Retro Rewind: Dead Rising

If we look back at the mid 2000s, Capcom was at an enviable moment. In the final stretch of the 128-bit generation, it launched unforgettable games. It’s start in high definition was much less traumatic than that of other developers. It had the MT Framework engine ready and enough inspiration to risk with some new licenses. Some as popular as Lost Planet or the game at hand, Dead Rising, which debuted on Xbox 360.

The company came from the success of Resident Evil 4 and practically setting the tone for the third-person action genre. However, in 2006 zombies returned in a more casual aspect with a violent, but not terrifying open world and non-linear game. If Leon’s adventure had been criticized for it’s commitment to action, Frank West accepts it with all it’s consequences; drawing inspiration from director George A. Romero’s zombie movies.

I’ve Covered Wars, You Know

The images of hundreds of zombies on the screen began to show the benefits of the new consoles in this case, Xbox 360. Dead Rising enjoyed the surprise effect: it was a good game and also caught many off guard. It wasn’t Devil May Cry, it wasn’t Resident Evil, but something different and within the theme, original.

Frank West is a photojournalist who is investigating a strange event in a lost town in Colorado. Upon reaching the huge mall, he discovers that something is wrong, practically the entire population has turned into zombies. Frank gets off the helicopter with one objective, to uncover the mystery and return at the specific time to the heliport.

What happens in those hours is up to you. The game offers missions related to the survivors, and we’ll be free to go to those missions. The point is that the game is prepared so that you cannot see everything it has to offer. At least not if it’s your first playthrough. Many of the calls for help or events have a time limit and you are left with a handful options.

Capcom’s intention was clear, to increase replayability and to force the players to be creative with their time, routes and toys at their disposal. That’s the spark of Dead Rising: presenting a playground full of possibilities where we can play until the bell rings. Each game will be slightly different, we save new survivors and face crazy bosses (psychos).

The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors

During the day the zombies are slow. They react slow and you can dodge most if you wish. When it gets dark this changes, as they become more feral, numerous and hard. Pay attention to the clock, weapons and routes because the difficulty goes up a bit.

Obviously, the impediments to seeing the map with ease didn’t convince some users. It’s an important design decision, everything is based on the system of deadlines, obtaining endings and repetition.

Despite these criticisms, the community praised Dead Rising for not taking itself too seriously. It is set in the United States and sometimes abuses clich├ęs. The hand of the Japanese division is noticeable at all times in improvised weapons and the option of changing Frank from clothing to clothing from stores. Running over zombies while riding a bike, taking pictures of large groups of zombies to score points, dealing with enemies with an open umbrella, hitting balls, or using almost any object in the mall is as absurd as it is fun.

Aged Like Wine or Not?

Not everything has aged well, although it must be said that it holds up for a game that is almost 14 years old. The animations are stiff and it’s easier to notice errors in their gameplay that were already criticized at the time. The subtitles caused complaints about the tiny size of the text on old screens. Something that as of today is difficult to happen, but the UI needs to be improved.

Other decisions, such as the save system at specific places (bathrooms), will sometimes cause a death to wipe out many minutes of gameplay. Increases tension by not taking bites, but also artificially increases difficulty. In any case, we are facing a remastering and not a remake that aims to modify anything beyond it’s graphics.

Remastering

For the first Dead Rising, it is the QLOC studio that is responsible for remastering the game. Capcom has already collaborated with them on DMC Devil May Cry for current gen. And the truth is that it has done a good job, the game works on consoles at 1080p resolution and 60 FPS.

Keep in mind that it’s a massive action game and the increase in fps suits it really well. The 60 fps and the sharpness of the image may have been taken for granted, but it isn’t the first time that remasters have been released and even poorer games graphically that don’t exceed the original 30 fps.

Graphically, of course, it doesn’t hide it’s origin and date; textures without many effects, some a little blurry, simple patterns in the decoration and aesthetically the mall doesn’t give as much as the setting of it’s sequel. However, Dead Rising must be appreciated and with the tremendous effort involved in moving hundreds of zombies simultaneously; Similar to an analysis in a musou game (Dynasty Warriors), it can’t be compared with a more linear game.

There aren’t many other benefits, except for faster loading times. The DLC was limited to appearances and doesn’t have extras or new material that shows the origins and impact of the saga.

Final Thoughts

Dead Rising is an excellent game and the remaster does justice, although it’s reason of existing is mainly to reach the current gen.

Do I recommend it? Of course, although it’s necessary to warn that it’s approach will cause as much love and hate among the players as it did years ago. Clumsy controls, controversial time constraints, and perhaps the biggest drawback, a whimsical save system, make Frank West’s biggest news an imperfect gem.

You can pick up Dead Rising from the Microsoft store for $19.99. Be sure to stay tuned to Generation Xbox for coverage from everything in the world of Xbox. And check out more from the Retro Rewind series here.

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