Dead Rising review
Not The Game For Me

The good:

  • As you would expect, it's a survival game and they're always quite interesting to begin with.
  • The use of the camera is a good feature, as you can take a screenshot of something at any time.
  • The multiple story options are good. It's always good to play a game with versatility.
  • Multiple boss fights.
  • Always good fun to just go into the centre of the mall and mess up some zombies!
  • A long 72 hour (game time) story mode with twists and turns.
  • A nice variety of costumes to choose from.
  • Some good skills to learn, to take out your zombie enemies.
  • A wide variety of weapons to choose from, including a lot of scenery in the game.

The bad:

  • The saving system is dumb. A next generation console game, and you can only have one saved file? A bit stupid if you ask me.
  • Although the game was released over 2 years back, the graphics aren't too good for an Xbox 360 game in my opinion.
  • Repetition is a major bad for me here. You'll find yourself doing the same thing over and over again, even in psychopath fights.
  • The zombies are ridiculously stupid and slow, but all of a sudden when they grab a hold of you, they're really powerful and fast?
  • When rescuing survivors, they do their very worst to try and stay alive. Even if you give them a weapon, they won't do much to defend themselves.


In this game, you are a photojournalist named Frank West who has recently heard the news about a zombie outbreak in the city of Willamette. His friend, Ed DeLuca drops him off at the helipad on top of the mall via helicopter, and tells him he will be back in 3 days (72 hours) to pick him up. Before they get there, you get to take some photos with Frank's camera as they take their journey in the helicopter. Below, you see a massive amount of zombies on the streets, but you are unclear on what is happening (when I say you, I mean Frank because it's really obvious to you when playing the game). After you arrive at the shopping mall, Ed drops you off and leaves. This is when you bump into Carlito (one person you will bump into a lot throughout the game) and you have a little chat with him. It's unclear as to what he is talking about as it's just the beginning of the game, but it'll soon be cleared up. You get off the roof and head downstairs to the security unit room (the room that is your main save point) and find that there is no one there. So you continue your trip downstairs into the main mall. You find that there are a heap of survivors in the mall, who have bombarded the front doors from zombies (there are about 10 times the amount of zombies to survivors at the front door at this time). As you make your way down, you will see all of the survivors, and one old man at the back who seems crazy when he harasses you. One of the elderly women survivors is panicking over the disappearance of her dog, and she begins to get hysterical. After seeing her dog on the opposite end of the doors where the zombies were, she immediately tries to open to door. She happens to open the doors (the idiot!) and that is the start of the zombie outburst in the mall. You'll then find yourself attacking zombies to keep yourself alive after the majority of the survivors in that section of the mall are dying. Brad (one of the main survivors) calls for you, and you make your way up the stairs and back to the security room, where they seal the door shut. This is the beginning of your survival in the shopping mall!

The gameplay is good at times. It's certainly very enjoyable when you first purchase or play the game. You will find yourself fighting thousands of zombies everywhere you go in the mall, and you'll be thinking "this is awesome!" But it's not that awesome as you continue onwards. I'd say you would enjoy the first 4 hours of gameplay, depending on how successful you are doing in primary and side missions. It's fun to fight some psychopaths at the beginning, as it gives you a bit of a change from just fighting zombies constantly. And you can find yourself helping out people around the mall who haven't been infected and bringing them back to your store unit with Brad, Otis and Jessica. There are heaps of survivors spread around the mall, but the tough part is helping them out and returning them to your unit, because they have to go back to your base with you to save themselves, and they start off with no weapon unless you find one for them. The game is quite fun, don't get me wrong. It's always nice to go and disembowel some zombies and kick the ass of some psychopaths throughout the mall! The gameplay would remind you somewhat of Dawn Of The Dead at times - well, it certainly did for me.

