Dead Rising 2
Developed by Blue Castle Games
Published by Capcom
*Please Note: This review is of the PlayStation 4 Version*
Taking place 5 years after the events of Dead Rising; Dead Rising 2 tells the story of former motorcross champion; Chuck Greene who competes in a zombie killing gameshow called Terror is Reality in order to win money to buy Zombrex (A Medicine that prevents a person from turning) for his young daughter Katey. The fun and games don’t last forever however when a Zombie outbreak takes place in the city the gameshow is hosted in (Fortune City, Nevada). Chuck manages to get his daughter to the safe house nearby however security footage leaks which frames Chuck for the outbreak leaving him with 72 hours to prove his innocence before the military arrive.
Dead Rising 2 has a fantastic story in my opinion which has many important values in a story such as family, revenge, betrayal and horror with some fantastic twists and turns in the main campaign which I have not mentioned to avoid spoilers. This however personally has one of the best stories in a video game with a highly likable protagonist and really funny antagonists.
Dead Rising 2 has some incredible gameplay mechanics and truly builds upon everything that the first game introduced. One thing that this game introduced to the series is the extremely powerful and fun; combo weapons which is always a fun mechanic in games and sees Chuck gathering 2 different weapons and using them at workbenches to create more powerful, durable and useful weapons such as the Paddlesaw (Chainsaw & Paddle) and the Defiler (Sledgehammer & Fire Axe) to name a few. In addition to the combo weapons; another feature I liked in this game was the ability to combine weapons with a motorbike in order to create a powerful weapon on wheels. Some things in the game can be annoying at times such as the huge amounts of zombies which while very very authentic to what an actual zombie apocalypse would be like causes great frustration when all the zombies ever do is constantly grab you with it making the game feel more like The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct rather than a Dead Rising title. This port had something however which really annoyed me in the form of the numerous glitches and errors that I encountered throughout. One huge glitch I encountered happened when I exited one of the casinos in the game and the floor vanished and Chuck flew into the off-map sunset which I am including below.
In addition to the glitch in the video above; there was multiple times in which an item would fall to the floor but would be inaccessible and then there was also many different errors which occurred. Most times when these errors occurred; I was entering the Fortune City Hotel for missions or for general free-roam but overall they just became so annoying that at points I came off the game for days at a time purely because of how frustrating it was to be playing the game for a while without saving only for an error to happen and erase hours of progress. The Multiplayer function is still fantastic in Dead Rising 2 with the many multiplayer events in the Terror is Reality mode being extremely fun and hilariously creative. This mode ran extremely smooth without any lag however the big fault with the multiplayer is the lack of actual players since the matchmaking takes a while in the game and you can’t officially start playing online until you hit the max of 4 players. One thing I will say I adore about this game is just how fun it feels when playing it with the ability to use anything and everything to your advantage as a weapon from Foam Hands to Cement Saws and the boss fights are really fun to take on (the taming of the tiger one is easily the most unique along with the rhythm game boss fight) however another big fault this game has which to be honest; nearly all the Dead Rising titles have is that the A.I. in this game is terrible with the survivors following you usually ignoring your commands and instead trying to take on hordes of zombies with their fists.
All in all, the gameplay in Dead Rising 2 is definitely fun and adds towards a reason why this game is personally my favorite entry in the series however this port has definitely downgraded what I loved so dearly in the PlayStation 3 version with it’s multiple errors and glitches aswell as the terrible A.I., the combo weapons are certainly an interesting addition to this fantastic franchise and the multiplayer mode added to the fun calamity of what adds to the games charm.
The sound in Dead Rising 2 is easily one of my favorite things about the game as a whole. One thing I love more than anything is just the different tone changes between walking around among the undead to very pleasant mall music and then the badass rock music that kicks in when confronting psychopathic survivors of the undead apocalypse. The game consists of some incredible music from Blue Stahli, The game’s creator; Keiji Inafune and Detroit-based musical project; Celldweller. Among the songs; My personal favorite is the song Kill the Sound which plays during the credits of the game. I personally like this song since to me it gives a feeling of a constant battle such as Chuck’s battles through the game with Zombies, Psychopaths and of course, proving his innocence. Dead Rising 2 also has a fantastic voice cast aswell including Peter Flemming (Chuck Greene), Phil Hayes and Sam Vincent to name just a few but given that a good majority of the cast in this game are relatively unknown, these characters have so much life to them which honestly makes the voice acting incredible.
In terms of visuals; I feel that the port of Dead Rising 2 is rather poor at times with pretty much no visual upgrades whatsoever. Upon playing the game about 4 times on PlayStation 4 I feel the only thing I could really notice in terms of upgrades were some lighter color changes but other than that nothing. Even on PlayStation 3; Dead Rising 2 wasn’t exactly one of the greatest looking games but it felt like it was at home. Unfortunately on the PlayStation 4; Dead Rising 2 just feels really dated. The character models also look really poor at times and due to some of the glitches in the game such as the one located in the gameplay section of this review; the world obviously disappears ultimately ruining the visual outlook on the game. One thing I have liked about this game ever since the PlayStation 3 version was just the overall look of the world and just the amount of color that has been used in the title. It is clearly evident (like Sunset Overdrive) that this is the lighter and more fun side of the apocalypse.
In terms of replay value; Dead Rising 2 definitely has plenty of it with the story being a fun and enjoyable experience aswell as the hidden missions and secret goodies hidden within the game which should definitely give players some fun things to look for. In addition to this, there is plenty of collectibles in this game in the form of the combo cards which are earned through leveling up Chuck (this takes plenty of time in itself), searching all over fortune city, rescuing survivors and of course; defeating the psychopaths. The game also has multiple endings that the player can try and earn through playing the game. Dead Rising 2 like every game of this generation also features trophies and achievements for the hunters out there who just love to aim for 100% and then the terror is reality mode comes into the mix which allows players to enjoy some online competitive modes for hours (so long as there is other players online).
All in all, I have to say that down to my personal opinion; Dead Rising 2 is my favorite entry in the series (despite 3 being overall better as a game). It has a fantastic story, very fun gameplay mechanics, an incredible soundtrack and loads of replay value. I wanted to say all of that personally but in my overall thoughts; I do need to say that this game has possibly had one of the worst port jobs of the year (if not the entire console generation) and for me that is very very disappointing considering just how much I actually love this title (and yes, I have played the ports of Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Dead Island). I mean yes, the Zombie grabbing and poor visuals have been around since the game launched on PlayStation 3 however never in my many days of gaming have I seen a game so riddled with errors and glitches. I want to make it abundantly clear; Dead Rising 2 is far from a bad game and is actually one of the most enjoyable games I’ve ever played however this port is not good in the slightest. My personal opinion, either get the PlayStation 3 version or wait for this port to come really low in price.
Score = 6/10
- Fantastic Story
- Enjoyable Characters you can relate to
- Very fun gameplay mechanics
- Combo Weapons and Motorbikes are powerful and fun
- Psychopaths are hilarious and unique
- Really good soundtrack and voice acting
- Multiplayer Mode (Terror is Reality) is fun
- Plenty of Replay Value
- Riddled with Glitches and Errors
- Terrible A.I. on Survivors
- Constant Zombie Grabbing (Feels like The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct)
- Some lag/slow down at points
- Lack of players online makes online mode inaccessible most times
- Poor Visuals
- (Just to clarify again) Extremely Bad Glitches and Errors
Dead Rising 2 is available now for PlayStation 4 & Xbox One digitally (By itself or in a bundle) and is also available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & PC. Thanks go out to Capcom for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review by Matthew McNamee