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Dead Rising: Review

Dead rising hopes to stand apart from the countless other Zombie games out there, subtly parodying the classic Dawn Of Dead paradox of being trapped in a consumers utopia (a shopping mall) while being threatened by Zombies and moves away from the typical stern approach to the idea of Zombies with a light more humorous look at the increasingly popular Zombie/horror survival franchise.   
They could have just called this Dawn of the Dead and I would have known what to expect.  This game is essentially the Dawn of Dead game version of the classic George Romero Zombie flick, like dawn of the dead this entire game takes place in a shopping mall where the shopping area is infested with Zombies and you and your small party of survivors are situated in the “Authorized personal” areas of the mall where everything is safely locked down.  Within this mall is a vast world laced with stories, shops that provide health, transportation, weapons etc.  As soon as you enter the shopping area of the mall you are surround by thousands of stupid and slow Zombies, that’s right these aren’t your Dawn of the Dead remake Zombies that are aggressive and actually scary, these are your classic George Romero Zombies, you know the ones that just stand there and move like they are in fact dead, as opposed to reborn as ravenous wolves?  The concept is pretty basic.  You and a small group of Zombie apocalypse survivors are camped out in a closed off, Zombie free area of the mall, every so often you either have to venture outside of the mall to complete missions or you may venture into the shopping area just for fun which feels a lot more short lived than it should be.

    Now from the get go I will say the game looks good, but what distinguishes it from its contemporaries or at least what most would consider to be its contemporaries is it’s tone and atmosphere.  Despite being a Zombie game this is by no means a scary game, the environments are brightly lit, the Zombies are slow and stupid like they originally were in George A Romero’s Zombie flicks.  This game makes light of what is typically portrayed as a dark and ominous situation, and is actually quite funny.  The selling point of this game is the fact that you can pick up and use almost anything as a weapon, I mean anything, never mind just your standard guns and baseball bats.  In this game you can use lawnmowers, soccer balls, golf clubs......anything that can be found within the shopping area of the mall can be picked up and used as weapon, this is what makes this game very appealing and what sets it a part from games like Left for Dead and Resident evil, the ways in which you can kill Zombies in this game are a primary source of humour.  Dead Rising is almost a parody of the ever popular Zombie franchise, kind of like the video game version of Shaun of the Dead.
    But despite all the creative and quasi original aspects of the game, despite the fact that Dead Rising does indeed deliver an original and unique Zombie experience, its execution of its ideas are unfortunately satisfactory at best.  There are a lot of glitches and problems with the game and despite the almost infinite amount of ways in which you can dispose of the Zombie hordes, the game still manages to quickly become repetitive and boring.  Why?  Once you play with the lawn mower, every other weapon just doesn’t engage you, furthermore yes I understand the game is supposed to be lightweight and fun, but part of the fun of video games is being presented with some sort of challenge, the game simply isn’t challenging, the biggest challenge I found in this game were the confusing objectives and that’s just no fun.
    Furthermore not only is the gameplay not particularly engaging, the save game and structure of the game is atrocious, probably the worst I’ve seen.  Of all people to be in the Zombie Apocalypse you are a friggen News reporter  and your objectives consist of being in certain places at certain times to get certain information, if you don’t get there in time you have to start the mission from the very beginning and by the very beginning I mean from the opening credits.  I mean is this game for real?  It certainly doesn’t help that your very run of the mill arrow navigation system which is supposed to point you in the right direction is wrong.  It’s almost scary how poorly implemented the navigation system in this game is.  Also the AI is absolutely painful to endure, more often than not they’ll get caught on everyone from walls to tables and sometimes when you give them an order they just stand there and get attacked by Zombies.
    This game had a lot of potential unfortunately a few critical design errors have made this game impossible to play the game through and you’ll end up just walking into the shopping area and messing around with the Zombies for a while until boredom ensues which will be quicker than you think given the Zombies are brain dead and don’t present any real challenge.  The game had an excellent concept unfortunately it’s just too easy, too repetitive and too be blunt, just too flawed.
Rating -67% - Great Concept, poorly implemented
Fun Concept, refreshing approach to the Zombie niche
Poorly implement game design
Piss poor save and continue aspect of the game makes the single player game more frustrating than anything else.
Other than the technical flaws in this game, there is no real challenge.