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Hands-On: Dead Rising 2 OTR

Updated on February 4, 2012

Today for this special edition of Hands-On, we take a summarized look at Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. This title builds on the world of Fortune City from the original game, Dead Rising 2, with its own twists and turns that I found enjoyable. So, let's dive right in with what I didn't like about the game.

The Bad. Listed below are some of the biggest changes from the original game that I felt should have not been done.

Survivors are stupider and slower - Almost a throwback to Dead Rising 1, survivors seem more concerned with their hair getting frizzled than running away and surviving the zombie horde. It is now easier for them to get caught by zombies, but not as much as in the first game. Still, there seemed to be no reason to change the code unless Capcom didn't give their Vancouver staff any of the AI coding.

Zombie Traps - The most annoying addition to the game series. To add a more horrifying element to the game, Zombie Traps were included. If you see a downed zombie that you did not kill in the game, jump above it and knee drop it for good measure or steer clear of it entirely.

Because sometimes one of these downed zombies will spring up and grapple you. They either hide behind narrow doorways, behind the open doors of a maintenance room, behind a stall door in the restrooms, or waiting to bite your foot instead of springing up from the ground, but it still counts as a grapple.

This is ridiculous to me because we all know zombies are renown for their agility, mobility, and speed also their brilliant use of tactics and strategy. (Do you want facts with that sarcasm?)

Mercs, Mercs, Everywhere - Every story event that involve mercs have their numbers increased, even in places where mercs weren't before. Combine that with the increased bullet damage, which makes for a bad combo.

Looters are bolder and many - The aggro radius of the looters have been dramatically increased. You aggro them from walking down the hall instead of entering the store and there are many more of them in different stores through Fortune City.

The Facts and Overtime - Not to spoil anything, but these last two parts are a lot harder than in the original. Once you've played through and beaten these, you will feel the original The Facts and Overtime were a lot easier. Though I enjoyed the challenge, the vast jump in difficulty is what left me concerned.

Side Roll and Backstep - In addition to the Dodge Roll, you have two more moves. Clicking the left analog stick and pressing to the side or backwards, makes you avoid zombie attacks, but not the Psychopaths.

The Good. For as much as I didn't like, there was more that I liked.

Sandbox Mode - This mode is a lot of fun and I enjoyed the freedom it gives me. In this mode, Survivors and Psychopaths fight you and respawn even if you killed them (the worst are the snipers). Most of the challenges are fun and well...challenging. With no time limit and the entire city to yourself, you can do whatever you want as long as you can survive. This mode is more about making money while Story Mode is more about experience.

Survivors and Items Change - I was against this at first, but I rather enjoyed finding that some survivors were in new places on different days, the addition and removal of survivors. With many items switching locations, the only two things I didn't like about it were finding magazines and finding a close sledge hammer (you may need to make a trip to the South Plaza once in a while).

The Story - From the subtle changes to the big ones, I thought what they did to the story was great. I can't really say much here without spoiling something. But I can say that the ladies don't like Frank as much as they liked Chuck.

Shared Data between Modes - Dead Rising 2: Off The Record shares your character experience and your money with both modes, so if you gain five levels in story mode, you still retain those levels going into Sandbox and vice versa. However the game does not share your current health and items, so if you're on only one life bar in Story and hope to heal yourself in Sandbox, it won't work nor will the hopes of transferring items.

I'm going to Uranus Zone! - The new theme park is a lot of fun and great to look at. Using the attractions against zombies can be tricky especially the flying saucers, but Crash Landing is my favorite, watching zombies fly is fun.

Where's my Camera? Oh right! - Though you get less experience from taking pictures, you don't need to change batteries to take another thirty pictures. Plus when you learn the Snap Shot skill, the camera plays its own little part in zombie slaying.

New Combo Weapons - With the addition of Uranus Zone comes new items and new combo weapons as well as old items being able to combine. My favorite is the Electric Crusher, though it doesn't replace the Defiler and Knife Gloves.

Merc Assault Rifle - It appears in a few more places, so making trips to that one maintenance room in the Underground is no longer necessary and after that one case file, Fortune City Hotel will have Merc Assault Rifles. Plus the ammo has been increased from 30 to 45.

Zombrex TO GO! - Though the locations of most Zombrex have changed, you don't need to return to the security room, you can pop your Zombrex anywhere in Fortune City. Remember to have your hands free or be prepared to pick up your items. All other Zombrex than the one in Roy's Mart spawn in all their locations after 7:00 AM on Day 1.

That's it for now. I will be covering the changes in more detail in future articles.

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