August 9, 2012

Dead Rising 2 (Day 1)

It was a toss up between starting L.A. Noir and Dead Rising 2, but then I saw that L.A. Noir required me to juggle three disks while playing the game, which did not bode well with the lazy beast in me. So in goes Dead Rising 2, and out comes the frustrated snarl I make when I can’t find a save point. Dead Rising 2 is a 3rd person, action-adventure, horror-comedy video game developed by Capcom whose previous titles include the Resident Evil franchise. Dead Rising 2 is the second installment in the Dead Rising series and continues the ancient tradition of hack’n’slashin zombie guts galore. Our lucky zombie survivor is Chuck Greene, the former motocross champion who ventures to Fortune City, Nevada to compete in a controversial sports entertainment game show called Terror is Reality where contestants kill zombies. I don’t understand people in zombie situations. It seems that the more zombie circumstances humans are faced with, the more stupid people get. Eradicate the zombie plague? What kind of foolish nonsense is this? No, let’s use zombies as a reality TV show replacement! It’s people like these that make me wish for zombie apocalypses so that survival of the fittest may commence. Though perhaps in this case, it would be survival of the least retarded and psychotic.

To be fair, I did sign a death warrant for realistic behavior when I started playing a game where zombie apocalypses take place about every other week. I suppose that in a world where zombie escape plans are among the tornado and earthquake drills that kids reenact at school, people can do whatever they think is sensible. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This is introduction time! Complaints about human stupidity can come later. With that said, you are immediately thrown onto a bike with chainsaws strapped to every square inch of it and dropped into an arena with hundreds of zombies waddling around grunting for flesh. I swear, I think chainsaws have been used on zombies more often than they have been used on wood. After a bit of blood, hacked off limbs, and giggling from zombie guts, you win some prize money that you intend to use to buy Zombrex, a medication that prevents your almost zombified daughter Katey from getting onto the strict flesh and brains diet. Unfortunately, zombie situations never get far without a little disaster exploding now and then, and Dead Rising 2 wasn’t about to get shown up. Zombies break out — big surprise — and begin overrunning the population of Fortune City, Nevada. Chuck gets his half zombie daughter and makes a beeline to the friendly local zombie apocalypse safe house. I guess it’s good to be prepared for everything. You are given seventy-two hours (seventy two hours in Dead Rising 2 is faster than real time) to do whatever you desire and make sure that your daughter has enough Zombrex to last until the military comes to rescue everyone.

But honestly, who really cares about the story in this game? Zombies there — weapons here — have fun. You find an assortment of makeshift weapons throughout your adventure ranging from nails to machetes, to guns and more. Literally, almost anything that you would think would be better than fists in a fight will be available at your disposal. You can use a coat hanger to poke your foes to death, swing massive sledgehammers to flatten their skulls, fling thumbtacks at them, or spray bright green paint — and it is always green for some reason — in their faces until they keel over from its deadly vibrancy or something. Weapons will break after prolonged use of death dealing, and you will be forced to find a new object to channel your zombie hunting abilities. That’s not much of as issue however, since almost everything can be used as a weapon effectively. If your weapon breaks just walk right over and pick up that trashcan and begin bashing. No, I don’t know how a trashcan is able to decapitate a zombie but who cares.

The most important part about Dead Rising 2’s combat system however is the ability to combine almost any object or weapon into a useful gadget or weapon of some sort. If you think that your baseball bat isn’t sharp enough for your taste, run along over to your nearest maintenance station and jam a bunch of nails in it. If you believe that you need to take out zombies with minimal effort, go make an electrified wheelchair to roll into your enemies. If you feel the need for your character to drink unhealthy amounts of liquor as he fights horde upon horde of limping monstrosities, go on and make that beer hat. Making all of the ridiculous weapon combinations are insanely fun and creative, and makes killing zombies all the better. For now, I look forward to duct taping chainsaws on both ends of a canoe paddle and charging into the nearest zombie mosh pit.

Image Credit: Capcom

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