|System: Xbox One|
|Pub: Microsoft Studios|
|Release: November 2013|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Josh Engen
The Dead Rising 3 booth was arguably the most terrifying setup at E3. Instead of stocking the location with half-naked women, which is customary at the video game industry's most important convention, Capcom hired actors, made them up like Zombies, and asked them to shamble around the booth and attempt to eat any passing journalists. Luckily, the display was surrounded by a seven-foot-tall chain-link fence. So, we were relatively safe.
And even though the booth only held a few zombies, the scene was enough to encourage a perpetual crowd of giggling spectators. Now, normally, I think it's probably a bad idea to laugh at zombies—or any other monsters, for that matter—but in this case, it's exactly what Capcom was going for.
Dead Rising 3 is the latest sequel in a franchise that refuses to take itself seriously, no matter how many zombies eat your brains. And, even though this game takes itself a little more seriously than the previous titles, there are still plenty to reasons to laugh during a zombie apocalypse.
The story takes place ten years after the events of Dead Rising 2, and players will take control of a character named Nick Ramos. Ramos, a former mechanic who wears a stylish biker's jacket, is trying to find his way out of Los Perdidos, California before a military strike wipes the city off the map.
After the game was revealed during Microsoft's E3 press conference, I heard a number of people complaining that Dead Rising 3 must have been influenced by Call of Duty's serious tone. Unfortunately, this kind of complaint is becoming common, and it isn't without cause. Call of Duty is the biggest shooter in the industry, and many publishers are trying to figure out how to replicate that kind of success.
But the folks at Capcom have made it pretty clear that Dead Rising 3 hasn't lost its trademark wit. In fact, they claim that the game's tone is actually dictated by player interaction, and that the humor has a much higher contrast given the more serious overtones. So, in essence, the player can choose just how funny they want the game to be.
Letting players choose the tone is something that really hasn't existed up until now. And even though I haven't spent nearly enough time with DR3 to talk about the successfulness of this philosophy, I certainly dig the idea.
However, there's nothing funny about Dead Rising 3's mechanics. The game really muscles the Xbox One's processing power by giving every individual zombie a type of "brain." They can all hear and see, which means that sound and lighting mechanics will affect each zombie differently depending on their location, line of sight, and head position. During the demonstration, the presenter showed off how something like a flare gun will attract hundreds of zombies, but certainly not all of them. If zombies existed in reality, this is probably how they would act. Unless they were the zombies from that Warm Bodies movie. Then they would just fall in love with everyone.
Fans of the series will also be happy to hear that Nick Ramos has inherited the ability to create weapons by splicing tools together in terrifying combinations. You'll have to find the appropriate recipe in order to craft your favorite Frankenstein weapon, but that shouldn't surprise anyone who's played the previous titles. Throughout the presentation, we got to see a couple of weapons called the Boom Cannon and Tactical Handgun. However, my personal favorite was the Sledge Saw. It's basically a circular saw that's been duct taped to a sledgehammer. It carves up zombies like fleshy sticks of butter.
It's disgusting. And awesome.
I know that everyone gets a little queasy anytime I mention SmartGlass, but Dead Rising 3 does include several touch-screen interactions. Tablet owners will be able to control a secondary character that can communicate with Nick throughout the campaign. Apparently, this guy has access to military technology, so he'll become useful when you need to call in an air strike.
This will be awfully handy, because the number of zombies has increased exponentially since the last Dead Rising title. They're practically standing shoulder to shoulder in this game, and sometimes a Sledge Saw just won't cut it.
See what I did there?
If you're a hardcore Dead Rising fanboy, and you want to relive some of the franchise's gameplay staples, DR3 includes an option called Nightmare Mode. This turns the game's timer on, which means you have to get out of Los Perdidos before the countdown hits zero. However, if you're like me, you probably think that timers have no place in open-world games. So, you'll leave it off.
Dead Rising 3 is one of the most exciting games that's heading to the Xbox One. The franchise has deep roots, and Capcom is really attempting to utilize the console's hardware. The game might not have all the flare of Titanfall or all the nostalgia of Killer Instinct, but it lands comfortably in the middle. And that's where brilliant games actually exist.
Date: July 16, 2013