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Dead Rising 2 Review
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I love Zombies.. There I admit it.. I have seen more zombie movie’s than I can shake a stick at as well a fan of Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead series. When Dead Rising was released back in 2006, I immediately picked it up and was a little disappointed. The text was hard to read on a SDTV and its save system was horrendous. I hoped that Dead Rising 2 had learnt it’s lesson.

Set 5 years after the events of Dead Rising, the zombies have spread from Willamette, Colorado throughout the United States and are being used in extreme game shows. Players assume the role of Chuck Greene, a contestant in one of these shows who is looking to earn some money to support his young daughter Katey. After competing in an event for the show, all hell breaks loose and Chuck is blamed. Time is ticking down before the military arrive to clean up and Chuck loses the chance to clear his name.

Anyone that’s ever played the original game will feel right at home here as it plays and feels almost exactly the same. Gone however is Franks photography and replaced by a combine system. This system allows you to take 2 items and a roll of duct tape and make something crazy lethal. For example, taking a boxing glove and bowie knife creates Wolverine style claws that you can use. Each combo weapon gives additional PP (Prestige Points) that is used to level up. You earn Prestige Points by killing zombies, saving survivors or by defeating psychos.

Gone as well is the originals save system. In DR2 you have 3 different save slots to store your progress meaning that you have more leeway in how you want to play the game. You also still have the option when you die of transferring your characters level into a new game giving you an edge next time through.

Graphically the game isn’t a huge improvement upon the original, which isn’t a complaint as the original was very good to look at. Characters are highly details and some of the pyschopaths look very sinister. Soundwise, each weapon sounds good as it carves its way through a zombies body, especially the electric guitar twang.

One of the biggest improvements in Dead Rising comes in the form of improved survivor AI. They now follow better and don’t just run into a zombie blindly. On one playthrough a came across Chad Elchart and his wife Doris outside fending off a horde of zombies. Both came equipped with guns and defended themselves intelligently against attack on the way back to the safehouse. Far better than 98 year old Esther Alwin who will either need to be carried or walks slower than the zombies themselves because she has bunions. I refused to carry her and left her for dead but it was nice to see more variation in survivor logic.

While the game does include the Overtime mode, it still does not include a Freeplay option for people who just want to go in and kill some zombies. You can however go online and jump into someone else’s game for some mayhem if the mood takes you or take part in Terror Is Reality where you can earn money online for your single player character.

In closing, Dead Rising 2 has refined a lot of the aspects that made the original a success and fixed a lot of the problem areas to create a fine piece of zombie entertainment and with the news of DLC featuring the return of Frank West, it could stay in your collection for a long time.

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