Monday, 27 September 2010

What's new, Pussycat? - Dead Rising 2 (Capcom, 360)

Great cover art. Shame about the game. And, yes, you can make that weapon!!
They shuffle. They stagger. They hunger for brains and flesh. Yes, those zombies are back. And they've taken over Fortune City, Nevada. So, a new town needs a new hero. Cue Chuck Greene. Ex Motocross champion, who's arrived in town with his daughter, looking for cash to buy the drug Zombrex, which staves off the effects zombieism after being bitten, but must be administered every 24 hours. But, zero cash means zero drug. So, he has to take part in the Number one show in America: Terror Is Reality, hosted by T.K. After winning the cash needed, it all starts to go pear-shaped. Cue loads of zombies doing the Zombie Shuffle, and loads of zombies succumbing to being shot, hit, crushed, decapitated, sliced, diced, roasted and anything else you can think of, all the while trying to escape before the military come in in 72 hours and quarantine everyone. The only problem being, that after the gameshow, you soon get the feeling you've seen it before somewhere....
Play it again, Zom!
....and that somewhere is in the original Dead Rising, released FOUR years ago. In the original, you had to get to the bottom of what caused the zombie outbreak and try to either stop it, or escape. I didn't like it. I didn't like the fact that you couldn't deviate from the storyline to save the countless survivors that were dotted around, because of the time limit between the parts of the case file, and didn't even let you off the reins to explore. There were also glitches which made it quite unplayable as well. Now, Blue Castle Games have had Four years to improve, or better, every aspect of the original. And, to me at least, they haven't. Everything, and I mean everything, is the same: the graphics, the animation, the controls, and even the gameplay mechanic (what I mentioned that I hated before). This time, the map is larger, and they are more generous with the time your given. Wow, thanks.
Wheelie good fun!....actually, no. No it isn't.
The Psychos also make a return, but this time they're tougher. And I mean tougher. One you'll come across is a chef that seems to have been to Sweeney Todd's School of Catering, and is a right bastard, as he'll not only throw pans at you, but swipe at you with one. If you take so much as a millimetre of health off him, he'll go round the tables and replenish it, meaning he's nearly invincible. Tosser. So, they've made the objective timers fairer, but the Psychos harder. They also added the ability to fashion your own weapons, like a Wheelchair Machinegun, an Auger (a pitchfork in a drill motor) and a plate firing-cement cutter. This is one of the better elements of the game, as you then gain double PP from the weapons you've crafted, but only after you've got the card for said weapon. It does add a bit of fun to the game, as does being able to push around a wheelchair, picking up a zombie giving him a bloody good ride, all the while his/ her arms are flailing around whilst moaning, and then slapping the chair into a wall, sending the zombie flying through a pane of glass. As I said, it's fun, but not much.
Just relax. You might feel a slight stinging sensation...
As I mentioned, the controls are exactly the same as the original DR. So, no change there then. They still haven't included a run button, which is sorely needed in a time-crucial game like this. The game does feel very 'been there, done that' in every aspect, and just feels like a cheap cash-in. After 4 years in the making, they've done nothing but buffed it up a bit. And to think they had the cheek to charge £40 for a 4 year old game with some polish on. The inclusion of a multiplayer adds a bit of spice to it, be it either playing the full game in Co-Op mode, or participating in Terror Is Reality online, against 3 other players. This part is actually quite fun, with various challenges on offer, and being able to import the cash won to the single player mode. But, after a while, this starts to get boring, and there's only so much of the opening cut scene that you can actually stomache, before wanting to kick T.K in the face. But, it does seem that all of a sudden, Capcom have become EA: only producing original games every 5 years, and rehashing older ones every so often. For shame. It could have been great, with a bit of an overhaul of everything (and I mean everything), but instead, it comes across as a bit of a con. Bargain bin it, don't full release it.

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