Wot I Think: Dead Rising 2

By Alec Meer on October 1st, 2010 at 7:52 am.

Capcom’s zombie-bothering sequel Dead Rising 2 arrived on plastic discs earlier this week, and on Steam today. I’ve been making a right old mess of its enormous, infested mall for the last week or so, which leaves me in a position to bother you with a whole bunch of thoughts about it.

I never expected a game about firing water-pistols at zombies whilst wearing a child’s t-shirt and a Blanka hat to be so serious.

Dead Rising 2 is very much taking zombie gaming as far as it can go in pure, raw, dumb action terms: the option to unleash untold varieties of sickening, hilarious and sickeningly hilarious violence onto things that look like people but, crucially, don’t behave like them. That’s what the game’s built on, and that’s why people want to buy it.

It could have been a briefly thrilling but ultimately throwaway playground, akin to strange, hollow PS2 slaughtering title State of Emergency. The first game (which didn’t see PC appearance), did risk that – partially by dint of its gimmick-centric nature, and partially due to shallow and/or frustrating longer-term tasks.

Dead Rising 2 is another zombie-outbreak game set in a sprawling mall, but while superficially an entirely similar prospect, it’s tightened its systems in meaningful ways. It feels focused – there’s a base-level concern for both your character, washed-up and widowed motocross star Chuck Greene, and for the survivors who litter the shopping centre. Not because they’re especially likeable – a great many are thin, obnoxious , in fact- but simply because they’re human, and they’re in peril. Rescuing them is not an aggravating exercise in shepherding, but a co-operative battle to safety through the infinite horde.

They’re not helpless. They fight surprising well, they follow well, and they’ll take the weapons and food (health) you offer them. They’ll also get caught in your crossfire and catch you in theirs, which can lead to bloody betrayal. They’re present and solid yet also vulnerable enough to ensure the game feels like an exercise in genuine survival, not a series of chores.

Serious. It’s in the deadlines, too – a constant backdrop of clearing Chuck’s name of a horrific crime before the law arrives to clear out the infestation and him with it, and to ensure daily supplies of anti-zombification drug Zombrex for his daughter. Bitten by a deadhead before the game begins, she requires oh-so-rare Zombrex between 7 and 8 am every day or she’ll turn, and Chuck’s reason to fight is gone.

The dialogue and performance isn’t quite enough to make any lower lips quiver, but it’s certainly enough to put a true framework around the brutal dicking about. The allotted time to travel hither and thither, twatting growing hordes of zombies with whatever comes to hand, is always in short supply enough to add an atmosphere of desperate survival, but rarely so tight that you can’t take a good few moments to soak up the cartoon savagery.

The root of this is, of course, in the weapons. We’ve posted a bunch of trailers over the months depicting the most ludicrous engines of DIY death, but in practice it’s the slightly more subdued tools that make the fight. Discovering that something ostensibly innocuous – a toy helicopter, for instance – proves a more arresting and even effective tool than something clearly fatal, like a enormous mallet.

It’s the surprise element: clearly a couple of chainsaws strapped to a stick are going to chop everything and anything into something too gruesome to even feed to the dog. It’s sickly entertaining, but it’s not surprising. That a brick to the face is so utterly fatal, or a big green dildo so effective at keeping the hordes at bay, is joyfully unexpected. (Hilarity tip: gather up as many survivors as possible and equip them all with dildos. I curse myself for not having Fraps running then.)

Even the quite obviously ineffectual stuff, like a foam finger or a can of spray paint, is almost more of a delight than a sledge hammer gaffer-taped to an axe. The thrill’s in finding out what happens, what the reaction is and somehow surviving even though all you’ve done is create a slightly bruised zombie covered in green.

That said, the weapon-combination system is a great addition. Part of it’s flagged up, with you gaining recipes for new combos as you level up or uncover secrets, and part of it’s a result of your own what-if experimentation. I wish the latter was an awful lot looser, but instead it’s a relatively small number of prescribed blueprints. Nonetheless, the joy of trying out x with x and suddenly being rewarded with Holy Crap: X! is immense. Sure, there’s a logic breakdown to some of them, but this is scarcely the point.

Which brings me to the wonderful incongruity at Dead Rising 2’s heart. It’s a serious tale of death and familial tragedy, blackmail and betrayal, but it’s starring a guy who you can dress up (depending on which store you’ve most recently raided) in a summer dress or an Elvis catsuit or a hideous p;aid suit or a distressingly tight child’s t-shirt or bottomless chaps. He’ll have oh-so-stern conversations with his various aides and enemies while dressed like someone you’d see slumped in a Camden gutter. No-one mentions it, even as they’re often insulting almost everything else about him. That’s exactly why it’s funny. ‘Did you not notice? Or is it just so strange and sinister that you’ve decided to pretend it’s not there?’

The other truth behind it is that, well, almost everyone in Dead Rising 2 is near-psychotic. A dude in a flannel boob-tube is nothing compared to cannibal chefs, zombie rights maniacs and genocidal TV presenters. It’s a horrible, crazy, deadly world. Why worry about clothes? If the guy feels better when he’s wearing bottom leather chaps, let him wear bottomless leather chaps.

(This is quite obviously not the real reason. I just enjoy applying internal logic to something that’s made the very careful decision not to have any internal logic.)

I’ve had a grand time with Dead Rising 2: it’s not the kind of thing I’d expect to be on PC these days, and it’s all the more agreeably slick/mad for it. Limited options, non-reconfigurable controls and, most of all, the blight of Games For Windows Live are very much not to its credit, but do not undo it. Bar slow loading times, it’s a good-looking and smooth-running game.

What I will single out for a bit of whine are some the boss fights: the game tries hard to break up the everyday zombie abuse with setpiece fights against fast, powerful, much more aware characters. A few too many, especially in the optional missions, are blessed with dramatically overpowered attacks and a resistance to much of your carefully-collected arsenal, but perhaps they’re a sap to what’s otherwise a broadly smoother run than its predecessor.

Levelling Chuck up a bunch (achieved primarily be rescuing surivors and killing the horde with custom weapons) is key, and there are… longer-term ways to ensure his effectiveness is increased, but there are moments where I felt my maniac entertainment was impinged by a bloody-minded designer or a fear of alienating those who felt DR1’s punishing setpiece battles were pitched just right.

And again, some of the dialogue and characterisation grates too, such as Chuck’s fratboy flirtation/lecherousness towards the game’s women and the baseless, sneery evil of many of the still-human villains. It’s far from a classy game, but then it’s a game about punching zombies with nail-covered boxing gloves. Expecting it to be classy would be folly.

What it has done, though, is save itself from what might have been a decline into total mindlessness: it’s a serious game, structured and measured as well as freeform and crazed. It’s almost smarter than it has any right to be. Well done, it.

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124 Comments »

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  1. toaster says:

    GFWL = no go for me.

    Seems like Microsoft is doing everything they can to eradicate the joy in PC gaming.

    • Tei says:

      GFWL is not anwfull in DR2, is just bad, really really bad.

