Dead Rising 4 Review
By: Thomas Riccardi
When the Xbox 360 first came in 2005, I had no interest in investing in said next generation console. That all changed when I saw the trailers for a game called Dead Rising. This was it; this was the game that led me to purchase the console. It took place in a small town called Willamette and the game’s characters were sent there to figure out what happened to its inhabitants and take pictures of the unfolding story. There have been more than a few sequels to this great franchise and the latest installment is Dead Rising 4. But is this the game that will influence hesitant holiday shoppers to purchase an Xbox One? Or will players stick with their original 360 in order to get their zombie fix?
The main character in Dead Rising 4 is the one and only Frank West, the once great photojournalist who has now fallen from grace. He now teaches a photojournalism class at a local college and one of his students named Vicky Chu needs his help. She has gotten word of a compound that is located on the outskirts of a small town called Willamette. Frank has been dragged along as Vicky thinks that there is a real story there. Before you know it, you are into the action and exploring this facility. As Vicky and Frank go further, they find out the facility’s occupants are experimenting on zombies as well as humans. What is this group trying to do?
After escaping, West becomes a wanted man when he becomes a fugitive accused of terrorism. A few months later, close to Christmas, he is tracked down and found by Brad Park, an agent of the ZDC. It seems that a massive outbreak has taken place in the small town of Willamette and they are sent to investigate. As their chopper makes a final approach, a missile shoots it down. The two survive the crash but now find themselves stranded in a town that is overrun by a horde of zombies. Will they be able to make it out of this mess alive while reporting the story of the century or succumb of the growing mob of the undead?
There are many different features of Dead Rising 4 that set it apart from its predecessors. For one, the selection screens have been streamlined so you can now switch from ranged weapons to melee in the heat of battle. You can also use medical items with a push of the downpad so if you find yourself low on health, you can heal yourself before you die. Another new feature of this game is the investigations, utilized when you find a room you need to take pictures in order to corroborate your story. The camera has two new filters: night vision (allowing you to see even in total darkness) and a spectrum analyzer. The latter is key as it can see things the normal eye cannot and will help you hack door codes and laptops. There is even a selfie mode if you want to take a picture with a zombie, which is really quite enjoyable.
One of the best features of this game is that there isn’t a time limit anymore: you do not have to look at the clock in order to complete certain objectives. You can explore as much as you want in the entire town of Willamette. You can play the game as you want by either focusing on the story and getting through it or exploring and looking for side objectives. Weapons are a big part of any Dead Rising game and this one has no shortage of them. From regular weapons such as knives and guns to combo weapons that can inflict lots of damage, there are more than a few ways to dispatch the undead in this installment. You can even create combo vehicles and some of these will clear a path through rotted corpses like a hot knife through butter. Another new additions to the game is the Exo Suit, which is a suit of powered armor that can inflict damage to the hordes of zombies. It also gives you stamina, which means you can keep running without slowing down to catch your breath. There are also unique weapons that can only be wielded once you have the suit on and these are devastating and, in some cases, downright odd. For example, you can attach a slushie machine to the suit’s weapons and use it as a zombie-killing machine. From melee weapons to some of the best-ranged weapons, you will have no problem mowing down zombies and humans alike.
This review barely scratches the surface of this amazing game. If you own an Xbox One, you need to get this game and if you have been on the fence about buying it, this will be the game that will persuade you to get one. It has a great story, open world gameplay, and the ability to splatter tons of zombies into red mist. For more information on this game head over to the official site and get ready to go back to Willamette.