Title: Dead Rising 4
The Christmas holiday season and the end of 2016 quickly flew by! While many stars left us last year, at least Frank West is back for more in Dead Rising 4 baby. Set 16 years after the events of the original Dead Rising, Frank West makes his return to Willamette, Colorado. Here, a deadly new outbreak of zombies has overrun the area and it’s up to Frank to uncover the truth behind it all. In this latest and last Xbox Exclusive of 2016, you’ll find yourself battling secret military operators and a whole new breed of deadly zombies. Is this holiday season gore fest worth your time and money? Well, yes… and no.
The original Dead Rising released back in August of 2006 and… it was quite a bit of fun. In the event you didn’t know, a live action version of Dead Rising can be seen on Crackle. Most of what was done in the original Dead Rising hadn’t really been done before. For instance, the ability to have hundreds of zombies on screen at one time was new. I vividly remember being able to drive through the tunnels under the mall and run down what seemed to be an endless horde of the undead. As a huge fan of the George Romero zombie films, this was an absolute blast. It was almost if I was in Dawn of the Dead myself. So, when I finally got into Dead Rising 4, I was happy to see pretty much the same game that I remembered so fondly from its first release. However, that also ended up eventually being part of the turn-off.
This time around, Dead Rising has cast a new Frank West with Victor Nosslo. While the casting news did ruffle the feathers of some die-hard fans, the choice was made because a more “more grizzled, older take on Frank” was wanted. This casting choice works just fine and Frank’s humorous dialogue throughout is one of the high points of the game. I was happy to see Frank West return for a new installment along with the festive makeup of Willamette.
Dead Rising 4 essentially follows in the same footsteps as its predecessor, minus a few changes. After just a few hours, I thought to myself, “I’ve done all this before.” Not to mention, despite the classification of a survival horror, there’s little horror or tension that ever truly grips you, as opposed to something like Resident Evil. While the word “zombie” is generally attributed to the horror genre, Dead Rising 4 is more of an open world hack n slash action game than it is anything “Horror.” I feel like the ones who will get the most out of Dead Rising 4 are the new generation of gamers and ones that like to create gaming content for YouTube.
I am happy to say that the countdown timer for completing cases has been removed. I found that to be one of the most frustrating aspects of the original title and often the reason I threw my controller. The aggression of the zombies also no longer changes on a day/night cycle. Instead, some zombies are “fresh.” These fun guys are much more in the vein of your World War Z style zombie. A multiplayer feature is also available which is separate from the main story. This new multiplayer mode gives the co-op a competitive style play. While you are working with your teammates to complete objectives, you’ll receive a score based on how you do.
Aside from that, everything else is pretty much the same. Solve the cases, battle some bosses, kill endless amounts of zombie with ridiculous weapons and you’re done. Don’t get me wrong… you’ll certainly have some fun. For me, though, it was short lived and ultimately Dead Rising 4 came up short of my expectations. That being said, there are plenty of collectibles, hidden rooms to find and areas to explore. If you’re a completionist, you can easily log over 20 + hours in the main game alone searching for everything.
The graphics in Dead Rising 4 remain solid, complimented with some impressive detail. Plenty of zombies can again fill your screen and be blasted to a million pieces or run over with all types of contraptions. However, I did find some clipping issues here and there coupled with occasional frame rate drops. On one occasion I found myself trying to kill a zombie that was half embedded in a wall, which took me a good minute to maneuver myself properly to kill it. This was a zombie that I just so happened to have to kill in order to release the survivor I was trying to save.
Do I think Dead Rising 4 is worth your time? Yes, but you shouldn’t be paying full price for it. Currently, on the Xbox Store and Amazon, the game is going for around $40. If you have a crew of friends waiting for you to join and you have some extra Christmas cash you’re looking to burn, then give it a go. If you’re returning to the franchise, then personally I’d wait until the game hits half price.
Have you played Dead Rising 4? If so, what did you think? Were you digging the electrified, Thor-like hammer you could make? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
- Gameplay: Over the top zombie killing remains a staple of the franchise.
- Graphics: Some clipping, frame rate issues but plenty of zombies and great detail
- Sound: Amusing dialogue all around, Victor Nosslo does great taking over as Frank West
- Presentation: Ridiculous weapons, crazy contraptions and plenty of zombies.
- Countdown timer removed
- Plenty to explore
- Crazy weapons
- Repetitive formula
- Clipping zombies can hinder mission progress