Dead Rising Review
When a game comes with a stamp on its cover emphatically stating that it is not based on something else it usually means that it is. Even though Dead Rising claims to be in no way, shape, or form anything like Dawn of the Dead, it is basically Dawn of the Dead. How exactly is a story about a small band of human survivors fending off hordes of zombies while holed up in a shopping mall not like Dawn of the Dead? Oh those wacky lawyers… Well I say that it’s about time we had the chance to play a game not based on Dawn of the Dead because killing thousands of zombies while rescuing your fellow survivors is a lot of fun.
In Dawn of the Dead, er, I mean Dead Rising, you play as Frank West, a daring freelance photojournalist known for his work in war zones and other dangerous places. When the military begins closing off the small town of Willamette, Colorado, Frank hires a helicopter pilot to get him into the middle of town so that he can find out what is going on … and take pictures of it. He gets more than he bargained for when he finds that the town has been overrun by zombies and that the town’s survivors have barricaded themselves into the local shopping mall.
The zombies have numbers on their side, but luckily for you they all do the “zombie shuffle” and if you’re careful you can dodge or outrun most of them. But who plays a zombie game to dodge zombies? Dead Rising gives you an amazing number of ways to kill them too. Sure you’ll find the occasional firearm, but most of the time you’ll have to improvise. You can grab the cash register out of a store and pound a zombie with it. Then you can pick up a planter and toss it at another. You can even knock the arm off of a zombie and then use it to finish him off. Stop hitting yourself! The entire mall is one big weapons store for you and you’ll love finding new ways to kill zombies as you play.
Dead Rising is not just about killing; it’s about survival too. You’ll find other people trying to survive the zombie onslaught as you explore the mall and you’ll need to help them when you can. Some will join you and fight while others will simply follow you and depend on you to fend off the zombies. Your ultimate goal is to safely lead them back to the mall’s security office where you can drop them off to wait out the crisis in safety. The other survivors can be issued follow and goto orders, and for the most part they do a pretty good job of following them. They don’t always make the best decisions when attacking the zombies and sometimes wander off, but for the most part you won’t have to do too much babysitting while trying to save their lives. I do wish the other survivors were a little smarter about staying away from large packs of zombies though…