Post Game Wrap Up! Dead Rising 3!
I’ve learned something about Capcom over the past little while. As I mentioned in my previous PGWU, I took a small break from Xenoblade to focus on getting some things out for review purposes, and if I’m honest, I don’t like to binge play a game, I rather like playing a game or two at a time. Plus, Destiny came out. I have no shame in admitting that is taking up time. But I also got hold of another Capcom release on PC during that time, and I wanted to talk about it for a bit, and why Dead Rising 3 made me angry.
Dead Rising 3 is the newest release in the Dead Rising series, that places players in a sandbox filled with zombies, allowing them to fight off the horde using whatever weapons and items you can find, and more recently custom making your own tools of destruction. It was originally announced as a Xbox One exclusive, but Capcom isn’t the most faithful of developers, as Nintendo will tell you. Hell Microsoft should have known better, as this very series has flip-flopped between exclusivity and on whatever system will have it. Now, it’s come to the PC in the Apocalypse edition, which comes with all the DLC in tow, at a reduced price of $49.99. That’s pretty standard fare for PC ports of games, which is ultimately what this boils down to.
In Dead Rising 3, you play as Nick Ramos, a mechanic who finds himself trapped in the city of Los Perdidos as a zombie outbreak happens. The city is under quarantine, and the military is set to vaporize it with high powered weaponry in a week’s time. Nick makes it his mission to get out of the city with the few survivors he’s run into. Nick, as opposed to the other series protagonists Frank and Chuck, is more friendly to people he meets and is more interested in helping them than himself. It’s a nice change of pace, but the game never really does anything with it, he just happens to be nicer than the others. I suspect he’s written that way for a reason, but due to spoilers, I’m not really open to discussing it now. Outside of that, he’s not really an interesting character. The characters and the story are kind of the weak part of Dead Rising 3, while on the subject. Most characters are a cliché, falling in line with zombie movie tropes, and the story as a whole equally follows suit, right down to the DLC chapters. The only exception being the SUPER ULTRA ARCADE REMIX HYPER EDITION EX + alpha, which is the only fun and interesting DLC pack in the entire bundle, because it tugs on retro heart strings and turns the insanity of it all to 11. Honestly, that one DLC is kind of better than the entire game itself. And while I’m talking about story, I have issues with the villains. Like everything else Capcom writes, villains takes the large and grandiose idea of unleashing a zombie horde to do something evil, when a hit man or a mad scientist could usually get it done without anywhere near the same kind of mess, clean up, or chances of failure. It’s a silly trend in Capcom writing, at least in their horror genre. I’m waiting for them to do with Street Fighter.
(Seriously though, this should have been a standalone. It’s awesome)
Dead Rising 3, as mentioned before is a sandbox game, and the developers have gone to great lengths to highlight the sheer size of the horde on screen at any given time. To give them credit, it is something of a technical wonder, highlighting what the new generation of consoles are capable of. The game only loads once when you first load it too, and never really seems to suffer from slowdown as you play, which in a sandbox of this size, is very cool from a technical perspective. However, it doesn’t stay impressive for long. They may as well not exist when you are far away, as short of random survivors you can save for experience, they do nothing but stand around looking dumbfounded. I know they are zombies, so I’m not expecting hyper intelligent A.I, but it would be nice for them do something while not trying to chase you down. The game itself is also bigger than DR 1 or 2, and as such gives a greater emphasis on vehicles. You can combine vehicles together, just like weapons, but they aren’t necessary at any given time. Vehicles are only good for transportation, and they handle poorly at the best of times, so I would never bother with them except to get from district to district. I had hoped the series would continue to employ shortcuts to teleport from area to area, but they took them out entirely, making vehicles the only option. And because you’re not able to take the direct routes because reasons, your left taking the scenic zombie covered bridges, and it won’t take long for driving through a horde of zombies to become tedious and boring.
While on the subject of questionable game play, Nick can fashion weapons on the fly as long as he is carrying them. You need the combo’s blueprint to do this, but every time you find a blueprint, your either given the item to use right away or the items needed are laying right beside the blueprint to let you make it on the spot. This isn’t bad in theory, as due to the game’s size, hunting for items to take them back to safe room to make them could get a little aggravating. What really irks me about this is the locker system. There is one for vehicles and for weapons, and every time to pick up, use an item, or make a combo item, a copy of it gets stored in the locker. You can go to any safe house and withdraw multiple copies of it, for free. Best part of all, it refills automatically with no input from you, so once you make an item, you can just wait a while, stockpile 4 awesome combo guns or weapons, and use them to decimate hordes of zombies and the bosses the game gives you. You can even get weapons that are combo’s of combos this way. It makes it insultingly easy to handle any real challenge, and I found myself breezing through this game with no problems.
Speaking of difficulty, that’s also changed too. Normally in a Dead Rising game, there is a day/ night system, and the game passively goes forward in time, even if you’re not ready for it. It’s possible to miss story important missions/ bosses/ civilians to save this way. It’s hard sure, but Dead Rising carries your characters progress forward in-between attempts, making it possible after a few tries. Dead Rising 3 changes this by offering two game modes. There is nightmare mode, which operates just like above, and you can only save in port a potties and safe houses, and enemies hit harder and are stronger. There is also the Story mode, which allows players to take their time. Days do not progress on their own anymore, mission timers are so long it’s virtually impossible to fail them, and enemies are weaker. They call it story mode for players who want to appreciate the story, but as mentioned, the story is so weak you can really just call it easy mode, as no one is playing it to enjoy the story. I can understand changing certain things to make the game easier to play in some small ways, but I’ve never liked adding a easy mode, especially when it takes away from the game’s driving concept. If there is no time limit, there is no pressure, and no tension. Fortunately, you can just choose to play on Nightmare mode right out of the gate, so I suppose at least its optional. I also found the game to be boring visually. Perhaps I was just spoiled by the Vegas setting of DR2, but Los Perdidos is just grey and bland. Some areas seem colorful, but compared to Vegas? Sorry, the game’s got nothing compared to DR2. If your playing the PC version, you absolutely need a controller of some kind, as the PC keyboard controls are horrendous and there is no way to change them.
(Granted, dressing as a lucha and jumping into a horde of zombies to pile-drive one of them is still cool.)
After completing the game, I felt a little ripped off. To me, Dead Rising 3 is the worst kind of continuation to a popular franchise, as it doesn’t really do anything new or interesting with the concept. It really feels to me like the series peaked at Dead Rising 2, which is weird considering I only played it for a weekend when it first came out. When the 360 came out, the game I wanted to play, and the reason I bought a system, odd enough, was Dead Rising, and when I found out Dead Rising 3 was “exclusive” to Xbox One, I was a little tempted to pick up the system so I could play it. Thank god I didn’t, as I would have felt ripped off. It’s not that Dead Rising 3 is a bad game, it just doesn’t do anything of real note, with the exception of the SUPER ULTRA DLC. Had that been a standalone experience, like off the record was for DR2, that would be worth picking up. It kind of only really exists as a tech demo, and once the novelty of that wears off, your left with a game that didn’t really do much to update the formula. If you’re looking for a Dead Rising experience, I recommend 2, because you get everything you get in 3, on a smaller scale admittedly, but you get it for $19.99, on whatever platform you wish. Dead Rising 3 just isn’t worth it on its own, and at best might be a rental experience. I’m going back to Xenoblade now, or Destiny. I need to feel better.
Seriously, this needs to be a stand alone. Capcom, make it happen