      The process to run here is this:
      – To start a game you need to login.
      – To login you need a accoun
      *create account*
      * try to login*
      – To login you need update #1
      *wait*
      * try to login again, because the GFWL delete all the details, even if you tick “remenber all the details” *
      – To login you need update #2
      *wait*
      * try to login again again, because the GFWL delete all the details, even if you tick “remenber all the details” *

      – To login you need update #5
      * try to login again again again again again again, because the GFWL delete all the details, even if you tick “remenber all the details” *

      GFWL seems to add nothing to the game. Finding coop games may as well not work, because I was unable to find one. This is a game that needs a server browser of any type (even the awnfull Borderlands one) to tell if theres people outside, or you are alone in the world.

      After a few hours playing, no achievement unlocked. This thing is useless to me.

      A message shows: “GFWL has disconected from Steam” (or something similar)
      Exit and enter again.

      Why we can’t login and update outside of the game?, or with the updates don’t… you know, download the next updates?, why the login details are deleted after a update? What is this shit about needing a profile to save my progress in the game?

      I suppose that once your login details are saved somewhere, and is updated, its mostly transparent to you player.

      /rant

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “Transparent” until you try to message people. Or use voice comms. Or transfer your saves to a new OS/computer. Or buy DLC. Or… well, you get the point. The problem with GfWL isn’t really that it’s not transparent enough, but that it’s shit.

    • roryok says:

      @Tei Yup. The exact same thing happened to me when playing Batman. My experiences chronicled here.

      http://roryok.com/blog/index.php/2010/06/26/games-for-windows-is-just-awful/

    • DrGonzo says:

      Or install the crack and never worry about GFWL again.

    • Xellos says:

      @roryok: Are you sure you’re not secretly me? That is almost step for step the exact experience I had trying to play Arkham Asylum – I actually still haven’t started it because my Civ4 redownload finished while I was still fighting with GFWL and I went and played that instead.

  2. no says:

    Dead Rising 2 is exactly Dead Rising 1. Not just in mechanics, but down to the same character with a different name. Mostly the same weapons. Even takes place in a mall. Starts in a security room that looks just like the last one. With a woman watching the monitors in the room, like the last one. While you enter the mall (that looks just like the last one) through a heating duct, just like the last one. And you communicate via a walkie talkie, just like the last one. It’s even orange, just like the last one. And the security room hallway is painted red on the bottom half and white on the top half. Exactly like the last one. And you try to rescue people and solve the clues, even though there’s not enough time to do it. Just like the last one. And the crazy bosses are impossible, just like the last one. And you have to start the game over about 950 times, just like the last one.

    Essentially, Dead Rising 2 is Dead Rising with a number after it and sold for another $60 to suckers who say “ZOMBIES LOL!”.

    • Flameberge says:

      But…. but…. but….. ZOMBIES LOL

    • Akura says:

      How is it exactly the same? I think the co-op and multiplayer are worth some notice, at least.

    • Eamo says:

      Now tell us why Evil Dead 2 is just the same as Evil Dead. Or why FIFA 2010 is just the same as FIFA 2009. Pick your favourite ever game, if you could have the developers make a better game in the same setting or the same game in a different setting which would you choose?

    • Quark says:

      I haven’t played Dead Rising 1, problem solved.

    • psyk says:

      “And you try to rescue people and solve the clues, even though there’s not enough time to do it.”

      Yes there was

    • Dominic White says:

      In fact, there was an achievement in DR1 for saving absolutely everyone in a single playthrough. It required some serious skill, but it was an official challenge set to the players.

    • no says:

      “It’s entirely possible to do it all in one play through”

      Yes, it is. As long as you’ve played through enough times previously to be up to level 20 or so.

      “Exactly how is it the same?”

      In the ways I just described.

      “Now explain how Evil Dead 2 is exactly the same as Evil Dead”

      Look, at least the Romero zombie flicks don’t ALL take place in a fucking mall. And if they did, at least he wouldn’t make the mall look exactly like the same mall as before.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      What, you mean it’s excellent like the first one?

      Seriously, fuck anyone who doesn’t like this game. It’s fantastic, just like the first one was. It’s a proper sequel, ie. they took what was bad and removed it, improved what was good and added a bunch of stuff like co-op. It’s literally perfect with the exception of GFWL.

      Game of the Year.

    • Nick says:

      To be fair the first part of ED2 is a retelling of ED1 with less characters (I heard something about rights for footage but i don’t know if that’s true).

      Anyway, Dead Rising 1 didn’t come out on PC, so I’m sure a large number of people don’t really give a crap.

    • Zinic says:

      Here’s something the DR2 is that DR1 isn’t. On PC.

    • Mister Adequate says:

      The flaw in your argument is that more of the same is exactly what those of us who loved DR1 wanted, it’s exactly what we clamoured for for years, and it’s something we’re overwhelmingly pleased to have gotten.

    • Zogtee says:

      I have only played it for a little bit yet, but so far the game structure is pretty much exactly what it was in the first game. You also still have time restraints and you save your game on the bog, which is going to infuriate all those who complained about it in DE1. I bet they kept that on purpose for that very reason. I know I would have.

      It does seem to be more of the same in a similar setting, which is fine, but I hope they’ve added some new tricks along the way. Chuck is a likable character. I already prefer him to Frank and doubt I’ll miss the photography stuff. I feel like I’m closer behind Chuck’s arse than I was with Frank, though, and would like to pull back the camera a bit. Have they changed this or was it the same in DR1 and I just forgot it

      I seriously considered ignoring the PC version and getting it on the 360 instead, because of GFWL. I took the chance/risk and it works okay, but goddammit, I shouldn’t have to feel that way about buying a new game. Make a proper client or make the fucking thing entirely invisible, but do something about it. Game runs like a champ, though, with no issues whatsoever.

    • Zogtee says:

      I just made my first drill bucket and spiked baseball bat. The drill bucket was fun, but it’s a one-shot item, so it feels like a waste of inventory space. The spiked bat was right brutal, though. I liked that.

      I don’t suppose you can triple-book mini-chainsaws in this one? I hate that weapons are so short-lived.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Dead Rising 1 isn’t on PC ergo it doesn’t exist. There we go, Dead Rising 2 is the first of its kind on any platform that matters.

  3. Flameberge says:

    Hmmmm…. Interesting how you and John have taken entirely different feelings out of the ‘seriousness’ of the game.

    At least we can all agree that zombie death is fun.

    • misterk says:

      mm, seems like it has exactly the same issues that made me hate the original. Oh well. Theres nothng wrong with people having fun, developers!

    • Dominic White says:

      The only people who get frustrated with Dead Rising are the people who try to treat it as a sandbox/playground AND follow the story at the same time. It just doesn’t work like that. You can’t spend most of your time tooling around like a moron and then immediately launch into trying to save the day, because you’ll be underequipped, underlevelled and generally underskilled for the task.

      But at the same time, if you just want to cut loose and do whatever the hell you want, YOU CAN.

      This is something that needs repeating in all caps, because people seem to forget it:

      IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE PLOT AND BOSS BATTLES, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THEM. AT ALL. NOT EVEN SAVING KATEY. GO ON A 72 HOUR DRUNKEN BENDER AND THE GAME WILL NOT JUDGE YOU.

