Hands-on: Dead Rising 2

Fans of the Original Dead Rising will be happy to know that the Zombie-Slaughtering Fun only got better
Fans of the Original Dead Rising will be happy to know that the Zombie-Slaughtering Fun only got better

Moments ago, I completed overtime mode of Dead Rising 2 and got Ending S. I have to say that I was really impressed with all the improvement.

Biggest Improvement: Survivors are no longer idiots. They rarely get caught by zombies and when you call them, they will follow you instead of fighting zombies. Mind you with a game engine that can support 7000+ zombies, you have to have smarter survivors.

Biggest Changes. The first one that's important to know is Prestige Points(PP), You still gain PP from killing zombies with special skills, having survivors join and successfully escorted to the safe house. The biggest difference is you no longer have the ability to take photos for the points. This is where the new combo weapon system come in. If you kill zombies with a combo weapon, it rewards you with points. My favorite is the Knife Gloves.

About Combo Weapons. You can combine 2 items to make a combo weapon, but you need a Maintenance Room to do so. By placing 2 correct items on the worktable, you make the new item. These Maintenance Rooms are scattered about the entire game, luckily one is right outside the safe house. But what if you can't remember all the Combo Weapons you can make? Never fear, the Combo Cards are here.

About Combo Cards: On the Combo Card Screen, you have the Combo Weapons that reward you have made or cards you've acquired through leveling or saving certain survivors. The only drawback is creating a Combo Weapon that you don't have the card for creates what is called a Scratch Card, which lets you know what you need to make it, but doesn't reward you with double the PP.

Money, Money, Money...Money! In the zombie-ridden Fortune City, the casino town has hundred dollar bills laying around just waiting to be taken. The money is used for paying certain survivors to join you and purchasing items from the pawnshops as well as spending it on other doodads like slot machines. There are some survivors that also reward you with money for their safe arrival. Not to mention that your money can cross over to new playthroughs.

Story. I was hoping for the return of Frank West, the average joe photojournalist turned hero. The starring role goes to Chuck Greene, a former motocross champion, who is a survivor of the Las Vegas Outbreak that occurs five years after the events in Willamette. His wife turned into a zombie and bit their daughter, Katey. To stop their daughter from turning, Chuck has to find the zombie-impeding drug, Zombrex, which she needs to take every 24 hours or she turns into a zombie. In order to get the money to buy the Zombrex, he participates on a horrible game show called, "Terror Is Reality", which involves killing zombies for prize money. Just as he wins the grand prize, Fortune City experiences a full-scale zombie outbreak and leads his daughter to the safe house. From here the adventure begins.

For the Frank West fans out there, you will easily warm up to Chuck Greene after seeing his character in action especially when it comes to his daughter. But if you've played the game and care nothing for Chuck, then you'll be pleased to know that Capcom Vancouver is making Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. It is nearly the same game but reenvisioned to have Frank West being the hero.

My Recommendation. A wise decision is to purchase Dead Rising 2: Case Zero from PSN or XBOX Live. The purchase price is five dollars. It is the prologue from where Chuck and Katey escaped Las Vegas, but have yet to get to Fortune City. You should get this for two reasons: To get a better understanding of the characters, gameplay, and other new features. Second, you get to import your Character from Case Zero into Dead Rising 2, starting off at Level Five rather than Level One. I did that and I was amazed at the stories for both games.

Future Articles will be coming out covering the new systems in detail, psychopaths, and walkthroughs.

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