Dead Rising 3 Opening Impressions

DeadRising3_1
I’ll be honest here; dead honest. I haven’t quite had time to rinse Dead Rising 3 as massively as I would have liked. Consider these opening thoughts, then.

As I noted in my Powerstar Golf review, I’ve had some early access to Xbox One games titles, including the one game of the launch lineup that, logically speaking given my own history, I should have loved more than any other.

I also haven’t had enough time to play it. But why should that stop the fun? Treat this, if you will, as a rather extended preview/review/thing, and one that I do intend to come back and clean up once there’s time.

Dead Rising 3: On the plus side

Right, that necessary disclaimer out of the way, and on with the zombie-squishing action. I am unashamedly a big fan of Capcom’s Dead Rising series, and I’ve been curious for some time to see what they’ve done with the game, and especially what they’ve done in relation to the game clock.

Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2 were notable for being particularly brutal about in-game time, because specific objectives had to be completed within a timeframe. Fail them, and you could either start everything all over again, or at the least from your last save point. It was harsh, and it wasn’t always popular, but it was a rather defining characteristic of the game series.

Also cutscenes with lots of expository chatter. They're still very much a part of the formula.

Also cutscenes with lots of expository chatter. They’re still very much a part of the formula.

Dead Rising 3 hasn’t exactly done away with it, either, but it’s tucked away as “nightmare” difficulty, where the classic timing rules apply. Play in any other style and you can restart missions, have multiple attempts to rescue survivors and generally play out the game in the way that you’d like to. Given the claim around this game — that it’s larger than Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2 combined — that may well prove to be a good thing.

All we wanna do is EAT YOUR BRAINS!!!! (We're not unreasonable, etc..)

All we wanna do is EAT YOUR BRAINS!!!!
(We’re not unreasonable, etc..)

The plot forms a lot of the fun of Dead Rising, and I really don’t want to spoil too much of it for any player. It’s still grim stuff with plenty of dark humour surrounding it, although from what I’ve played so far it’s a little more on the sandbox side than previous games. Again, that’ll appeal to some — I recall some howls of protest when the rather open-feeling demo of Dead Rising became the rather constrained clock watching exercise of actual Dead Rising.

It’s also a stunning looking game. There’s a lot more animation on each zombie, and there’s a LOT of zombies out there. Again, I’ve still got plenty of play hours ahead of me, but what I’ve seen so far is encouraging — and naturally enough, not suitable for younger gamers at all. Buy them Zoo Tycoon. They’ll love it.

Dead Rising 3: On the minus side

Dead Rising 3 isn’t without some issues. The inventory system still relies on a limited size backpack with items that show up via onscreen icons, but picking them up isn’t as smooth as it could be. It’s much the same thing it’s always been in Dead Rising games, but against the smoothed out visuals it feels like a missed opportunity that it’s still possible to fail to pick up a critical item, or accidentally swap it for a useless one due to imprecise controls.

Just the good ole boys, Never meanin' no harm...

Just the good ole boys,
Never meanin’ no harm…

There’s a lot more vehicle content in Dead Rising 3, but again it’s somewhat hampered with (so far) sloppy controls. Again, this is very much in the Dead Rising style, but it does impede the impact of using some vehicles when they don’t feel as though they have much impact themselves.

You died because you didn't waggle hard enough. How does that make you feel?

You died because you didn’t waggle hard enough. How does that make you feel?

Kinect integration is also part of the game, and… yeah, it’s Kinect integration. It’s not terribly compelling to shout at the TV when it’s not picked up all the time. Motions can be used to throw off zombies when they attack, but it just ends up being Wii-style waggling most of the time. It’s meant to be immersive, but it all too often isn’t.

Dead Rising 3: Pricing

Dead Rising 3 is a full retail product, not surprisingly rated R18+ that’ll set you back around $90 at the time of the Xbox One launch.

Dead Rising 3: Fat Duck verdict

For what I’ve played of Dead Rising 3 so far, it’s a clear standout title amongst the Xbox One’s launch lineup. Certainly, if you’re a fan of the series it’s worth investigating — again, from what I’ve played so far. I’m not going to cast a final verdict, because that would be disingenuous at this stage. Watch this space (and keep an eye out for zombies)

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