting but somewhat disappointing way of bring the missions together. Basically you are given these cases in which you will have to complete. The style is just not the most enjoyable way to present missions, basically because the whole experience feels a bit forced and not as enjoyable as many of the other styles. Another problem the game has is its save system, which is just plain frustrating. First off, you only get one save per drive, and there are save points only at certain parts of levels, and as I will discuss later this is not the type of game you want that in.
The game itself is just absolutely brilliant on almost every other level. First off, you can use whatever item that you can get your hands on as weapons. Being that you’re in the mall, you can grab a hockey stick from the sports store and inflict some damage on the zombies. Weapons are definitely not a limitation in this game as you can literally use everything in arms length as a weapon. These weapons make for some seriously amazing and gory deaths for the zombies. The combat in the game is very satisfying, and the controls back up the massive horror and action that the game has just flying at you all day.
Although there are some problems in Dead Rising, the overall appeal of this game is just absolutely fantastic. This is one of those games that just throws all these great things at you and just uses the environment to its advantage. I have never seen a game that has used the environment to their advantage as well as Dead Rising does in this game. Not only have that, the pictures that you took throughout the game are scored depending on several different categories. In the end, Dead Rising is not perfect, but it offers such a great experience that it’s hard not to enjoy it.
One of the big reasons why Dead Rising is such a satisfying action horror title is the beautiful work the developers did with the visuals. In fact, the visuals really bring all of these weird and obscure weapons to the forefront, with tons of different ways to use these to take out zombies. The game also manages to keep the zombies looking somewhat varied and interesting throughout the experience, which is another great feature of the game. The game looks solid from start to finish, and if not for a few misses along the way, this would be one of the best looking games on the 360.
I have to say there were a few things that irritated me in regards to Dead Rising, both of which I have discussed already. Those being the save system and the mission structure, with both seemed great on paper but poor on execution. Other than these two things, Dead Rising really manages to accomplish a lot in terms of both gameplay and visuals. And I should also mention the sound, which like in many other horror games plays a vital part in the success and enjoyment of Dead Rising.
Dead Rising is one of those titles that if it sounds appealing to you, you’re going to enjoy this game. Those who don’t like the whole zombie thing, then this game probably won’t change your mind a whole lot. It is really a great thing to see another great action horror title hit the 360, and I think the fans of the genre are going to be all over Dead Rising, as I personally would highly recommend it.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.