Review – Dead Rising 2: Case Zero

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero
Developers: Blue Castle, Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Xbox 360 (XBLA)
Genre: Survival Horror, Action RPG
Release Date: Out Now

Bit late with this review, but a review none the less! Dead Rising 2 has already landed in Europe, and is arriving this week for the rest of the world. For those of you craving a taste of what Capcom’s newest zombie survival title has to offer, then look no further. Don’t mistake this game as a demo, for Case Zero delivers an experience that will leave you begging for more. Hit the jump for the full review.

Case Zero acts as a prologue to Dead Rising 2, and gets you acquainted with the new cast of characters. We follow main character Chuck Greene and his daughter Katey, who has been infected, as they land themselves in an unfortunate situation. During a pit stop, Chuck’s truck (popular joke that one) is stolen, along with his supply of Zombrex, an injection which suppresses the infection for 12 hours. With no transportation and no Zombrex, Chuck is in big trouble.  He has 12 hours to get Katey more Zombrex and find a way out of Still Creek.

From the moment you take control of Chuck, you’ll be certain of one fact, this is Dead Rising. If you have played the first Dead Rising, like most people, then you’ll instantly recognize the style of gameplay. Case Zero follows the exact same formula, with a few new twists mixed in. You are given objectives, which are displayed on-screen in an energy gauge-like fashion. As time progresses, these bars will wither down until empty. While 12 hours isn’t a lot of time in-game, it’s never enough to make you panic. You are given plenty of time to play about with the undead and still make it back in time for tea. Although Chuck looks more like someone who would enjoy a nice cup of coffee.

Chuck can carry a number of items with him, including weapons and refreshments. Your inventory is quite small so be sure to only carry what you need. You can obtain a wide variety of weapons, along the lines of fire arms, melee weapons and just plain silly junk. Your weapons will break after use, rendering them useless. Items aren’t scarce though, so don’t feel pressured into reserving every bullet or holding back on groups of zombies.

One of the newest features to be introduced in Dead Rising 2 is the customization of items. You can combine certain items together to create a whole new weapon. In Case Zero, you’re getting a small taste of what customization has to offer. You’ll get to create some simple weapons, such as a spiked bat, but you’ll also have access to some of the more unique weapons. One example would be the boomstick, the combination of a pitch fork and a shotgun. You just gotta love the creativity of the people behind this game.

Since it wouldn’t be Dead Rising without, there are survivors scattered all over the streets of Still Creek, just waiting for you to come and save their asses. Saving survivors actually pays off this time around, as it greatly helps your progression. Saving one of the survivors will grant you access to the pawn shop, where you can purchase weaponry to unleash on the zombies just waiting to be carved into pieces. There’s nothing more satisfying than ramming into a big group of them while wearing a moose head. You just knock em down like pins.

While it’s unfortunate that there is only one present, Case Zero features a Psychopath battle. Incase you’re unfamiliar with these boss battles, I’ll break it down for you. You are forced to fight strategically against a human NPC who has gone insane, and wants you dead of course. You can’t just rush into these fights, as that will get you killed in seconds. This strategic side to the game is one of the things I loved about the original Dead Rising. Mindlessly slaughtering everything is fun but a challenge is always needed.

As with the first title in the series, Dead Rising has a slice of RPG in its gameplay. As you defeat zombies and rescue survivors, you’ll gain PP, which serves as a form of experience. Gain enough PP and you’ll level up, opening up some upgrades to help Chuck. You cap at level 5 in Case Zero, but your experience is carried over to Dead Rising 2, along with any combo cards you have obtained. As you level up, you’ll gain combo cards, which feature the items needed to create certain weapons. Not a bad bonus if I do say so myself.

Dead Rising fans need not worry, Case Zero is far from being a waste of time. It’s the perfect way to get you ready for Dead Rising 2, and it even rewards you for doing so. For only 400MSP, you’re paying next to nothing for over 10 hours of accumulative gameplay. The achievements are stupidly easy too, so that’s always a selling point for some people. You cannot miss out on this game, it is a must play. Even if you’ve never played a Dead Rising title before, Case Zero is a fantastic and cheap place to start.

Final Score – 10/10

Fun, Satisfying, Rewarding. There really is no reason why you should skip out on this … unless you own a PS3

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