At first I was worried about what Dead Rising had become after watching its announcement gameplay trailer at E3 earlier this year. Being a big fan of the Dead Rising games I thought it looked too serious and not as fun as the previous titles. Thankfully this is not the case as Dead Rising 3 can now hold the title for the craziest and wackiest installment of the series, along with another and much more important award, and that is Dead Rising 3 is the best game in the series.
Dead Rising 3 stars Nick Ramos, who is a mechanic… And that’s all we really know about him for the first 20 or so minutes of the game, no backstory or any other information is known which is similar to Frank West (Dead Rising 1) who was only really known to be a journalist. Although little is known about Nick at the start, Dead Rising fans will eventually find out they actually knew much more about Nick Ramos than they originally thought so I will say no more and let you enjoy the shocks, twists and turns that a Dead Rising fan can relate too. If you are new to Dead Rising then I suggest either playing the games before playing Dead Rising 3 or watching videos of the first two games or you will be left confused and not able to appreciate that the story is actually pretty solid. Dead Rising gets negative feedback from other reviewers for its story but I feel the story is actually underrated and pretty good.
As I said in the opening paragraph I am a huge Dead Rising fan, and because of this, I could appreciate what has been change in the gameplay to help make everyone’s Dead Rising experience that much better. One of these changes is the addition of a run button which makes getting from A to B that much more simpler. Also added was the ability to eat food (Dead Rising’s health system for new players) on the go so there is no more stopping to eat/drink while getting attacked which caused many of my deaths in the previous Dead Rising titles, again it’s a small change to gameplay but a much needed change. Also “Zombies Killed” counter now stacks between new playthroughs so that 100,000 zombies killed achievement isn’t that bad anymore. Now we got the small changes lets get into the real changes of Dead Rising 3.
For the first time ever a Dead Rising game takes place in one big city, named Los Perdidos. This means the inclusion of many different buildings like a huge hotel, police station and houses while classic buildings like the gun shop and toy shops make a return. Although it was disappointing to find out that there is no mall or casinos which made the first two Dead Rising games that good. On the subject of casinos, the money system has been completely removed from the game and so has pawn shops. There is however one building that was added to the game that helps soften the blow of no Mall or Casinos and that is addition of safehouses, but it isn’t actually the building itself that helped, it was the features inside. Safehouses include a weapons locker, a clothing closet and a survivor bulletin board. With these inclusions you can now choose any weapon you have previously picked up or created in the weapons locker, choose any clothing you have earned or picked up and finally you can bring survivors you have saved to missions with you.
Combining weapons was the big feature of Dead Rising 2 and in Dead Rising 3 it makes an even bigger bang. Combining weapons in the last game had to be done in maintenance areas but now they can be done wherever you want as you choose two items to combine, Nick will just start combining right where you are. There are many new combo weapons added to game and all combo weapons can only be made if you have found the blueprint for it. These blueprints (Over 100 of them) can be found all over Los Perdidos. Along with combo weapons there are also combo cars. Combo cars work the same as combo weapons, you drive a car next to the other (Sometimes they are found already together) and press RB+A to combine them. One of my favorite combo cars is the Rollerhawg which is a combination of a motorcycle and a steamroller, use this combo car and watch the kills stack up.
Dead Rising 3 also introduces a brand new leveling up system, now when you level up in Dead Rising 3 you will earn attribute points to spend on different abilities. These can range from increasing life, stamina, melee/range weapon damage, PP amount and how many survivors you can have in a group along with many other abilities. It was also a small
letdown that the level cap has still not been increased and stays at the original level 50.
Don’t want to playthrough the main missions all the time? Then you will be happy to know for the first time there are actual side missions in the game, gone are the save and take this survivor to the saferoom “side missions” each side mission has a survivor who wants a job done but most of the actual missions are just fetch quests like survivors asking you to bring them this item and that item but not every single one is a fetch quest there is some variety but not sadly not much. While you are roaming around the city you will also come across survivors who are surrounded by zombies in need of help, kill the zombies around these survivors for a big PP reward. Then you also have PP trials which are basically challenges so for example there will be one were you have to kill 500 zombies with a certain weapon to get the PP reward. On top of all this there are also survival training missions which are similar to Dead Rising 2: Off The Record’s Sandbox Mode challenges so there will be missions were you have to kill X amount of zombies in a set time with you either getting a bronze, silver or gold medal. As you can see, Dead Rising 3 is stacked with content.
The final mode I want to talk about in Dead Rising 3 is Nightmare Mode, this mode brings back the classic gameplay of the original Dead Rising games, a time limit which in real time lasts around 10 hours and saving only in bathrooms. Along with the original gameplay elements, there are also much more aggressive and life consuming zombies to go through. The mode is a pretty decent challenge, and I recommend everyone to play it after normal mode because in Nightmare Mode there is not enough time to play much of the side content. There were many times in Nightmare Mode were I hadn’t got to a bathroom and died taking my character back to around 2 hours previously. It’s frustrating but classic Dead Rising, and I even felt it was better than normal mode because of the challenge and also there is more tension.
The Final Verdict
I felt like Dead Rising 3 was the best entry to the series since the original Dead Rising game, there were many new additions added to the game that really helped increase the overall enjoyment of the game. The removal of bathroom saves and time limits in normal mode also helps branch this game out to casual gamers who will play for fun with not much of challenge holding them back. But I like how they including the original elements in a different mode to please both types of fans of the series. I didn’t mention many negatives in the review above but there are some things holding back Dead Rising from being that much better like the unimpressive graphics or old Dead Rising problems making there way through to another game but altogether Dead Rising 3 could be the best one yet. If you have an Xbox One then get this game if you haven’t already.
+Good story (If you have played previous Dead Rising games.)
+Additions that have helped Dead Rising that much better.
-Lack of classics buildings (Mall and Casino.)
-Side missions are repetitive, mostly fetch quests.