• Public Enemy once rapped “Don’t believe the hype” and Dead Rising is certainly a game which has been receiving a lot of hype. Filling the front pages of many an editorial for a number of different reasons.

    Is Dead Rising the Xbox 360’s first “Killer App”? (Like what I did there?) Well I was one of the lucky guys to get my hands on a limited edition version. Limited edition I here you say? Well limited because it comes in a silver box and has an extra map in the box, and on the back is states A MALL FULL OF ZOMBIES!!! How could I refuse advertising like that?

    Well let me clear up a couple of things before we begin Dead Rising is not Land of the Dead. No No NO! There may be a mall full of zombies and you are a reporter that drops in from a helicopter, but it’s not because Capcom say so and who I am to argue?

    Dead Rising

    The next thing I noticed was the great big fat BBFC 18 rating on the back. That’s right an 18! That means if I was working in a generic computer game store and you came up to me with a squeaky high pitch voice trying to buy the game, I would have to ask you for some proof of ID and then I would shout OI YOU NO!! The game has an 18 rating on it which means it is for ADULTS! That means if you are 12 and have been bought the game by a relative and then your parents come in and ask what you are playing, they can’t be outraged.

    Dead Rising has been awarded that rating which means just for once we get the uncut version. Well done BBFC and err thank you Harry Enfield for allowing me to use one of your many personas for my little rant.

    Now I have stepped off my little soap box I can continue with the review. From the outset this game screams next generation. The cuts scenes are simply fantastic, and the voice acting is great. The city is beautifully created, and the opening entrance scenez, as you come in via the helicopter is incredibly emotive.

    I really don’t want to say too much about the storyline as I don’t want to spoil it for the player, but Capcom are the kings of the Zombie game. I have to admit (rather controversially) that I was never a fan of the Resident Evil games. I can appreciate what they did for the genre, but I felt limited by the movement (or the lack of) and I also thought the camera angles of RE 4 was rather intrusive, so I did have some initial reservations about the game, but they soon proved to be without foundation.

    One of the great things about Capcom games, are that usually you are given free rain to do what you want (known as “Sandbox Games”) however rather controversially Capcom have also given you a very linear storyline which you can follow. From when you jump out of the helicopter you are given 72 hours to make sure you are back at the helipad.

    There are a number of people you will meet along the away ranging from people who are plot devices to move the storyline along to people who are survivors that you have to rescue and take back to a safe place. Usually a security room, and once rescued, you receive a number of points. Every time your character levels up, you receive extra help, fighting moves or other special abilities which help you in your quest.

    Some of the people you meet will make you laugh, other people you will want to protect and other people you will think ahh what the hell! Let the zombies eat them! I have just touched on something I find quite amazing in a game, empathy. The game will put you in situations where you will meet people who you will genuinely give a damn about. Some people are brave, others are cowards, and there are those who are just scared. You can call to people and they will follow you, or you may find that you have to hold a female character by the hand and lead them to safety, or I found myself carrying another character on my back. I found these little touches incredibly moving and gave the game some extra depth.

    Now to move on to the bit you all want to know. Killing Zombies. I have never played a game that has a more creative variety of ways to kill Zombies (and the occasional civilian if you miss!) There are so many fun ways to kill zombies. There are chainsaws, baseball bats, sledgehammers, guns and of course lawnmowers, but then there are some very very funny way to kill zombies. I went to the toilet and picked up a bucket and mop. I hit a zombie on the head with the bucket, the bucket was then stuck on the Zombies head and I impaled him with the mop.

    There is also death by clothes hanger as well as plates, and then there are some non lethal weapons, like foam bullets and batons. Essentially whilst in the mall you can go into any shop and find something and use it. As well as weapons you can change your clothes, as well as eat food, or mix ingredients to make better drinks, as well as read books to increase your skills.

    The other feature of the game is to take pictures, because after all you are a journalist, and depending on the situation you will receive points for the most outlandish pictures you take. You will also meet a rival journalist who will try and get better pictures than you.

    Now I appear to be running out of superlatives, I should mention the down side of the game. I find the practice of limiting where you can save incredibly annoying. Also if you save in one place you always overwrite your last game which is a nightmare. Also don’t do what I did last night, which was to die, and save your game. Because if you do, then you will be restarting the whole game again.

    This game is difficult, and you will find that you will have to replay large amounts of the game again and again to get past certain parts. The only other question mark is about how long it will be before you get tired of killing zombies, but then again it never did Grand Theft Auto any harm.

    I have to say that I am having so much fun playing this game, as it is completely different to any other Xbox 360 titles out there. The sheer amount of characters you get on the screen at anyone time is amazing, and this is why this game is special. It appeals to a number of our different emotions, and the game can leave you on a real high, as well as making you genuinely gutted if you have lost a survivor.

    Score: 9/10

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