Smashing E3 Zombies in Dead Rising 2

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One of the reasons I own an XBox 360 is Dead Rising. Frank West’s adventures in the Willamette Mall captured a ton of my time four years ago, and I was excited to see how Capcom would continue the series with Dead Rising 2. Last week at E3, I got the chance to find out as I got my hands on Dead Rising 2.

This sequel is set in Fortune City, a fictional gambling paradise, and takes place several years after the events of the first game. The zombie outbreak has spread across the country, and our hero Chuck Greene is trapped in Fortune City with a ridiculous number of undead.

Visually, Dead Rising 2 appears to be graphically superior to its predecessor, which should be no surprise considering the time that has passed. However, the graphical upgrade isn’t that major. It’s a slightly higher fidelity version of what you saw in the last game. Still, the graphics aren’t what we loved about Dead Rising. Let’s talk gameplay (you can see it yourself in a video after the break).

One worry I had coming into Dead Rising 2 was that Capcom would try too hard to set this game apart from the first one, destroying the really cool feeling the first game achieved. I’m happy to report that this was an unfounded worry. The core of the game remains unchanged, but Capcom has grafted on some interesting new bits. They’ve also removed the photography mechanic that was in the first game.

Most interesting to me is the card system. At various points in the game, you’ll be able to purchase or acquire cards. Each card will detail a combination of items that you can build to make an ultimate zombie-destroying weapon.

For example, “Dynameat.” Simply put, you take a stick of dynamite and duct tape it a piece of meat. Light, throw, and watch the zombie carnage. For the E3 demo, we got to see a card for a baseball bat studded with nails, whose use should be fairly obvious.

Other new features will include online multiplayer (in the form of a reality TV show called “Terror is Reality”) and online co-op play, but neither of these was on display in the demo we played.

All in all, Dead Rising 2 looks poised to pick up right where the first title left off. It will pit you against hordes of zombies, and you can face them wearing ill-fitting children’s clothes, if that’s your thing. Almost anything can be used as a weapon, even a coathanger (as our very own Mark Burnham demonstrates in the captured gameplay footage below).

Until Dead Rising 2 hits stores August 31, I’d suggest studying up on your homemade zombie killing weapon skills. You’re gonna need ‘em.

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