Dead Rising 3 Review

Deadly Playground

Another zombie apocalyptic game rises through the ashes of the dead and tries to take the living world by surprise. Dead Rising 3 gets its first new look and next gen appearance exclusively on the Xbox One. Third in the series published by Microsoft Studios and developed by Capcom Vancouver, Dead Rising 3 brings together an assortment of fun and compelling storyline that will return fans from the dead and lure in fresh meat to the game.

This year has been filled with countless games thriving on the survival horror genre especially with the concept of zombies in the mix. Dead Rising 3 separates itself from all the other games with its witty horror humour and over the top action, combining weapons and skills together to create a unique gaming experience.

“Dead Rising 3 separates itself from all the other games with its witty horror humour and over the top action.”

As one of the first launch games on the Xbox One, there are a lot of expectations to see what the next gen console produce and what can wow factors that can be produced. Dead Rising 3 doesn’t fail to surprise players from the beginning to the end with an endless horde of zombies to plow through with a variety of weapons to dismember them with. The first noticeable feature players will notice when first playing Dead Rising 3 is the crisp detailed graphics and lighting to create a horrific experience that is unparalleled. The other is the no loading screens and being able to see hundreds and hundreds of zombies in a crowd rushing towards you without any lag or drop of frame rates.

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Added Dead Experience

The tiny little things add up in Dead Rising 3 when you have a large open world action horror with endless amounts of weapons to pick up straight off the ground and be able to create your own personal inventory of zombie killing weapons! The experience is never ending and there are so many things to do and enjoy in the Dead Rising 3 world as you go explore every little part of the game. Adding to the inventory of weaponry is the introduction of vehicle combination as it seems fitting as you are able to traverse around a much larger map than its predecessor. Vehicles are deadly fun as each has their own unique weaponry and durability. A favourite vehicle to combine and to ride around is the “Rollerhawg” which combines a Bike and a Steam Roller that creates a fast monstrous vehicle that spews out flames to burn zombies to a crisp.

With additional features to make Dead Rising 3 such a unique experience with voice commands from the Kinect to lure and attract zombies towards you, giving and pointing commands to AI allies and the use of the Xbox One Smartglass companion app. The Smartglass companion app through the tablet or smartphone allows exclusive in-game missions and access to special armaments such as the Air Strike or Gun strike. During our play through, the Xbox One Smartglass companion app for Dead Rising sometimes refused to work and would just be stuck on the home screen via the smartphone. Whether this had something to do with the connection or data transfer from the app to the console, we are not sure but there would be times where it did work and mission calls coming through the app would be seamlessly played back through to the game.

A Dead Story from the case of Dead Rising

Dead Rising 3 continues on 10 years after the events from Dead Rising 2 and takes place in a fictional city called Los Perdidos, California. You play as main protagonist Nick Ramos who is a local mechanic who appears to be wimpy and tries to be a hero. The first scene is played out really well as you see how well the game pushes itself to produce the most out of the new Force Engine to create a cinematic action feel. Nick tries to find a way out of the city as Los Perdidos is completely overrun by the undead and you can simply see it as you try to run back to a safe zone but seeing hundreds of zombies walking shoulder to shoulder and not allowing you any room to manoeuvre! This gives players the feeling of awe and shock as to what to expect throughout the city as there won’t be anywhere safe to go with hundreds of zombies walking about. Unfortunately the opening sequence is the only cliff-hanger experience throughout the game that really pits you against a really well placed action scenario that makes you really navigate through the environment to avoid all the zombies.

The flow of the story comes along really slow and there isn’t much too really push the story along since the main character, Nick Ramos lacks personality and any strong impressions. Throughout the main story missions, players will only be left running around trying to find people, parts and items that help them escape the city in a plane that is untouched by zombies whom are swarming the whole city. Side characters don’t even leave an impression, one moment you meet them and the next they’re gone and you’re left alone to your own accord. There will be a tattooed girl you do a favour for. She will be forgotten the moment you complete the mission and you wonder what was the point in it. Surprise surprise you get the option to rescue her very late in game only to add her to your group of survivors. Even mini bosses, the Psychopaths are less frightening and psychotic that isn’t even humorous in Dead Rising horror slap-stick humour. Sometimes you wonder what you are doing as you run around from objective to objective as little bits of the story starts coming together towards the end of the game.

“the feeling of awe and shock as to what to expect throughout the city as there won’t be anywhere safe to go with hundreds of zombies walking about.”

By the time the story really picks up past the half-way point of the game, you probably have already figured out the story as that you are a special unique human who is immune to the infection when you try to find Zombrex to cure a zombie bite wound. Lacking any suspenseful scenes to show the impending doom of not finding any Zombrex shots, players find out that Nick is immune and any wounds are completely healed. The biggest giveaway to the story is the focus screen shots on Nick’s neck of a numerical tattoo which nags at players, what does that number mean? Play the game and you will find out!

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GAME CHANGER!

