If you’re looking for a challenging game complete with a captivating intrigue filled story that would get you thinking… Dead Rising 4 is absolutely not for you. If you’re looking to kill a couple of hours having a ball of a time just slaughtering your way through a horde of zombies without a care in the world, then you have come to the right place.
Likely due to the muted success of Dead Rising 3, the latest iteration of the franchise sees Capcom taking Dead Rising back to its roots. Capcom brings back the original protagonist, Frank West and plonks him into the original games setting of Willamette’s Memorial Megaplex, which is seeing yet another zombie outbreak and this time during the holidays. So prepare yourself to hear jingle bells played throughout.
Through the game’s campaign players assume the role of Frank West, now 16 years older and a professor to boot, as they attempt to uncover the secret behind the new zombie outbreak. Keep in mind though that Dead Rising 4 is essentially a beat-‘em up game and playing detective in the game can feel a little tedious and forced at times.
That said, the core gameplay, bashing your way through hordes of zombies is helluva fun. And West’s random wisecracks and punny dad jokes quipped throughout only add on to the fun factor.
The gameplay itself is far more intuitive than previous titles in the franchise and combat is more fluid, although with a limited number of combat animations I would imagine combat could get stale… If there wasn’t this huge array of weapons laying around. Literally anything and everything is a weapon, and with hundreds of potential weapon combinations within the game, there is always a new way create zombie wrecking mayhem. And the names gifted to these weapons are almost as fun as using them. For example, the Gandalf, a huge staff that allows you to blast garden gnomes at zombies.
Dead Rising 4 also introduces a new EXO suit. My first impression was that it looked like a second rate version of Fallout’s power armour. But then I discovered you could rip parking meters out of the ground and play 18 holes with Zombie heads as golf balls. Awesome.
My only gripe about combat, was that it’s way to easy. The zombie horde while massive, sometimes with over 300 zombies on a screen, is just not much of a challenge. Even the newly introduced enemies such as the “Fresh,” newly infected zombies that are more ferocious or the “Evo,” which are reminiscent of predatory animals are not much of fight. And currently there is no option to up the difficulty levels, although we understand that there will be two new difficuly settings released for Story Mode come early 2017.
Further emphasizing the open world nature of the game, Capcom has done away with time limits, leaving players to decide when they are ready to carry on with the story in their own time. Also the crafting system does away with the need to craft at a specific place, letting players combo together weapons on the fly no matter where they are.
This freedom to decide what to do next means players have more to do than just tackling the main story missions, which contribute about 10 hours or so of content. So feel free to massacre as many zombies as you want, secure new safe-houses and tackle as many side quests as you want.
And if you manage to bash your way to the end of the game, there is always the multiplayer to look forward to. While, I personally would have liked a co-op story mode, Capcom has instead put in place a four-player co-op mode. A little reminiscent of the formula used in Left 4 Dead, the four-player co-op mode will see survivors mashing buttons to get from checkpoint to checkpoint.
Lastly, if you did not feel that Dead Rising 4 was “Christmasy” enough the developers have you covered. The recently released Stocking Stuffer Holiday pack takes the whole Christmas setting and cranks it up a notch. Okay more like a dozen notches into the realm of insanity. Words can’t do this justice, so here is the trailer:
As exemplified by the latest DLC, Dead Rising 4 is the perfect game for those of us who just want some over the top button mashing fun.