      It’s not a big deal.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      John uses the word ‘should’ in the first paragraph. He wants it to be one thing (presumably a sort of Grand Theft Zombie, which would, I reckon, be sweet), and so treats it being something else as a failing.

    • no says:

      The big problem with Dead Rising is that it’s just “mindless slaughter is fun, but it’s only socially acceptable if we’re doing it to zombies!”. Otherwise, there’s really no “zombie” experience to this game.

      WHen I think of zombies, I think of strategy and hoarding and survival and barricading myself up and being frightened and terrified. All Dead Rising games are is mindless death sandboxes. That’s fine if that’s what you actually want, but let’s not couch it in the idea that “it’s a clever ZOMBIE game”. No, it’s a clever “build a drill bucket and laugh your nuts off for the 8,000th time of doing the same fucking thing”.

      And the zombies in Dead Rising have always been about as menacing as a soft bowel movement.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      Just like the zombies in Dawn Of The Dead, then?

      Have you heard of Dead State? hopefully that will give you your zombie thrills.

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/08/25/a-blood-red-state-dead-state-revealed/

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Fort Zombie is also worth a look for your survival, limited resources, building a stronghold kind of kick in real time – even though it’s pretty badly buggy.

    • misterk says:

      I know you won’t read this, as this was in the past, mister White, but bullshit. Guns are shitter than they should be, the radio blares ever goddamn second, weapons have frustratingly short life span, and there are several elements the game chooses to throw at you regardless- the damn car driving around, psycopaths and commandos, excetera. Oh, and there is no checkpointing and save points are miles apart. Also, I WANTED to follow the plot, but it was just so badly designed, and infuriatingly difficult, that I got put off. So yeah, it became a simple dicking around a bit game, which is not terribly well executed either.

      (note, this is all #1. No idea on #2, obvs)

  4. Collic says:

    GFWL :(. What a shame.

  5. mrmud says:

    Luckily it is possible to reconfigure the controls (if your playing keyboard + mouse) by editing the configuration files (but there is no in game option, shame on you capcom).

    Worse than that though is that it has no support for the Xbox360 wireless controller, the wired one will work but not the wireless. Its apparently possible to get it running by using some sort of an emulator, but its a poor solution as you loose the guide button, force feedback and you cant use both the left and right triggers at the same time (such as aiming and shooting).

    Im really hoping for a patch, but its GFWL so that probably wont happen in the near future.

    • Carra says:

      “non-reconfigurable controls”

      That’s a no buy for me. If I can’t remap my keys to the numpad I can’t play it.

      Using a controller is an alternative but heck, had too much trouble getting those damn things to work recently.

    • Ravenger says:

      Yep, non-reconfigurable controls = no sale. It’s probably the most basic feature required by PC games after changing screen resolution.

    • mrmud says:

      Like I said, It is possible to reconfigure the controls.
      But you have to edit an .ini file to do it.

      Its not great, but it does the job.

    • Steve says:

      Was a pain to setup originally but for steam users its:

      C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\dead rising 2\data\controls\keymap.txt

      For the numpad its KEY_NUMPAD0, KEY_NUMPAD1 etc.

  6. Akura says:

    I picked DR2 up for the 360 the other day, and have yet to play it, however i did quite enjoy the original. Heck, i didn’t even know it was on other platforms then 360, otherwise i might have gotten the PC version. Today i read that there is an “exclusive” dlc coming for the 360 which makes me feel slightly better i guess. It would be interesting to see if there are any differences between the 3 versions.

  7. Premium User Badge

    UW says:

    My only experience of GFWL is with games on Steam which include it, which naturally seems a bit strange.

    However, nothing bad has ever happened to me as a result of using it. I don’t know if I’ve been lucky or it’s something to do with me running it through Steam, but I’ve never had any problems. It surprises me that people will ignore a game completely based solely on GFWL, since it doesn’t even reach a level of mild irritation for me. I just don’t notice it’s there, for better or for worse.

    • Ilinx says:

      UW: I’d say you have been lucky. Very lucky. I swore of GFWL soon after buying Fallout 3. The bloody thing (GFWL) failed to install itself, failed to update the game – which was mandatory – and generally made such a pig’s ear of things that I had to reinstall the game twice and (IIRC) then download the whole lot off Steam AGAIN.

    • beloid says:

      good for you, but GfWL isn’t available in most European countries thus rendering the service completely broken

    • Urael says:

      I had terrible problems getting it to install and run with a game the first time I tried it – Dawn of War 2 – but since then it has actually behaved itself. I still hate it, though, on principle. I still don’t see why I need a client running alongside a game to be able to play the game. If it were optional I’d not care one jot but as I’m forced into it I strongly object and will actively avoid games that include it.

  8. Matzerath says:

    This game is incredibly silly. That’s really all you can say about it. It’s like the grandest of cheesy horror movies, where a dramatic base is in constant battle with profound lunacy. It’s got console game all over it, with the urinal save points that will infuriate, and the difficult boss battles (until you figure out the pattern or what amusing food power-ups completely replenish your health). It’s all about embracing the madness. And GFWL, unfortunately.
    The best part is that even the in-jokes are ticking people off. Paraphrasing from the Steam forum:
    “I got this sweet armor, but after a couple of hits it falls apart and I’m just standing in my underwear.”

    • Dominic White says:

      Even better – the boxers even have a red heart pattern. Authenticity!

  9. Snall says:

    Bosses are actually absurdly easy- it’s just old school game bosses, learn their one time when you CANT hurt them, avoid shooting them at that time, and bring some food and you’re fine. The final overtime boss took me 3x, everything else was easy.

    Also, long loading times? Sometimes LOTS of loading times when you’re going from video to video, but I wouldn’t say long at all. Good game but i’m not sure about the replay value for myself, but I did like the story..

  10. ZIGS says:

    Am I the only one who finds this game mind-numbingly boring?

    • yves torres says:

      nope, I’m with you on this one. Maybe I’m getting too old, but the novelty of beating humanesque beings into a pulp has worn off long ago. I think Carmageddon 2 was the last game in this fashion I enjoyed, and even that I only played casually when I had nothing else to play.

      It’s fun for the first 100 zombies you kill, but after that, it’s just more of the same. I guess if the game’s items were more persistant it would have help. But it just ticks me off that my newly aquired weapon of mass destruction destructs itself after putting the next 10 zombies into a weel chair.

      Not the best 60 bucks I’ve ever spent …

    • Dominic White says:

      You seem to have missed the point of the game. You’re not meant to be there grinding zombies. Try rescuing people instead, and suddenly you have interesting problems like ‘How do you get this doddering old granny safely past 2000 brain-eating monsters?’.

      Zombies just aren’t a threat to a well equipped, agile person. They’re slow, dumb and kinda funny to watch. But the moment you add less prepared people to the mix, it becomes an interesting challenge.

    • yves torres says:

      hmmm, I’ve rescued a few surviviors and have never really had a problem doing so. I understand where you’re coming from but gameplay wise this doesn’t add much salt to this, in my opinion, very bland stew. adding to that, and that’s obviously my own fault, is the fact that I just don’t have the time to play through this multiple times which seems to be a necessity to make it through this game in one piece. I don’t know, I’m just not having a lot of fun playing it, but granted, maybe I’m doing it wrong or it’s just not my kind of game.