Changing the pace of its original mechanic on playing through the story racing against time, Dead Rising 3 this time around allows a more casual approach allowing you to enjoy everything it has to offer. There is still a timer but it is incredibly slowed down compared to its previous title and is needed to take in everything happening around you as that you will be caught up chopping and exploding hordes of zombies with combo weapons. The varieties of missions given to you, as you receive them via a walkie talkie which an unknown man tells you to go to certain areas to investigate. Many of the missions are simple and easy to complete as most will compile both going to point A and clearing the space of zombies to move onto the next objective or collecting certain items for characters to fulfill the mission. The Psycho Missions are highlighted on the maps as red skulls indicating players that it is a mini boss fight where in the previous series you are welcomed to unwelcome psycho fights when you are not equipped and battle ready.

Mission guides and objectives are simpler and easier to complete in the next installment and fans of the previous Dead Rising titles will feel a little disappointed at how easy and unchallenging it has gotten. Besides the easiness, there are still lots of fun and chaos to be wrecked upon the city of Los Perdidos with collectibles and blueprints that are scattered around the map to be scavenged. Creating combo weapons has been made easier where you can easily create them on the spot after acquiring the right items. Unlike in DR2 where you can mix and match the items to create the desired combo weapon, in DR3 you have to go out and find the blueprint for the weapon to be able to create it. Some combo weapons that are much more powerful than standard combo weapons are called Super Combo weapons and have a variation upgrades to the initial weapon. Such weapons like the Grim Reaper can be upgraded to its final version the Ultimate Grim Reaper. These weapons are more durable and more powerful hence the names and are crazy fun to use with each having their unique animation and skills.

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With new features and a rehashed leveling perk system for Nick Ramos, players going through the game for the first time will spend some time thinking about what skills to invest into. The leveling system gives players a sense of control over what they want to have their character build first early in the game. At later levels, you’ll be so over powered with all the blueprints discovered that leveling is just a gimmick to keep you playing and stay attentive to acquiring those attribute points to add to your stats.

Gone now are those annoying, unmoving survivors that you come across in your ventures to escape. Unlike in Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2, every survivor you save either make their own escape by themselves or decide to join you as a survivor posse that fight beside you. This makes life so much easier and you don’t have to worry about survivors following you to a safe zone to be truly saved but this does take away the difficult challenge in picking and choosing your paths to save everyone. Survivor members that do join and decide to fight beside you all each have their own unique stats that determine what they are good at and what they’re bad at. Players can choose up to 5 members to run around to wreck maximum zombie havoc who are able to weld most combo weapons you make. This doesn’t really add much as that you alone with all the super combo weapons in your inventory can wipe out a whole horde of zombies more effectively then a  5 man group armed to the teeth.

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The Dead can make Sounds

Nothing is like a game without any audio soundtrack. Dead Rising 3 lacks a strong soundtrack or even a noticeable one where all you hear most of the time is gunfire, explosion or the sounds of slicing. Even during cutscenes, the soundtrack is so lowly used that you don’t even notice it especially when there is a large soundtrack to the game. The only moment when you really get in the mood is when you hear a familiar theme that really rocks out the inner zombie survival instincts. Again this happens to be at the end of the game in the Overtime mode which isn’t too hard to unlock. Voice acting is as solid as it gets with only strong voices reserved to the stronger characters such as Rhonda, Gary and Red who captures your attention on screen. Nick Ramos gives off a wimpy personality that tries to be a hero and make due despite him being the main protagonist.

All other sounds are pretty generic from firearms, explosions and melee weapons which sound like they have been reused from Dead Rising 2. Zombies can’t do much since they just growl in hunger and make gasping noises trying to catch you.

The Overall Dead Experience

For a game that lacks a strong story and characters that leave a disturbing horrific impression like its previous titles, Dead Rising 3 really rises up to be a fantastic game which is horrifically surprising for its repetitive objectives and zombie slaughtering. For what it lacks in the story it compensates for its pure adrenaline zombie killing on a scale that has never been seen. No loading screens and a HUGE number of zombies on screen all scrambling towards you never gets boring. Especially with the Kinect feature that making certain noises and commands to lure zombies toward you is fun and exciting. Sometimes it back fires on you when you want to be quiet.

A large arsenal of weaponry to keep you busy with and finding your own favourite zombie weapon is something that will keep you going for hours. Even the end game blueprint to create the “Massive Bomb” is menacing when used. It will literally blow you away…. Along with every zombie in the vicinity. It takes a hardcore fan to really go out of their way to really create every combo weapon available and there are a total of 101 combo weapons which also reward you with the “Duct Tape Master” achievement.

For those who want a challenge can really tackle the “Nightmare Mode” which goes back to its traditional race against time mechanic from the original game but there is no real satisfaction or reward for completing every single mission. In Nightmare Mode, zombies inflict more damage, you can only save at safe zones and have a limited supply to spawn items at the weapon locker.

Unfortunately, during launch week the online Co-Op mode was having severe issues where players can’t connect to a game or when did, only a small number of zombies appeared on screen if not the host. Even so, Dead Rising 3 is a zombie buster of a game that will keep you reeled in creating your ultimate zombie slaying weapon and experimenting with a hundred more combo weapons! It pushes the next gen console to give a stunning detailed graphical game with gore and fun!

Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Platforms: Xbox One (Reviewed), PC

Founder and Creator of Respawn Ninja. News Editor and covers shooter esports such as Call of Duty, CSGO and Rainbow Six Siege.

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