You can argue that the game is over two years old, but I still think the graphics are a little disappointing for a next generation console game. To me, at times it looks like I'm playing the PS2 or the Xbox when I play Dead Rising. The main characters like Frank, Brad, Jessica, Isabella and Carlito have been done well, but the zombies don't look very good. It's the same with the cars in the parking lot section of the mall - they just don't look anything like cars at all. They're too box-shaped or something for me. Even when driving the cars, it doesn't feel realistic. But I suppose the game isn't really about driving vehicles, but more about killing zombies and surviving. Here is an image of your main character, Frank West:

As you can see for yourself, the graphics are done well on him. But the graphics on any main character have to be good in a game. It's definitely a key feature. But the likes of this screenshot would be a poorly done graphic in my eyes:

From the above image, you can notice how poorly done the zombies are. The main characters look well, but the repetitive zombies don't look so good for me.

One Easter Egg I've come across on the game is one where you take a photograph of the underskirt of Jessica, and you will get an 'erotica' result. But if you take a photograph of one of the heavy survivors named Natalie, you get a 'horror' result. I find that quite funny to be honest, but I don't really go searching for Easter Eggs on games, so it's probably best you take a look at this video to see for yourself. It's the only other Easter Egg I've seen on youtube, so there mustn't be many on the game:


As you can tell from the above list, there are a lot of tracks on the game. Most of them being fight scenes, and most of which I don't even recall. There is another song that has been taken from the Wikipedia list, and that's "Gone Guru" by Lifeseeker, which is the best track on the game in my opinion. You will hear this song when you go to the middle of the mall where all of the trees are outside, when the three dudes arrive on the car with the gun. The best song on the game, for the worst scene in the game. Typical! Anyway, the song was taken from the Wikipedia page for license agreement.

The controls are pretty simple - X to attack, analogs to move, LT to have a look at your camera, RT to aim your gun/weapon and A to jump. You don't really need any time to master the buttons on the game. The only difficulty is when you unlock some new skills to throw zombies, disembowel them, lift them and whatnot. It takes a while to figure out how to do these moves, but you can always press start and look at your 'Stats' to figure them out.

I don't think the game has great lasting value. You're running around a mall killing thousands of zombies - you gotta expect it to be repetitive. It's a fun game for a while, but after the fun decreases, it just gets annoying at times. The psychopaths will probably keep you interested for a while, as well as the multiple story choices, but once you've done it all there is nothing else to do. An online mode for this game would do it some justice, but unfortunately there isn't one. The game would be very cheap now, so it's not like you'll be paying much for this game to be honest.

It's already been stated that there will be a Dead Rising 2, and there has been a trailer and everything. Here it is if you'd like to check it out:

It certainly looks like it has taken an improvement from number 1. You are a different character in this one, and there are better graphics and weaponry judging from that short video.

The most annoying bug about the game is the fact that there is only one save file for you. So if you want to play a multiple story, you might want to use a memory card and your hard drive. This sucks because you could easily get the two mixed up and that's never fun. Also, when you die it asks you if you want to 'Save and Quit'. Do NOT save it. This will make you start the game again with your stats from before. It's something so silly to see on the Xbox 360, but it's something that is so annoying about this game. I'm not really sure if there were any others. I had trouble with getting the Megaman Buster gun at first because I defeated the amount of zombies I had to, but it worked out alright as I got the gun after I completed the game.

Dead Rising is a fun game for a few hours. It isn't the type of game you're going to play every day, there's no doubt about that. It's the sort of game you'd have first off and play it for about 3 hours, then knock it off. Turn it on again tomorrow, play it for 2, knock it off. Then the next day for 1, and so on. After a while you won't find yourself playing it for a few weeks probably - certainly the case for me anyway. Although that said, it is a fun game when you just want to mess about and kill some zombies with random weapons, and it kills time at least.

I'm not sure if I would recommend this to you. I have a different opinion on the game to most who have played it. Most people that I've spoke to who have played it really enjoyed the game, so it's probably a bit unfair if I said you shouldn't buy it, as it's only my opinion at the end of the day. Considering how cheap the game would be now, I'd probably give it a go. Worst case scenario is, you don't like the game but you've only spent a little bit of money instead of purchasing it at full price when it first came out. And if you're not interested in buying it, you could probably rent it or check out a demo if you are at all interested.

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