Dead Rising 2 – A Soggy Stump or a Good Meat Beater?! | Gamerillaz

Dead Rising 2 – A Soggy Stump or a Good Meat Beater?!

Dead Rising 2 – A Soggy Stump or a Good Meat Beater?!
 

Ah yes, Vegas – the home of games, whores, gamblers and now zombies! Is there anything it doesn’t have? Dead Rising 2 is set in this wonderful dust bowl paradise city of sin and sensuality, it leads on from Dead Rising where the journalist Frank West survived the zombie filled town of ‘Willamette’ to spread the truth about the walking bags of shit. Then we had the prequel demo of Case Zero to slot in nicely between them like a hot dog in a bun, oops pardon! So strap on your chainsaw and load up that shotgun cos its time to paint the town in zombie coloured blood and guts… again.

Any who played Case Zero will know some of what to expect in terms of game play and the basic story line. You are Chuck Green, an ex-motor cross legend who has just escaped certain death with his young daughter Katy, only to be stranded in a Shitville town full of zombies with the military on route to flatten the place, escape is the only way to survive… Jump forward a few years into Dead Rising 2 and we meet Chuck in Fortune City where he is now scraping together money to buy ‘Zombrex’ for his daughter Katy who is always just a day away from becoming a midget meat sack with teeth. Chucks wife has previously been zombified and was the one who bit the kid, thanks Mom! We can only presume that Chucky put a bullet in his wife’s skull soon after that… marital bliss eh. Our Hero earns money for this drug by taking part in the ‘Terror is Reality’ (TIR) TV game show that uses zombies as cannon fodder for a variety of competitions. All is going reasonably well for a few years but then something happens, the zombies escape and infest all of Fortune City.

Chuck is framed as being the one who liberated the living dead and now has to prove his innocence before the military arrive and pop a cap in his ass, this gives us our main timeline story to follow through. Life is never easy though and Chucky also has to find some zombrex for his brat every twenty four hours, plus he has to deal with a range of crazy nut bag psychos and try to rescue snivelling survivors… then of course there’s the small matter of millions of zombies everywhere. It sucks to be Chuck but its great fun for us!

It would be rude not to compare DR2 to DR1, and although there are allot of similarities there are also some fundamental changes. You can still use just about anything as a weapon but now you can combine items to create the ultimate zombie destruction device. Lash some petrol into a squirt gun and you have a portable BBQ pistol, or stick some nails into a gas cylinder to make a nail bomb and one of my favourites – combine a flash light and some gems – you get a light sabre, yeah! Cool or what! There are lots of mix and matches to try out and as you progress you can earn new weapon combo cards by completing tasks or by successfully combining items. This is a great idea and allot of fun, adding freshness to the usual zombie massacre! There are also way more vehicles scattered around, from motorbikes and cars to wheelchairs and dumpsters, all make for great zombie mincers when accessed with the added bonus of modding items for extra carnage, chainsaw on the bike and the electric wheel chair come to mind.

Food can be found all over the place and now is for more than just eating. Make some Jack Daniels petrol bombs or mess with the blender to recreate the smoothies we all know and love or just squirt some ketchup all over a zombie for some Dawn of the Dead style humour. Drink too much booze or eat any dodgy burgers, you will barf and barf and barf… sounds funny eh! Try fighting one of the psychos when ya can’t stop spewing all over the place – that will wipe the smile off your face pretty quick, Grrr! The ‘level up’ books are also scattered around but this time many of the bonuses learned in them require you to keep it in your inventory taking up a precious slot, which kinda sucks dead nuts! Just some of the perks include increased combat efficiency, extra PP points or making survivors better at fighting but none are mandatory and rarely make any massive difference. Usually I don’t bother with them at all, maybe just a quick flick if it’s one of those ‘special’ types… know what I mean?!

Missions in general are… OK and are allocated to you in much the same way as the origonal game, the annoying phone rings, usually when your in the middle of a zombie munching at you crotch. When you do answer the call you get the spec and the time allocated to complete it in. Your watch and mission menue are all easily accessable and well laid out. The directions to the task location come in the form of a pointer arrow, perhaps a GTA style nav system would have been better here but it does the trick I guess. Missions usually involve rescuing a survivor, running an errand or fighting a boss. All this is mostly enjoyable but the ‘wow’ factor seems to be missing and it just feels a lil bit repetitive, which I didn’t mind too much because it is still a lot of fun just to play in this environment.

There are multiple endings depending on what tasks you decide to follow or let pass… and of course the true ending will be revealed if you successfully complete all given story based missions. If you decide you couldn’t be arsed saving people or clearing your name and you are quite content to let Katy turn into a mini zombie, then you can! Continue to commit genocide on the dead or just mess about until the heavies arrive… then you die. There is no overtime mode after you complete the game and this is your best opportunity to get achievements and the like. That said, an overtime mode would have been better and is sorely missed in my opinion. Alternatively, follow all story paths and there is much more to see after Uncle Sam arrives, including some advanced zombies!

