Release Date: August 8th, 2006
Platforms: Xbox 360, Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4
Developed by Capcom Production Studio 1
Published by Capcom
Director: Yoshinori Kawano (noted for the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man Legends Series)
Producer: Keiji Inafune (noted for the Mega Man X Series)
The development cycle for this game is interesting. To appeal to the Western market, Capcom decided to develop games where the setting takes place in the West. Also, the company was working on a brand-new engine for the seventh generation called MT Framework. This gave the company the chance to make create new IPs for the upcoming console, the Xbox 360. The biggest influence on Dead Rising was Capcom’s Shadow of Rome, which was melting pot of different genres while having a dramatic story in Ancient Rome. Dead Rising was originally going to be a launch title for the console, but it got delayed to August 8th, 2006.
The game has elements of survival horror, open-world, RPG, and beat’em up in a mall in the remote town of Williamette, Colorado. You play as photojournalist Frank West who has three days to uncover the mystery behind the zombie outbreak in the town. The main mechanic in this game is time. It is constant, and you cannot control it which is where the horror of the game comes from. The comedy of the game comes from the gameplay itself since you can pick up anything in the mall and kill zombies with them and dress up in goofy outfits. The story takes itself seriously, and it does provide some commentary on American culture in a form of the psychopaths, the main story, and some of the survivors. There are psychopaths that are based on gun culture, having a psychopath who is a foil of the player itself, and a lesbian cop that abuses her authority to harass and harm female survivors to name a few. The bonus content is unlocked via getting achievements and some of them are difficult or tedious, but the rewards range from bonus costumes to the Real Mega Buster and Laser Sword. The game is the only one where unconventional items are powerful by themselves (i.e Mannequin Torso, King Salmon, etc.), so you are rewarded for thinking outside the box. You can create mixed drinks by combining certain food items that would heal you and give you a temporary buff; My favorites are Spitfire and Zombait since I could use the former to get an efficient and infinite range attack in the form of spit and the latter to distract the zombies from attacking the survivors. The inventory system is unique in which that you have hold food for health, weapons, and books that give you perks only if you have them in your inventory. As you save survivors, do certain actions, and take photos, you gain Prestige Points (PP) which randomly upgrades a stat or unlock a special move for Frank. CPS 1 did a great job of trying to recreate the Americana atmosphere despite the fact that the development studio was 100% Japanese, especially with the ambient mall music (which is more iconic than the actual OST) and use of colors for certain areas like Wonderland Plaza, Al Fresca Plaza, and the Food Court to contrast the dire situation that the protagonist is in. The game is filled to the brim with detail since this was a tech demo for the engine with real-time reflections on different surfaces, true day and night cycle where the power is even shut off around midnight, and the zombie count on the screen, intricate hit detection, etc.
However, the game has some issues in the form of survivor AI, poor implementation of the special moves, aiming your weapon is awkward, driving physics were terrible, and you manually save your progress(this one was purposely done since the original only had one save file). Of course, you will not succeed on your first playthrough which why the developers encourage you to replay the story with your current stats or even disregarding the story in the first place. The one thing I have to praise this game for is its design, you can tell they went above and beyond to pace missions in similar locales, rewarding players for their knowledge and figuring out unique ways to approach certain battles(I guess you can count this as a puzzle game, but that is a far stretch). It is possible to get everything done in one run, it is nerve-wrecking, but it is such a rewarding experience once you get it. Also, this game took full advantage of its time mechanic by having a mission that spans through the three days, two survivors that are mutually exclusive based on how far you got on the story, and a mission where the amount of people are saved based on when you get to the mission. While the game has its problems, it shines in other areas that the player does not notice since most players would only do a single playthrough. This is a game that is meant to be played multiple times since the game itself is only 6-8 hours.
Edited last time by nandandor on 08/10/2020 (Mon) 02:38:52.