  11. Manley Pointer says:

    I’m torn about this game. In many ways, it IS good fun. The difficulty problems are less dire than many reviewers have claimed; part of the challenge of the DR series is blundering around until you discover what the really effective weapons/drinks/items are and put them to use. Once you’ve done that, the bosses are not quite the stumbling blocks that beginners find them (when they attack with only a Baseball Bat and a Snack in their inventory). Overall the game is a pretty smooth ride, and it gets much easier once you put a few levels in (i.e. do other missions and don’t attempt to kill the early bosses until their timers are in the red). It certainly doesn’t deserve to be lumped in among the harder games ever made, or even among the harder games of the last couple years, as some whiners in the gaming press would have you believe. Don’t listen to the commentators who claim that it’s harder to save everyone in DR2; the time limits for collecting all survivors are much more forgiving than in DR1.

    I think DR1 is actually one of the most underrated games for the 360, and it was great fun if you were willing to work with some of the problems. My main problem with DR2 is that it feels almost like an IMITATION of DR1. I’m okay with them reusing animations, special moves, etc. — hell, Baldur’s Gate 2 reuses a ridiculous amount of assets from BG1, and nobody complains about that. But DR2 doesn’t have much ambition. Blue Castle were probably hypersensitive to criticism that they (the new Canadian developers) would fuck up the franchise established by Capcom, so they followed the formula really slavishly. They repeat plot elements from sidequests, some of the boss fights are extremely similar, and the whole thing lacks anything distinctive to set it apart from DR1 (apart from a new setting and a new set of survivors, which are pretty much expansion pack material). They tweaked some things — follower HP, vehicle HP, an indicator for when your followers are within load range of a door — but in terms of mechanics, they didn’t do much that a simple mod couldn’t do. The psychopaths are sometimes more clever than their predecessors from DR1, but it’s distracting that so many of their personalities (and even fighting styles) are partly recycled from that game.

    I can’t agree with the praise for the weapon combo gimmick. Do people really find it that satisfying? DR games feature weapons with extremely low durability, compared to other action/RPGs. You’re going to hunt around for an inordinate amount of time to find parts, enjoy your novelty weapon for a little while, and then it’s going to disappear. Why not just have these unique weapons cached around the game world? (Alternately, why not put in an upgrade system that makes weapons last longer/work better?) Everyone has pretty much figured out that bowie knife + boxing gloves is the best combo anyway. Despite the brokenness of DR1’s system, I actually preferred finding a nice weapon and then triple-booking it to boost durability. In terms of getting you to interact with and inspect the open world, photography was a much stronger gimmick than combo weapons.

    Chuck Greene is more boring than Frank West. Part of West’s reputation as a Beloved Game Character comes from the awkwardness of DR1’s writing, and the whinging quality of the VA’s voice, rather than the developer’s intentions; nevertheless, he does come across as a weird guy. There was something endearing about his childish delight whenever you found a particularly lecherous angle to take a picture (“FAN-tastic!!”) Greene, on the other hand, is an impassive non-character.

  12. Turin Turambar says:

    Bosses (aka Psycopaths in this game) are ruining this game for me. Some of them are pretty hard, if you want to prepare for them (collecting a nice ranged weapon, finding and combining foods in coctels) you will have problems because that needs time and time is a limited resource here, the saving method is frustrating in general and even more with the bosses, and some of them appear automatically without giving you a choice when a cutscene is activated if you enter in a specific zone, it doesn’t matter if you were almost dead and couldn’t save since two hours ago.

  13. Dominic White says:

    The load-times are forgivable, really. There’s something like 8 ‘zones’ in the game, and each is ENORMOUS. Usually encompassing a massive structure, like a whole shopping mall with meticulously detailed interiors, and almost every single object being either interactive or just plain weaponized. The loading can take a while if you’re speeding around on a motorbike, but on foot, it just isn’t an issue at all.

    Can’t say any load has been over 10 seconds for me, either.

    Anyway, DR2 was a huge, pleasant surprise for me. I was a fan of the first game, but my heart sank when I heard that Capcom were outsourcing the sequel. Even worse, a bunch of nobodies with primary experience in baseball sims? I was convinced it would be terrible. An hour of play completely demolished the fears I had, as this IS Dead Rising. The framework of the game is close enough that it almost feels like a remake, rather than a full sequel, and that’s just fine by me.

    But really, the best thing about DR2 (and the series in general) is that is is proper Romero-style zombie horror. The zombies are an unnatural natural disaster. They’re the backdrop and the focus of a lot of screen-time, but they’re not the story. It’s a game about society breaking down and people turning into monsters, and not the shambling undead kind, either. The zombies are slow, dumb, clumsy and easily to avoid, but they WILL kill you if you underestimate them, forget they’re there, or get distracted by one of the hundreds of things available to do. The time limit will push you into finding ways to navigate shoulder-to-shoulder throngs of thousands of them, when you’d much rather just go elsewhere. The framework of the game basically forces you into encounter after encounter, and that’s why it works.

    RPS semi-regular Robert Florence did a brilliant TV review of the first game a while back. It holds about 95% true to the sequel as well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O-K-XL4GZo

    There’s now three save-slots, more regular save rooms (toilets) and slightly better survivor AI, but it’s absolutely the same game at its core. Despite not running on Capcoms in-house engine, it FEELS like it does, which is bizarre and brilliant and a testament to the developers skills. They’ve retained every bizarre quirk and defining element of the first game, but smoothed out the wrinkles. It’s a bloody good sequel.

    And as Alec points out, it’s not a mindless zombie-mashing game. Sure, you can play it as one (the game will continue even if you completely skip the plot missions and let Katey turn undead), but it doesn’t really shine until you have that narrative framework putting you into high-pressure situations, forcing you to really deal with the zombies, rather than just skirt around them.

    As far as I’m concerned, Dead Rising 2 is the best Classic Zombie game ever. Left 4 Dead 2 is the best Fast Zombie game ever. Between the two of them, I don’t need any more games with zombies. They’ve just cornered the market.

    Bloody good stuff.

    • Flaringo says:

      I was going to write a comment saying something intelligent here, but I’m just going to say that I agree with Dominic White

  14. Rinion says:

    Unfortunately, i rented this, played for half an hour, and sent it back.

    The running about felt way too slow, the attacking felt slow, you always dropped your weapon or it broke. THEN when escorting the first survivor, the person gets surrounded by zombies as usually happens with zombies. So I swings my electric guitar, and in order to clear the zombies grouped up on her, i end up unavoidably hitting her. This happens half a dozen times and then she turns on me, failing said escort. Happens twice. I give up. Oh, and time limit.

    I wanted this game to be fun, I was looking forward to it. It’s a shame I didn’t really find it fun at all. Maybe it gets better later, but it didnt make a good impression on me.