It is possible to do all objectives in one play through without too much frustration and some good time management, which is not something that you could really say about DR1. The return of the bat shit crazy psycho is stronger than ever and there are plenty to take on in DR2. Nut Jobs are generally humorous with some great cut scenes before and after the scrapping part. Each one can be taken down with a method or a good powerful combo weapon but most will require at least a second attempt.

Story mode bosses on the other hand are more of a pain in the ass and range from the reasonably difficult to the ‘throw your controller at the TV’ frustratingly difficulty. The last two battles in particular are not enjoyable and require allot of patience, they are the most frustrating boss fights in this game, I would like to tell you more about them but I don’t want to give away any spoilers so let’s just say they suck wrinkly boobs!! Before any boss encounter it is a good idea to stock up on some high level foods and smoothies, these head bangers may be dip shit crazy but they are usually tough enough to beat, so keep that in mind and save your game before hand!!

The survivor AI is way better than before and they are much easier to keep alive. Survivors can even be really helpful against zombies if you give them a weapon. They can watch your back while you gamble away your money or while you’re talking to other new members, just don’t bring them into boss fights, chances are they will die or just get in your way. Some of them are super sexy even if they are made of pixels, makes you wish that Chuck had an extra ‘Shag’ button!

Try not to dish out too much friendly fire while trying to save them from a pack of zombies or they will defect and perhaps turn on you, which is very annoying but over all they are a massive improvement over the retards in the first game! Something that did piss me off though was the conversations with survivors, it is all done through subtitles and it feels lazy. I thought that shit was left behind in the 90’s or reserved for Wii games, WTF Capcom?? Arg!

What of the meat headed, bags of shit, blood covered brainless walking dead heads I hear you ask… well they are just fine, thanks for asking. The variety of zombie is very good, from cops to strippers all look terrifyingly great as they moan and meander about, get too close and you are easily lunged upon and have to escape quickly before you become lunch. Some advanced zombies appear later on in the story and they are faster and tougher to kill, they are a real pain in the ass. But all zombies are basically annoying obstacles to get in your way and soon lose any ‘scary’ element that the living dead might usually have and are more of a pathetic comic relief than a terrifying adversary.

The shops and general level design is well constructed and the bright colours of Fortune City make it all very addictive on the eyes, although it must be said that it’s not all that ‘Vegas’ like, it could be any casino/entertainment based environment with a shopping mall built around it. Lots of fake branding and real life brands are scattered around the place, (mmm – Playboy) some rather humorous and are worth stopping for a quick look or just to graffiti them with a spray can, (hint) try the zombrex posters in particular! The casinos are a great place to find many mini games to earn cash or you could just wreck the joint and take the money that way. Try some bucking bronco, poker, running ball or just put on lots of different clothes, there is loads to investigate and mess around with. You will be exploring long after the actual story is finished.

Most of the game mechanics are the same as DR1, same level up system, same inventory setup but the actual responsiveness of the controls makes Chuck far less trouble than Frankie was to move about the place. Also the aiming setup has changed and works a bit better than previously. You also level by gaining ‘PP’ points just as before. This unlocks new inventory slots, health slots, fighting moves and sometimes weapon combo cards. Points are gained from just about everything with some greater bonuses for killing creatively and saving people, pretty much the same setup as before. Probably the most welcome change is the addition of several save slots, meaning you can fall back on saves when things go tits up or you just want to mess about without affecting your main game progression.

There is now also the co-op element which is nice but it is a missed opportunity to have done something really great. The guest player is also Chuck Green, which is a bit lame, and the guest can earn money and pp points but his game progress isn’t valid, basically just a hired hand. That said it is good fun just to join up and see who can do the most ridiculous atrocities against the dead head zombies and it is a good laugh.

That is not the only multi player aspect thankfully… There is a competitive mode where you and three other players get to slug it out on the show ‘Terror Is Reality’ which involves a series of clever mini games, most involving new and interesting ways of turning zombies into puree. Basically it’s a gladiator arena filled with zombies, genius eh! This is great fun and the mini games tend to vary quite well from match to match but in time they will all become too familiar and boring, unless more are added in the future. There is some DLC coming for DR2 which will involve better Co-op play allowing Chuck and Frank West (from DR1) to team up for some zombie splatting and it is possible that other DLC announcements will follow. If so then this makes owning Dead Rising 2 even more attractive.

This quirky humoured franchise is less about horror and more about tongue n cheek narrative smothered in critical analysis of American culture, almost to the point of blatantly taking the piss… But it has zombies, so that’s ok then! Love em or hate em, zombies are here to stay and are ingrained into our pop culture, especially games! This is an obsession that many can’t get enough of while others can’t stand it, personally I love the smell of a zombie BBQ in the morning and as a result I thoroughly enjoyed Dead Rising 2, flaws and all. It’s fair to say that if you didn’t like the original Dead Rising then this is not going to be your cup of blood and eyeballs. But if you are like me and love to chop off some zombie balls, impale some dead chicks and drink lots of booze in the process then this is the game for you. A good old meat beater!!

Looks good, enjoyable story line, good hack and slash stress relief – Buy it, Love it!!

 

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