Review: Dead Rising 4 (Xbox One, PC)

Dead Rising 4 (DR4) came out Dec 6th and I was not first in line to get it. I’ve played every Dead Rising game out there and I was busy revisiting the land of Skyrim. I am very glad I waited because half way through the month there was a deal for the game, full price but with the season pass, I couldn’t pass it up. Now here I sit with the game 70% complete according to the game itself despite having beat it twice now in story mode, Frank is level 92, I have 1 more picture to take of graffiti, all the newspapers have been collected, as have the cellphones and blueprints. I have to wonder what more the game wants from me but I think I know the answer: it wants all the trials to be completed. I’m still having “fun” so I will give them a shot, but there are a few things getting on my nerves. Here is a review of the story, game play and what have you…..

Story: (No spoilers)

DR4 takes place almost 20 years after the first Dead Rising in the same location as the original Willamette Colorado -a made up place. The differences in location are that this time you can explore the entire town of Willamette and the mall was rebuilt as the largest mall in the country. At first, Frank was involved in trying to uncover a conspiracy happening in the small town, but later gets sucked into finding-out-what’s-going-on? mode because there’s a new outbreak happening -the world of Dead Rising cannot catch a break.

The story is 7 cases long, but it may as well have been 6 since the last 2 could have been a single case and they aren’t even cases, in my opinion. I enjoyed the story proper but was confused by a couple of things: 1) Why couldn’t he and his student work together? Why were they so against each other when in the end they were after the same thing. 2) Who started the outbreak? Maybe this gets answered in Dead Rising 5? If there is one…

Finally, the game has only one ending and I hate this. All the previous games had up to 4-5 endings; where are they here? Is the true ending hidden behind DLC? So far it looks that way since the title and description of one DLC pack is “Frank Rising”. In fact, some sites have already confirmed this. (I’m so glad I paid only 59.99 for both game and season pass.) Anyway, the story is easy enough to follow and can keep you entertained, but does have it’s flaws.

Game play:

DR4’s game play is the standard Dead Rising game play: grab anything and everything, and beat zombies over the head with those things. You can also shoot them, blow them up, burn them freeze them, melt them, and run them over. Like I said, standard Dead Rising game play. Not much has changed since the last game. Combo weapons can still be built on the fly instead of needing a work bench, you can carry more weapons at a time -up to 8 of each kind those being thrown weapons, melee weapons and ranged weapons.

A cool, but overall, disappointing addition is the exo-suits. They make you more powerful, give you more stamina and…that’s about it. They don’t seem to last long. They have 120 energy and once it reaches 0 it blows up off of you. They can be cool, though. Add an upgrade and it does some awesome stuff like creating freezing tornadoes and sucking them closer to explode them. Add military hardware and cause explosions left and right.  The worst one is the electricity upgrade, boring, but the most awesome one after you beat the game once is the Zero suit upgrade. The upgrades can be awesome but finding an upgrade after donning the suit is hard. Every time I was near a suit, I spent half the time looking for an upgrade and most of the time I failed and wasted the suit.

As you level up you get prestige points, or PP. Every once in a while you level up and get points to add to skill trees. This can net you more health, more ammo, more stamina, or whatever you want to add your points to. S
ome of these skills have to be bought or found out in the world, these are skill books and luckily unlike the first game you don’t have to carry the books around with you. Just like the other games you get events where you have to save people being attacked by zombies or being held hostage and new to DR4 is destroying a certain factions equipment, these like before get annoying.

One big disappointment for me this time around is the maniacs, those people who went nuts because of the outbreak, we used to get these awesome cut scenes that introduced these people and gave you a reason to either attack and kill or to defend yourself and kill. NOT in DR4 though! nope none of that, you run to the maniacs position, they sort of talk but its easily ignorable and you dont get a good grasp of why they are crazy, they have no character in my opinion. I can remember the ones from DR3, the glutton who got mad because you were eating her food, the gymrat who got mad cause you called her a sir, the crazy biker gang….the only reason I can remember these new ones is because i’m on my 3rd play through, but they aren’t as enjoyable/difficult as the ones in previous games.

Lastly, the timers of previous games are near to none existent in DR4, take your time getting from point A to point 5 or whatever who cares you’re not timed and this has me split, I like completing some games at 100% and having all the time in the world to complete missions allows me to do that, but Dead Rising started out with timers, this added to the difficulty of the game, this one just feels off.

Graphics:

The graphics in most games, to me at least, are getting indistinguishable from previous incarnations. DR4 may have better graphics than DR3 but I couldn’t tell you were they are better, maybe its the zombie faces, they do seem a little more detailed, a little more scary but other than that…meh. As soon as you start wailing on the zombies they start to bleed and they bleed a lot so much so that they turn red as they are covered in stuff, I don’t remember this happening in the previous games, its so unnecessary, I got over it eventually but I still feel that its dumb but I guess true to life. If I beat up zombies with a bladed baseball bat I would expect lots of blood and to end up covered in blood, so I can forgive the game for doing this. The amount of zombies on screen is huge, huge to the point of being annoying to get passed and on to your next goal, I like beating up zombies but on consecutive play throughs though, they are are very annoying.

If you don’t like how Frank looks through out the game, feel free to change his clothes, there are many suits and many combinations of stuff to wear, some silly, some dumb, and some that just shouldnt be…ugh take a look

DLC:

As I alluded to earlier, I am not very happy with the DLC prospects for DR4, the ending is in the DLC? come on, just keep it in the actual game! don’t make it DLC just because you cant think of a better DLC package! The other 2 DLC packs are not much better, who cares about different skins for your weapons? Christmas is a theme in the game already, why did they not include the use of Christmas lights to make a bladed bat? Why didnt they already include a raindeer to combine with a motorcycle? come on, this is not worth 5 bucks alone. The other DLC is…..mini golf *Facepalm* oh wait, its SUPER ULTRA dead rising 4 mini gold? still not convinced myself, SUPER ULTRA DEAD RISING 3 looked cooler. None of this DLC is worth the price, in fact if I hadnt bought the bundle I would not have bought the DLC at all. Do yourself a favor and watch the true ending on Youtube or something, everything else the DLC offers is just not worth it.

So far we have only seen 1 DLC pack released lebeled as

Verdict:

Overall I enjoyed playing DR4, if I didn’t I don’t think id have played it so much, despite its short comings I definitely recommend people play this if they are fans of the franchise, if youre new to it but it catches your attention, give a try too but if you like it don’t expect the previous games to be the same.

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