“Dead Rising 2” is the sequel to “Dead Rising,” the original video game in the franchise. The plot takes place five years after the incidents of the first chapter in the saga, with a new protagonist and set of enemies. Players take the role of Chuck Greene, a motor cross champion who now performs on a zombie-slaying TV show called Terror is Reality, who finds himself and his almost-zombie daughter in mess. Katie, like many humans, staves-off succumbing to the infection with a medicine called Zombrex; Chuck, like many humans, is desperate to obtain the drug.
When zombies overrun and utterly destroy the patrons at the Terror is Reality TV facilities, Chuck finds himself among a handful of survivors who escaped into the basement of the facility. With Fortune City, Nevada, completely at the mercy of hordes of shambling undead, Chuck must venture out into the cliché-but-mandatory mall to find supplies, survivors, and most importantly a daily supply of Zombrex for Katie.
As a long-time fan of survivor horror video games, zombie-themed series and makeshift weapons, I couldn’t wait to sample “Dead Rising 2” shortly after its release on September 28th, 2010. Prior to loading up this second chapter in the nightmare, I had never played the “Dead Rising” series-something I was driven to remedy shortly after enjoying the sequel so entirely. The video game carries an ESRB rating of Mature, which is no wonder considering players spend 90% of their time bashing, decapitating, and otherwise maiming zombies in a splash of blood and gore. Not to mention a sick little girl is almost always good for at least a Teen rating.
‘Dead Rising 2’ Pros:
I was surprised and immediately impressed at how compelling the storyline in ‘Dead Rising 2’ is, down to the vague hints about Chuck’s past to the future for his seemingly-doomed daughter. Most Action Adventure video games lack plot sustenance, and tacking on the Survival Horror vibe is often not enough to save the title from mindless activity. Fortunately, ‘Dead Rising 2’ escapes that fate; Chuck is an interesting, likeable character, and the villains-especially the psychopaths-are downright creepy.
The addition of “Combo Weapons” on the part of the Capcom developers was absolutely genius; walking around and using random items for weapons is a lot of fun, but combining normal items to make a hilarious, though sometimes useless, combo weapon is downright addictive. Have some duct tape, a bowie knife and some boxing gloves? You’re all set!
‘Dead Rising 2’ Cons:
The loading times on “Dead Rising 2” are a little ridiculous. OK, very ridiculous, if I’m being honest. The first time you play through and watch a cut scene, it can be highly entertaining, but after a few times it gets frustrating. Boot-up your save, wait for loading; skip the cut scene, wait for loading; zone into a new area, wait for loading; trigger yet another cut scene, wait for loading-you get the picture.
If you happen to enjoy leisurely video games with no time limitations, “Dead Rising 2” may disappoint. The primary objectives of the storyline have significant time limitations involved, and trust me when I say skipping a deadline means a Game Over. However, after that you can opt to continue playing in a freeform mode, if you simply want to bash around some zombies.
I read in several reports prior to the September release of “Dead Rising 2” that this video game would offer co-op multiplayer offline instead of requiring Xbox Live. Much to my disappointment, that isn’t the case-you can only bring in a friend if you’re both connected to Xbox Live. However, incorrect rumors are no error on the part of Capcom, but offline co-op mode would have made this video game even better.
‘Dead Rising 2’ Final Score: 4.5/5
Capcom definitely has a hit video game in “Dead Rising 2,” which manages to surpass the original. This title also offers the all-too-rare perk of having considerable replay value. With the time limitations during play, getting all of the bonus objectives completed in time is truly a challenge. Missed saving that stripper in the mermaid costume? Better load up a new game! In fact, the risk of addiction and the potential for losing hours of your life while attached to your console controller is probably the biggest con of “Dead Rising 2.” But is that really a con to everyone?
“Dead Rising 2” is available for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.