  15. Dominic White says:

    Oh yeah – to anyone finding the boss fights too hard, in almost every case, there is *nothing* stopping you from just turning around and leaving, or coming back later – once a psycho appears, they usually stay around for at least the rest of that day. Also, if you’ve gone two hours without saving and walk into a fight with 1hp left, then SAVE MORE OFTEN (there’s almost never more than a minute travel time to a save room) AND HEAL MORE OFTEN. It’s not rocket surgery.

  16. Spacewalk says:

    If you took away the visor and mask, that shot of Chuck in chaps could be the cover of every Manowar album ever.

  17. Jackalope says:

    I thought caring for the daughter would be a chore and hat she would insanely annoying. But she has a pink PSP and plays Megaman on it! That’s just the most adorable thing ever and it melted my cold black heart. So now I’m running around like crazy trying to stock up on as much Zombrex as I can. Damn you Capcom.

    • Dominic White says:

      You can get some pretty huge PP bonuses by bringing her presents, too. Shop around in toy stores.

  18. Bruno says:

    I love the dude in leather holding a lightsaber. This is great.

  19. Wilson says:

    What’s the coop like? I haven’t played the first one, so if this is very similar that doesn’t matter much to me. Also, I assume you’d need two copies to play coop?

    • Mungrul says:

      I’m playing on the PS3, and the co-op’s awesome, although it’s wide open to griefing. Still, if someone comes into your game and starts screwing around, you can always boot them. But it really makes for some hilarious situations when there’s 2 of you goofing around, and it’s great fun trying to guess which inappropriately dressed loon is going to be the star of the next cut-scene :D

  20. Snall says:

    Not to be an ass, though this will totally be an ass post, but I am always surprised by how much gamers suck at games…I mean I know I’m better then most people but still,….gamers should be the elite! Heh…seriously though, why do people suck? This game is about 5x easier then the first one…I guess it just proves all games need difficulty modes to appeal to everyone. Though I imagine some people would play normal, suck, and quit anyway.

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      It isn’t sucking, it’s an unwillingness to play the game the way it wants to be played.

      Now: whether this is down to the stubborness of gamers or the inability of the game to explain itself – I dunno!

      I do like this game though.

    • tomwaitsfornoman says:

      “It isn’t sucking, it’s an unwillingness to play the game the way it wants to be played. ”

      Agreed. This is something I love about console games. There’s no Easy difficulty for Ninja Gaiden or Dead Rising or Mega Man or Metroid or Mario. You play them the way they’re meant to be played or you don’t play. I’m all for making games smarter, but it seems to me like the PC-ification of consoles has led to less challenging games(I’m looking at you Dead Space). Is there a way to make games “smarter” and also keep the serious challenge?

    • Dominic White says:

      The best games are a dialogue between designer and player. Sandbox games often feel like you’ve been given this toybox and can do what you will with it, but there’s nothing trying to interact back with you – the player is the one doing all the talking. Some games feel like you’re just listening, keeping up with a series of challenges the developer has set for you.

      Dead Rising 2 is one of those games that sets up a dialogue. It presents a constant series of avenues of investigation, and the player can react to them as they see fit. The more you ‘play along’, the better it becomes, as it becomes apparent that the whole thing is very tightly structured, but with just enough wiggle room for you to come up with creative solutions to the problems it presents.

    • Heliocentric says:

      I see what you did there, but in truth pc-ifying a game includes adding terrain and probably, hex grids!

  21. Caleb367 says:

    I remember there’s a hacked xlive.dll that shuts off the whole damned GFWL thing, can’t remember where I found it btw… think it was on Fallout Nexus…

    • Caleb367 says:

      Found the xlive thingy i was mentioning before. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post URLs here, so just point yer browsers at Fallout 3 Nexus and search for Games For Windows LIVE Disabler. I’m not 100% percent sure it works with other games than Fallout 3, but worth a shot nonetheless.

  22. Risen says:

    “And again, some of the dialogue and characterisation grates too, such as Chuck’s fratboy flirtation/lecherousness towards the game’s women and the baseless, sneery evil of many of the still-human villains.”

    I think this is because the lead guy on this project is/was japanese. Not sure how much more asian influence is on this, but I found myself thinking on several occasions in cutscenes etc “This reeks of an asian flick/movie mechanism” rather than the vanilla american flavour the “wrongly accused Hero and poor widdle daughter” would suggest.
    Especially the early put-downs by the females and humiliation based dialogue reeks of japanese perception imho.
    But hey, maybe that’s just me.

  23. JC(notDenton) says:

    Alex, it seems you forgot to thoroughly go on about how you can see a closeup of a (barely covered!) woman’s bottom for gratuitous sexploitation, in a situation that’s CLEARLY about serious zombie threats and totally unwarranted other than for a cheap sex-sells thrill.

    Maybe if you make a bigt thing of it, write a lengthy article about it and make sure the publishers see it, too, so that it can get patched out, that’d be swell.

    You are the only one saving us from the rising risk of being exposed to female sexuality in videogames, and nobody else seems to think of the children!

    Bless!

    • Urael says:

      Not one word of that was remotely funny. Was it meant to be? Is this what passes for wit in your corner of the Earth? It actually kind of comes across as offensive and just a bit too personal.

      Unfunny joke needs to die.

    • Nick says:

      That was tiresome, indeed.

    • sle1ve says:

      Ugh. I still remember that whole The Witcher-thing. Not his finest hour.

    • Urael says:

      @sle1ve: Only if you happen to disagree with what he said. Personally, I agreed with him. Even had I disagreed, however, there is no need to stoop to the level of snark written above. That’s just being a jerk.

  24. The_B says:

    It’s interesting how you mention Chuck’s daughter was ‘bitten by a deadhead’ in there, when said deadhead was actually her mother/Chuck’s wife. Saying that, this I only found out from playing the 360 only prequel Case Zero – but I’m not far enough yet into DR2 to know if it comes up again. I’m suprised really this isn’t made a bigger deal of in the game, at least that’s the impression I got from that description.

  25. KillahMate says:

    Games For Windows Live.

  26. Urael says:

    I find it intersting to compare the sentiment express here with John Walker’s in Just Cause 2. JC2 was criticised for not being mad enough while this game, with it’s serious tone but hilarious dress sense, is praised for its restraint. You’d expect this game to be balls-out zany too, judging by the screenshots.

    This sounds like something I’d really enjoy playing. Sadly, I’m really discouraged by GFWL so I won’t be rushing to the shops for it (figuratively speaking). Perhaps when it’s on sale somewhere…

    • Urael says:

      Heh. Just read John’s PC Gamer review. Considering he loves his “Idiot’s playground” gameplay so much, how on Earth has he become associated with Adventure games?

      I sense irony…

    • noobnob says:

      I’m still waiting for a CAPCOM mega pack on Steam, Impulse, whatever.

  27. Saiko Kila says:

    Games for Windows Live. The same Games for Windows Live which deleted all my achievements in Fallout 3? No, thanks.

  28. Miko says:

    I’m finding the time limit really annoying. I want to dick about more, but I can’t bring myself to leave survivors to die or let the little girl turn. But the time limit does need to be there, or the pressure would be off – you could just dick about as much as you like, clearing entire areas of every last zombie and finding every last item, running around making yourself as many powerups and superweapons as you can carry..

