The Dead Rise Again
It has been in speculation for over a year now, and Capcom has officially confirmed that Dead Rising will be returning as a sequel to the first instalment. What comes as a foreseeable surprise though is that the game is no longer an Xbox 360 exclusive, but a multi-platform title due for release on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. The survival horror sequel was confirmed soon after apparent leaked footage began to appear on Youtube. There is finite amount of information circling around the game so far however what is known to date is that the game is being produced by Canadian studio Blue Castle Games including a number of the team members involved in the first installment.
Now to anyone unfamiliar to the original Dead Rising title, you follow the tale of ardent photographer Frank West. In a persual of a piquant lead Frank travels to a small sub-urban town only to find the place is ridden with the dying, or dead, or undead, or whatever category zombies fall into. He seeks shelter in a Supermall only to find this too is infected. You’d think this would naturally come as, well, a real kick in the bollocks really but, like the deranged character Frank is he finds reason in himself to exploit the dead infested supermall and take the unrivaled, nonpareil photographs he had dreamt of. What makes this game unique in itself is the way the game is played. Unlike your typical zombie, massacre the undead thrillers (Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead), Dead Rising is a much more slow paced, have a laugh at the expense of the dense, moronic dead. What made Dead Riding a hit with many was most probably the ingenious way of presenting the player with an unprecedented, interactive environment, allowing anything and everything from skateboards to cooking utensils to be hurled towards the victims. The zombie AI was simple, which worked and proved to be a true winner. They were slow, unable to maneuver well and most of all easy to take advantage of. Much joy would come from placing a Lego head mask upon a zombie and follow the poor critter as he collides into oncoming objects , or working on your golf swing at the expense of many a zombie in a classic Dawn of the Dead style.
Now Dead Rising 2 is to be set years after the original title, where the zombie virus has obviously broken throughout the United States. You are to be placed within a Las-Vegas style setting, dubbed Fortune City. It appears from the first screenshots that the “pick up anything and smack” approach has be chosen again and very rightly too. There was just one problem with the last game, a problem which turned out to be that of a gargantuan one, and this was the save system. If you were unlucky enough to be “eaten” in Dead Rising (and it was a certainty you would be) you were forced to start the game from the very beginning, which was a deeply aggravating, mind numbingly bold and unjustifiably horrific move, and with no surprises resulted in people giving up on what could and should have been a true giant next-gen title. Whether the sequel will replicate Dead Rising’s “controversial” save system is yet to be revealed but if Capcom can improve on this (and I for one keep my fingers durably crossed) then we could be heading for a true gaming masterpiece.