Where’s Daryl Dixon when we need him? We take a look at the survival horror game, Dead Rising 3 exclusively for the Xbox One by Capcom Vancouver where you hack and slash your way through massive zombie hordes.
The original Dead Rising game was something fun, new and worth several runs through. The sequel however was a goofy mix of wacky costumes and weapons and just seemed to take the gravity of the zombie apocalypse out of the picture and focused too much on humour. Dead Rising 3 seems to bridge the gap between the serious and the wacky with some nice next-gen surprises and a unbelievable arsenal of weapons at your fingertips. This game is loaded with enough to keep your attention and then even a return visit to Los Perdidos, even if it isn’t the prettiest of the next generation of gaming.
The campaign drops you off months after the outbreak in the cordoned off city of Los Perdidos. You play as Nick Ramos, a mechanic attempting to escape the city with his fellow survivors. The action picks up right from the get go, running you through the usual intro to the controls. The zombie hordes are large, much larger than I initially expected and thought was possible. There are literally hundreds of hungry, deadly zombies on screen at once, which is quite impressive. The game does suffer occasional frame rate drops though, I imagine from the sheer amount of objects on screen at once.
Need help with the undead? Now you can even use an app called SmartGlass which you can download onto your phone or tablet that acts like a second screen for the game. On the screen, you can see radar as well as call friends into the game if they are online–alternatively, if you need backup and have an AI on standby, you can call them in and they’ll appear to help with the undead horde.
The storyline is far better than the previous two, but it does suffer from what seems to be an excessive amount of “fetch” missions. For example, to gather parts for a plane to escape, you have to help the local mobster collect a girl, or help someone find their family before they will help you. There is a fair number of these and can be very redundant considering usually it requires you to drive across the rather large expanse that is Los Perdidos. Also, there are quite a few escort missions to help someone get to safety which can get irritating when the person you are escorting continuously gets in the way of doors or is standing between you and the undead.
However, in the process of getting to objectives, Capcom has given you 300-plus weapons that are an absolute blast to run through the zombie apocalypse with. Crafting weapons is quite fun as well as you need to find certain parts to make something truly epic; for example if you combine a cement saw and a sledgehammer, you get the Sledgesaw, which can run cause ridiculous damage to the local zombie population. Each custom weapon comes with its own custom special finisher as well. Capcom has also included a co-op mode so you can enjoy the zombie apocalypse with a friend and the ability to drop in on an open game to help out a buddy. The game plays great and other than some of the missions, it can be quite a treat.
Unfortunately, this game is not the most next-gen looking game. At best, it looks like a reasonably brushed up Xbox 360 game. It runs at an upscaled 720p, which in this day and age of 1080p gaming is not quite what it should be. I would love to say that it is beautiful and does the system justice, but it really is mediocre for a system boasting such graphical heavy hitters as Forza 5 and Ryse. While overall it may not be pretty, the amount of moving parts on screen is fairly impressive. Turning down the wrong street and you can run into a zombie horde that would make even Daryl Dixon think twice. There are tons and tons of zombies in nearly every direction, which is fitting considering it is set in a major city. The open-world map is extremely large with lots of opportunities to explore unique areas and none that strike you as feeling like a copy of the area you just left.
The game sounds good enough. Zombies at night can get your blood pumping; you need to move fast as the zombies are more active at night, it does add to the atmosphere when you hear hundreds of zombies moaning and ready to tear you apart with a wrong move. Weapons sound just as deadly as they look and really brings a smile to your face when you fire up a Sledgesaw for the first time. The world around definitely feels and sounds overrun by the undead. The voice acting is done well enough to progress the story and keep you interested in seeing what will happen next to our protagonist. The impressive point that I did note is that every character you encounter is fully voice acted and unique, which adds layers to even the minor character and makes it a little bit more dramatic when you accidentally get them killed.
The controls are nicely done; if you find yourself in trouble, it will display the right button to push to get out of trouble. The camera generally does not lose you and keeps you looking in the right direction which can really help when the action gets intense. Attacking is only a few buttons and is easy to learn, but it’s deep enough that it takes a little bit of time to master. Crafting is nice and simple which comes in handy when being pursued by the horde. When you find parts you need for a special weapon, it only takes a few seconds to craft a monster of a weapon. When it comes to crafting the special vehicles, you just need to stand between the two vehicles and press x and y and presto. Making the controls easy delivers a nice experience, letting you focus on whats going on around you.
Dead Rising 3 may not necessarily deliver in the graphics department in such a way as other next-gen games that have hit in the last month and a half, but the fun factor it delivers in spades with the special weapons and the sheer amount of zombies you can slay evens the playing field a bit. I’d say it’s definitely worth a look, especially for anyone who is fan of the zombie genre.
This review was submitted for publication on the GCE by Michael MacPherson.
+ Awesome weapons
+ Co-op mode
+ Ridiculous amount of zombies
- Missions can be redundant