    A mod that slows the timer down to, oh, 50-25% would be lovely. Any coders in?

    • Nick says:

      I agree, I would love the time limit to be longer rather than removed.

    • Dude says:

      There’s a trainer that freezes the timer to 07:00 till you unfreeze it. I absolutely plan on using this as well as the infinite health to go dicking about on the next playthrough. And you can bet there will be plenty of those!

      Beware though, the default volume of the game is pretty low, so you have to turn your speakers way up. But the trainer plays this crappy music every time you load it and its volume as a result is insanely high. Wear plugs.

  29. tomwaitsfornoman says:

    “Well done, it.”

    WIT.

  30. Al3xand3r says:

    This is an awful c tier game disguised under lovely production values (read: somewhat shiny visuals, though the presentation often reminds of 90s arcade games so I wouldn’t say it was very expensive, it was outsourced to Canada after all). And people are falling for it. Hurray for Capcom!

    At first you have fun slaughtering zombies and advancing the fairly awful storyline that despite the ridiculousness takes itself seriously and is therefor not funny, but then you realise you’re essentially playing Dynasty Warriors with zombies instead of soldiers and bosses that require level grinding (so you can have more health, carry more weapons and items, make more advanced versions of the weapons, etc) rather than any kind of gameplay know-how you can learn from it.

    The variety of weapons is nice and all but eventually you will stick to a couple and realise they’re all the same within a handful of different categories anyway.

    The sandbox aspect fails due to the limited interactions (kill, kill, kill some more) and how the types of survivor rescues start repeating later on. It also fails wih the way the time limits are handled. Why exactly, if I don’t reach my destination in time, does the game end? Why can’t I still try to survive the remaining days even if I get arrested afterwards, having failed to clear my name? Especially when the time limit is often arbitary. For example, I reached the journalist in the hotel in time after doing a few survivor rescues, but instead of getting a reset to the limit it just kept ticking away while heading to the security room to get some surveilance tapes, as if they would self destruct. I had to load an older save and avoid rescuing survivors at that part, but how was I supposed to know this beforehand? I wasn’t, the game just encourages you to keep restarting for various reasons.

    The second half of the game, the beat ‘em up aspect, also fails because zombie crowds are pushovers from the start and the bosses are just cheap with often 5x your character’s agility (unless you grind to level up more and get a couple of nice dodge moves, or so I hear) for one example.

    The small survival aspect of the game also fails with the abudance of health and weapon items.

    There’s nothing of substance left when you reach the point these flaws become more apparent. Not to mention half the bosses so far are obese, retarded (what the word actually means) people. Wtf?

    It’s also very clunky. Honestly, I’ve tolerated and even loved other clunky games like Capcom’s own Monster Hunter series (hell, some of the fun I have in DR2 is the slight Monster Hunter vibe I get from preparing my weapons and other items needed for my survival prior to a mission), but this one, I don’t know if I’ll even complete it once as the more I play the more frustrating it gets, so it’s the opposite of Monster Hunter where the more you play the more of its good side shows and the better you get at it and feel good about conquering previously impossible challenges thanks to that alone.

    My latest gripe is the cheap twin sword sisters which are a boss encounter in the main story rather than avoidable side mission stuff as the cheap shots have been so far (I did beat a few of those, but skipped the chef and ninja-like role model). I clearly don’t have enough health or weapons with me, yet I also don’t have enough time left to grind more, and the game knows it puts you in this type of situation quite often because at any time it allows you to restart the game while keeping your level and unlocked moves and weapon combos, something I’ve not been wiling to do once so far. This is not good game design people, at least not if your game isn’t called Groundhog Day or something.

    And no folks, the game’s not simply challenging, i don’t need to step up my game, it’s cheap. Grinding more rescues and zombies in order to have a lvl 20 or whatever character by the time you reach this point doesn’t mean you play better and can put those who didn’t grind as much down for their lack of skill or whatever you think the issue “really” is. The game’s just badly designed.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      Just to clarify, I did enjoy it at first, discovering reactions was funny as the “wot I think” explains, I even got a distinct “shawn of the dead” feel while dodging zombies as I run around different areas looking for weapons, and doing a couple more fun things explained above, but these are all novelties that wear off as you make actual progress and get into the meat of the game only to discover it’s rotten to its very core.

    • blunders says:

      Why exactly, if I don’t reach my destination in time, does the game end?

      It doesn’t.

      Why can’t I still try to survive the remaining days even if I get arrested afterwards, having failed to clear my name?

      You can.

    • blunders says:

      And, honestly, I’m not buying the time management complaints. Maybe it’s because I played a lot (a lot) of the first one, but I know how to handle myself just fine. Here’s a tip: At one point you’re given an optional mission to save a woman in a tanning bed. She informs you of a shortcut in the Brand-New-U in Palisades Mall that leads to the restroom in Royal Flush Plaza, which is just a few steps away from the safe room.

      This shortcut is invaluable for several simple reasons: One, the Brand-New-U is right next to the game’s sole gun store, where you can find two shotguns and sniper rifles. Two, the Brand-New-U is also right next to the entrance to the Atlantica Casino, which has a bar in the middle where you can mix two of any same kinds of alcoholic drinks (whiskey+whiskey, vodka+vodka, beer+beer) to create a Painkiller, which restores a significant amount of health and makes you highly immune to damage. Three, the Atlantica’s entrance on the Strip is situated right next to a maintenance room that conveniently houses a bowie knife and a pair of boxing gloves. Combine them to make knife gloves, and use those in conjunction with a painkiller or two to make killing any psychopath a snap. With all of this in mind, you can create a great inventory build that will only take a couple of minutes at most to prepare.

      Dead Rising isn’t a game that rewards frantic time management, it’s a game that rewards the player for exploring and figuring out the lay of the land, and using this knowledge to their advantage as best they can.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      Replying works now so reposting this (mods, if you delete a duplicate, delete the one further below please) to be in the right place:

      You’re right about being able to continue if you fail the main story, I missed the third option after the big “THE TRUTH HAS VANISHED” message and the pop up prompt to reload/restart the game. It’s not much of a saving grace when all that’s left is the grind and the rest of the game’s issues, but it’s nice they at least acknowledged that possibility, complete with a couple of lines of text of how he’ll have to “go away for a while” (from his daughter) when this is all over.

      I never said anything about time management being especially hard or anything of the sort. I just said the time limit was vague. I messed around doing side objectives thinking I have enough time for the story mission (as the game itself told me I have plenty of time left with that slowly depleting gauge), since all it asked of me was to go meet someone, yet after meeting that someone the time limit did not reset and presented another objective to complete with the few seconds I had remaining. Not enough.

      Obviously I could do nothing but reload an older save at that point, and there was no warning prior to that.The same situation with reaching this boss I’m at now, I’m obviously not levelled up enough for it (and it’s a story boss, not a side mission), since I don’t particularly enjoy grinding after having done a fair share of it, yet I also don’t have enough time to level up from my last save even if I did want to go back and grind my way through this “challenge”.

