When writing a Dead Rising 4 review (or any other review as a matter) we are told to do so from an unbiased standpoint. That is tough to do when you have heart, feeling and opinions of the series. The first Dead Rising game is near and dear. This game acted as a gateway to a new era of gaming when the Xbox 360 released. Dead Rising 2 hit store shelves with an interesting setting but a less than interesting plot. It left players longing for the former protagonist. Dead Rising 3 releases with a whole new formula. Playing that title hardly felt like Dead Rising at all. How can a series go from fantastic to unrecognizable in a matter of just a few years?
With that being said, Dead Rising 4 is the proper sequel to the series debut greatness. In Dead Rising 4 we control the hard but witty photojournalist, Frank West. That is enough to bring back some of the classic humor we’ve so greatly missed.
Dead Rising 4 Review – Story
The story kicks off 16 years after the first outbreak. Frank West, the renowned journalist, achievements consist of awards giving for uncovering truths behind the original zombie outbreak. We find our protagonist now assuming the role of a photography professor. The extent of his former success is covered up by the government. One of Frank’s students pulls him back to Willamette over conspiracy theories on human testing. The pair get more than they bargained for. Now, Frank is knee deep in uncovering a new story. Prided by his journalistic talents, Frank is ready for his name to steal the spotlight once again.
Any fan of the original Dead Rising will find themselves thanking the gaming gods at the direction of Dead Risings 4’s plot. It feels familiar and oh so Frank at the same time. The game starts with West as a ‘has-been’ without it being a mockery like Dead Rising: Off The Record. Players see Frank slip back into what made us fall in love with him in the first place. Its seamless making this title seem fitting to be the first and only sequel to the original Dead Rising.
There is constant mystery surrounding the story. Dead Rising is an opened world survival horror action-adventure game. It is every bit of the genera however it has a much more linear feel than previous games. Dead Rising 4 is definitely opened world. Even though Dead Rising 4 is opened, differences from past games make the game much more direct. It has a greater focus on completion of each area due to the game not being on a classic time limit. Survivors spawn in direct connection to places. They now have nothing to do with the time you get to the area because time is no longer a factor.
Dead Rising 4 Review – Game Play
The gameplay of Dead Rising 4 leans more towards what players experience with Dead Rising 3. There are still classic Dead Rising elements to the game like a variety of different clothing customization options and making everyday objects a weapon. Also making its return is collecting blueprints for weapons customization. Weapon customization is where the game gets bazar and humor shows through some of the more dramatic points.
Unfortunately the biggest letdown to address in our Dead Rising 4 review is the survivor and psychopath situation. There are survivors but, like sated before, the game treats them much like Dead Rising 3 did. You don’t really save them as much as kill a few undead surrounding them on some pedestal like platform. The survivors that don’t have key elements to the plotline are nauseatingly identical in identical situations. It takes the trill and excitement out of running into live victims of the outbreak.
Maniacs take the place of the series renowned psychopath encounters. The basic idea behind maniacs is the same as psychopaths except they are missing their gripping, gruesome and oh so Dead Rising cut scenes. It seems as though the maniac encounters are rushed versions of psychopaths.
There are investigation encounters that fuel the constant mystery surrounding the story. This is where Frank West photographer truly has meaning. The investigation scenes is a great way to get a hands-on feel to the stories conspiracy. This is a new and clever way for fans to engage deeper into the background of the zombie outbreak.