Die hard fans of the video game company Capcom will be pleased to know that the second installment of Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, has been released. The story line is expertly detailed with a whodunit twist that will keep gamers guessing halfway through the game. The second half is spent trying to stop the culprit from getting away.
The game begins inside Fortune City, a gigantic mall and casino in the middle of Las Vegas, six months after the first outbreak of Dead Rising and follows the story of Chuck Greene, an ex-motocross legend. Chuck is now trying to make ends meet as a “Terror is Reality” contestant putting himself in danger by getting extra friendly with zombies for the rest of the world’s entertainment.
In “Terror is Reality” four contestants compete with one another against thousands of zombies. The contestant who destroys the most zombies with their chain saw-wielding motorcycle wins.
This type of lifestyle is not suited for a man like Chuck Greene, especially since he has an eight year old daughter who has been bitten by a zombie. Chuck only competes to buy the miracle medicine Zombrex, proven to prevent “zombiefication” for 24 hours.
Chuck Greene is on his way to pick up his daughter Katy after his most recent win when all hell breaks loose. Someone has blown up the security gates that keep the endless hoard of zombies at bay and now they are everywhere. Chuck narrowly escapes with Katy to a nearby bunker and posts there.
Chuck is later informed that he is being blamed for this act of terrorism. He then has three days to find survivors, keep his daughter medicated, and find to clear his name. But, it must be done before the army comes to take him away from his daughter.
The main character, Chuck Greene, has a lot of clout as an ex-motocross legend, but he’s also a jack of all trades. Chuck can take household tools and turn them into weapons of massive destruction. The game plays heavily upon Chuck’s ability to combine tools and rewards the player’s effort for using the weapons.
Chuck’s first encounter with weapon making is when he is given the keys to a maintenance room. As he walks in he sees a baseball bat and a box of nails. Placing the two items on the work bench he begins tacking the nails into the bat. He finishes with a Spike Bat that earns 100 points for a normal attack and 250 for a heavy attack.
There are more interesting weapons such as the Paddle Saw, a combination of a kayak oar with a chain saw on each end. And the Boom Stick, which is a pitch fork with a shot gun.
Some features of Dead Rising 2 include: increased ability to change levels compared to the first edition; the mini-bosses known as Psychopaths are stronger, creating a challenge for first time players as well as zombie slaying veterans; and there is a new batch of survivors in Fortune City waiting for Chuck Greene to save them.
The communications system from Chuck to the security room is a breath of fresh air from the first game. Chuck’s walkie-talkie beeps twice and then goes silent with a small icon at the bottom of the screen, allowing players to answer it at their earliest convenience. Rather than having a long conversation over the radio Chuck looks at his watch revealing all the information about the area needing his attention. Another feature of the walkie-talkie is the co-op mode.
A second player can be added to the main story mode to help kill zombies, combine weapons, and defeat Psychopaths. And there is an online multi-player function where up to four players can relive the old “Terror is Reality” days, earning money by completing events that can then be used in the single player story mode.
Dead Rising 2 rates 10 out of 10 for game play value. Since it is impossible to complete every mission on the first attempt, there is plenty of time to explore Fortune City further.
John is a staff writer for The Bent Tree and can be reached by clicking on his email link at the top of the page.