      It has nothing to do with not having played the first game, it’s just bad design.I got the shortcut you mention just earlier. Others may not though, not everyone does every side mission, and if you’re supposed to do them all in order to not miss “invaluable” things, then surely they shouldn’t be side missions. This is like the worst parts of roguelikes put together in a shallow, clunky bralwer.

  31. StingingVelvet says:

    Been playing it since yesterday and it’s better than I thought it would be. The timers seem very relaxed which was my main worry, the only think right now that bothers me is the save points. I really see no reason for save points over quicksaves other than simply wanting to annoy the player.

    The action is good though, and the choice of weapons manic. I love serching for something, anything, to kill zombies with while they close in on me.

    I’ve only fought one “boss” so far and he killed me in seconds, but I know the point is to level up before fighting them.

  32. Lucas says:

    Thank you Al3xand3r for your dissenting and detailed opinion! I read the reviews and watched several gameplay videos but could not bring myself to take any real interest in DR2. I’ll wait for a demo or bargain before jumping on this particular bandwagon.

  33. Vodkarn says:

    My girlfriend did focus testing on this (and thus couldn’t tell me much about it) – but I’d really have liked the first one more if there were two modes to choose from:

    1) Story: Save the people, help your daughter, etc.
    2) Slaughter: Kill zombies in amusing ways.

    Because from what I hear, the security guards are just annoying and stupid, and frankly, I’m here to kill zombies. Not to help grandma or whatever. But some people are there to do that, yet not slaughter zombies wholesale. So why not offer a gamemode for each?

    All we have now are two diametrically opposed ideas forced together. “Killing zombies is fun, but you can only do it for ‘x’ amount of time, then you babysit some NPC’s, or fight humans.”

    • mwoody says:

      I think you misunderstand the game tremendously. If you don’t want to save people, just fight, then YOU CAN DO THAT. The first one had an annoying problem with over-notification – i.e. the game didn’t mind if you did nothing, but this one annoying guy would call your radio frequently to complain about it – but 2 has fixed that.

      Dead Rising is a series about goals you can – and, indeed, MUST, as it’s near impossible to do everything in one playthrough – ignore. If you’re wandering around and you see someone in trouble, help them and they might help you. Otherwise, just enjoy one of the silliest, most amusing co-op sandbox playgrounds this side of Saints Row 2.

  34. Al3xand3r says:

    @blunders, you’re right, I missed the third option after the big “THE TRUTH HAS VANISHED” message and the pop up prompt to reload/restart the story. It’s not much of a saving grace when all that’s left is the grind and the rest of the game’s issues, but it’s nice they at least acknowledged that possibility.

    I never said anything about time management being especially hard or anything of the sort. I just said the time limit was vague. I messed around doing side objectives thinking I have enough time for the story mission (as the game itself told me I have plenty of time left with that depleting gauge), since all it asked of me was to go meet someone, yet after meeting that someone the time limit did not reset and presented another objective to complete with the few seconds I had remaining.

    Obviously I could do nothing but reload an older save at that point, and there was no warning prior to that.The same situation with reaching this boss I’m at now, I’m obviously not levelled up enough for it (and it’s a story boss, not side), since I don’t particularly enjoy grinding after having done a fair share of it, yet I also don’t have enough time to level up from my last save even if I did want to go back and grind my way through this “challenge”.

    It has nothing to do with not having played the first game, it’s just bad design.I got the shortcut you mention just earlier. Others may not though, not everyone does every side mission, and if you’re supposed to do them all in order to not miss “invaluable” things, then surely they shouldn’t be side missions.

    • blunders says:

      I think it does have quite a bit to do with experience, though. I restarted once early on at level 5, shortly after beating Snowflake and her tamer, and haven’t had a problem since then. No more restarts, every mission completed (so far — I’m about halfway through day three). This game is a lot more manageable than the first, even.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      Yes, grinding works, it’s what I said I haven’t done enough of several times, but many people, including myself, don’t like grinding. At least not when the core gameplay mechanic isn’t all that fun and you’re just going through the motions of more zombie batting or more zombie riding over and more survivor rescuing, none of which takes any real skill. The bosses which were an opportunity to present a challenge are instead a “have you grinded enough to have so and so ability and health and items?” affair with predictable patterns outside that aspect. I get it, you like the game and complete every single thing and wish there was more. I’m glad, but I don’t find much value in any of it.

    • blunders says:

      I haven’t been grinding, though. In fact, I try to avoid killing zombies as much as possible, as it’s just a waste of time and the PP you get from doing so, even while using a combo weapon, is negligible. I’m about level 33 now, was around 15 at the boss fight you’re stuck on, and have progressed to this point only through the PP gained from completing missions and rescuing survivors.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      So instead of grinding zombies you grinded PP running from Safehouse A to survivor B and from survivor B to Safehouse A (or to survivor C, D, etc, then to Safehouse A) how is that compelling gameplay and not grinding when so many of the rescues are doing this same pattern, with the occasional “twist” of having to carry the survivor which results in the exact same gameplay since if you do that you don’t really stop to hit zombies in the first place so being unable do changes nothing. I guess I should have also likened it to Pac-Man instead of Dynasty Warriors only, but Pac-Man is more fun.

    • blunders says:

      Yep, here’s the point where I nod slowly and walk away.

    • Psychopomp says:

      That seems the reasonable response, at this point.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      Yes, when you claim you don’t grind because instead of killing zombies for XP (sorry, PP!) you do every single repetitive rescue operation that involves running back and forth between the safehouse and an arrow pointing where to go, it’s best to stay silent then. Since when does grinding have to involve killing alone and not just any repetitive and light on interesting ameplay action? At least if you had stayed silent earlier I wouldn’t have to spell the obvious out like I did in my last couple of comments, sheesh. Call it what you want then if you only consider killing to be a grind, it’s still boring either way.

  35. Tei says:

    Could you stack survivors?

    I managed to find a survivor with a weapon, so I “hired” him to “show him the safehouse”.
    So we walked in the other direction, and I meet a hot deadly journalist. So now I have a hot journalist with a pistol, and a shotgun dude. But for some reason we are not owning the hordes. The hordes are very “sticky”. Is like… there are too much zombies, are slow to “kill” and most still raise again, you are slow, and the survivors are slow, and don’t use weapons enough.

    Near the safehouse theres a vehicle, so my next mission will be to pick 4 survivors, enter the car, and move around with the car, having 4 survivors shuting down the zombs. I doubt the game let you do that.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      It’s possible but won’t work how you want it, most survivors aren’t good at fighting (some are, and there are some items that improve them, a leadership magazine for instance) so you’ll mostly wanna take them back to the safe house for the experience bonuses instead of have them follow you around and lose their health bit by bit, often hitting each other. And if you just run around then they won’t really hit zombies either, they’ll just try to run and follow you, occasionally getting grabbed by zombies requiring your assistance.

    • Dominic White says:

      And on the flipside, I don’t like to go into a Case mission without at least two survivors, equipped with at least handguns, ideally shotguns. While they are fairly passive if you just give the ‘stay close’ order, if you set them to reach a fixed location with aim + command, they’ll defend it pretty effectively one they’re there. Having someone watching your back and keeping the zombies at bay can make all the difference sometimes.

    • mwoody says:

      While I generally take survivors straight to the safehouse, I have discovered that certain more combat-effective NPCs (they have their own personalities and skills, i.e. some won’t fire a gun) become hilariously deadly with a sniper rifle. Tell them to stand behind a counter or some other natural defense point and enjoy the carnage.

      Unfortunately, they have a largely defensive and self-interested AI, so they tend to only deal with relatively close enemies. But they do so with fatal headshots.

  36. Dominic White says:

    Lotta big whiny babies here who can’t seem to cope with the concepts of either time management, or defending/protecting anything.

    Anyway, the PC version of DR2 is the best, for one huge reason. Gibbed, the mad bastard who made modding Red Faction: Guerilla, Mass Effect 2 and Just Cause 2 possible, has already figured out the system that DR2 uses and is currently putting together tools to make modding it even easier.

    The best thing: Changing spawn tables to put items in different places works in online co-op, The game uses the host players spawn-list. Seen some lovely pictures of a pair of players racing down the Platinum Strip in giant American Gladiators style hamster-balls.

    • mwoody says:

      YES. Modding potential was the main reason I went for the PC version (well, that and a 33% price difference), and it’s nice it see that decision vindicated in week 1.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’ve finally given up on the game. It’s not due to time management. It’s due to the fact that racing a motorbike through a tunnel having to jump it onto a train is not fun in this game. It’s a game about surviving a zombie apocalypse, yet I have to do loads of shit 3rd person shooter missions against humans.

      The game is incredibly arcadey, with xp points popping up everywhere, you drink orange juice to refill your health. You and npc’s can’t get infected through being bitten in game, yet in cut-scenes just a scratch turns someone into a zombie. Yet it has this saving mechanic that suggests it’s trying to being a zombie ‘sim’ if you like. It seems like there is probably a great game in there somewhere but they need to figure out what kind of game this is first.

    • Dominic White says:

      “It’s a game about surviving a zombie apocalypse, yet I have to do loads of shit 3rd person shooter missions against humans.”

      Like every single zombie movie ever made worth a damn? People fighting other people is the main cause of death in zombie movies.

    • DrGonzo says:

      No, not like any zombie film I’ve ever seen. They never have an evil mastermind. They have petty squabbling that often leads to all their deaths. THAT I wouldn’t mind.

    • Nick says:

      What zombie movie would those be? The Romero ones the main cause of death is being eaten by zombies, sometimes things are messed up by other humans, self interest and whatnot, but rarely in any zombie movie I have ever seen have humans actively caused each others deaths. Yes a few are shot in Day of the Dead, and of course the first film (SPOILER but you know what I mean).

      Hmm, don’t recall any human on human death in the return of the living dead series either.. unless you count the (SPOLIER) at the end too, but thats not really like fighting humans.

    • Nick says:

      And where I say Day of the Dead I of course mean Dawn of the Dead.

  37. Prolepsis says:

    So true… so very true!

    I’m not sure what I enjoy more, listening to Manowar, or making fun of them.

  38. Deccan says:

    For additional enjoyment, crank Electric Six’s “Rock and Roll Evacuation” over the stereo while you bash zombies, wearing a novelty mask and the most ridiculous clothes you can find (in-game, that is. Or not, whatever rings your bell).

    In fact, the whole first half of “Señor Smoke” is eerily appropriate for a zombie apocalypse.

  39. Down Rodeo says:

    First time I tried to play DoW II it demanded I made an account. Well, I already had an Xbox Live account so I figured I’d join that up. Of course it then told me (since I had bought Xbox Live once or twice) that I did not have permissions to play online, which is true for Xboxes but quite clearly not for PCs. Nothing I could do made it clear to the game that I didn’t have to pay for that. Of course, the solution was to log out then in again, not that the Microsoft website told me. It worries me that that functionality still exists in there, somewhere.

  40. Cynicide says:

    Yes, Dead Rising 2 is exactly like the first game unless you factor in the the weapon construction system, lack of photography mechanic, more generous save system, more capable survivors, different setting, different main character, money as a resource, gambling, the daughter needs zombrex mission, co-op and online multiplayer which allows you to assign winnings to your single player game.

    Oh wait.

  41. Navagon says:

    You can’t reconfigure the controls? Well, that’s me out. Which is a shame as it was sounding great up until that point.

    • Dominic White says:

      As has already been mentioned, you can, but it requires a little INI editing.

      The game plays best with a gamepad anyway. Analogue movement in a game about precisely weaving between zombies is pretty useful.

  42. wrathfirex says:

    So many positive and negative comments for one zombie game. For me who played DR1 some time ago, DR2 is way way better. It is such a refreshing surprise even though it is almost identical to ID1 which I loathed because I prefer games similar to GTA with more time given to me to do many things; I’m a completist. The game is paced quite well this time around and gameplay is very addictive especially the weapons! There must be triple the amount of things you can do!

    To anyone who wants to try this game; be patient! Yes you begin weak but you soon level up when you rescue survivors. You can equip them with weapons and give them food (except for the crazy eccentric ones which of course I WON’T save!). Bosses or Psychos are also tough but with some strategy i.e. bring survivors armed with guns with you OR rush em and use your best melee weapon (no not the normal bat, something more POWERFUL… think wolverine;). Oh and you can mix drinks too besides combining weapons to give you health boosts at certain bars.

    My final advice, play it once early on and explore… have fun and enjoy… Don’t think about the mission or survivors for a while… then restart (or quit with your experience) and play all over. It helps. I didn’t do this, my friend did but I’m still having a blast with this game!

    This game gets my vote for 2nd best game of the year next to SW: Force Unleashed II (hopefully that’s another awesome sequel!)

  43. Mitch says:

    So true, this was a sure buy for me after reading the first part of the article … then I was like :-((( I’m not having that crap on my PC.

  44. JRez says:

    I told GFWL to operate in offline mode a couple years ago and I’ve never had to deal with it one iota since, on any game. Arkham included.

    All I see is a “blip, logged into blah blah” on startup and that’s the end of it.

    (Of course I don’t give a piss about multiplayer so perhaps that’s my advantage.)

  45. Nethlem says:

    I finnaly got a hold of the game, i had been really excited about DR2 on PC because i loved the first one.
    Now i usually don’t read any reviews about games i’m looking forward to, to prevent any spoiling happening…

    And i started the game and realized that you can’t change controls… what kind of BS is that? I game with an ESDF setup instead of an WASD. I can’t play with WASD i’ve been playing with ESDF for over a decade i’m so used to it that my hand will automaticly move to ESDF even during gameplay.

    Yes you can change the controls in an txt file but try doing that when you basicly have to reconfigure the whole layout and not just 1-2 keys. It’s impossible because you can’t make out what all of these commands exactly do.

    Can’t even use my gamepad because it’s no friggin 360 gamepad and right now i’m too pissed to track down an programm to rebind my gamepad to an 360 gamepad when i want to play with mouse+kb anyway….
    This is basicly wasted money for me… and then they wonder why people pirate this shit….

    Fuck you capcom… seriously fuck you.