WARNING: NOT SAFE FOR KIDS. THIS GAME IS RATED M FOR MATURE.
Capcom‘s 2: Case Zero was released yesterday, August 31st as an Xbox Live exclusive. The game itself is a prequel to Dead Rising 2 which bridges the gap between the original Dead Rising and the sequel.
With Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, we are introduced to the new protagonist in the game, Chuck Greene. Chuck’s life takes a turn for the worst when a a zombie outbreak occurs in Las Vegas where his wife is killed and his daughter becomes infected with the zombie virus. Chuck has Las Vegas with his daughter in order to find a cure for her (the drug Zombrex) before she becomes a full fledged zombie. Check stops at the town of Still Creek where his truck is subsequently stolen and he is now stranded with no place to run and must fight to stay alive as the zombie outbreak has also reached this once quite town. I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you as there honestly is very little left to tell.
If you have played the first Dead Rising, most of this game will be familiar to you. There is a safe house area where no zombies will be able go. This is basically your base camp where you’ll need to go back to in order to complete certain objectives. This is also the place where you lead survivors back that you find. Similar to the original Dead Rising, survivors are scattered throughout Still Creek. It’s not mandatory that you find them but they do earn you bonuses if you do. The entire game is time based like the original as well. You have a certain amount of time to complete certain objectives before the game is over. If you don’t complete these objectives, it’s game over and you have to start all over again. The save system is still based on using restrooms so try to find out where all the restrooms are in your first playthrough.
One area where I found the game to be much improved is in the control scheme. Unlike the first Dead Rising which had a very strange control layout, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero has a more “western” layout. The controls are much more familiar so it should be much easier for players to get in to without having to completely learn a new way of playing.
I’ve been waiting a long time for a sequel to Dead Rising. I know Dead Rising 2: Case Zero is just a small taste of Dead Rising 2, but its great to have something that bridges the gap between both games even though the experience is pretty short. The game starts off with a 10 minute cut scene detailing how Chuck and his daughter get stranded in Still Creek and why his daughter needs Zombrex. It good to watch it at least once so you know what is going on. You can skip it on all your other playthroughs. After that is where the real fun begins – zombie killing.
Graphically, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero is OK. It’s not stunning like a lot of the more recent games to come out. In fact, I think they are about the same as the original Dead Rising which I’m not sure if that is good or bad. I had no problems with it as its more about the gameplay but some might find it to be a bit underwhelming. You’ll be happy to know though that there is an insane amount of zombies on screen at the same time so that is a major plus. That was one of the main highlights of the original Dead Rising so I’m glad that hasn’t changed.
Control wise, like I said before is much improved. There isn’t much to relearn. Unlike the first Dead Rising, players can pretty much jump right into the game with no problems. The control scheme is very un-Capcom-like which in my opinion is a very good thing. Thumbsticks are used for motion and controlling the camera. Left trigger aims. Right trigger throws. The “A” but is for jump. “B” is to activate doors or pick up objects. “X” is to use your hand held weapons. Both left and right top buttons are used to scroll through the inventory. Easy and effective.
I had a good 3 hours to play this game last night. The story is very short and I completely failed my first playthrough in a huge way. But you know what? I had lots of fun playing Dead Rising 2: Case Zero. There is a certain amount of joy that comes from using a chainsaw to hack a zombie completely in half. I also had a great time testing out all the objects I found that could be potential weapons. One tip, playing cards make terrible weapons. On the save system, I thought using the restrooms would be a damper on the game since the original Dead Rising also relied on the same save method and restrooms in that game were few and far between. Dead Rising 2: Case Zero really doesn’t have that problem as the map itself is fairly small and there are plenty of restrooms to be found.
Dead Rising 2: Case Zero does include one new feature not found in the original Dead Rising. Chuck is able to combine items he finds into much more effective weapons. For example, a baseball bat + nails = a skull smashing nail bat.
All-in-all, I was very pleased with how Dead Rising 2: Case Zero came out. The main thing here is that the game is fun and Capcom did make improvements to the original formula. Plus, you can never go wrong with a zombie game, especially one that has this many zombies onscreen at one time. It makes for one fantastic slaughter-fest. Even though I failed the first playthrough, this only makes me want to go back and play it again and again until I get it right. Tonight will be playthrough number 2 and hopefully, I’ll be able to progress farther.
Dead Rising 2: Case Zero might be a really short game at only 2 hours, but it is far from short on fun. You can purchase Dead Rising 2: Case Zero now in the Xbox Live Marketplace for 400MS Points.
UPDATE: Beat the game after my second playthrough with the good ending. The game can be challenging figuring out what to do at times but that’s half the fun – figuring things out. On the second playthrough I managed to get to some good weapons early on as well as opening up a store that had all the gear I needed. Achievements in this game are not too difficult to open up as after my third run through, I unlocked 9/10 achievements. After playing Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, I honestly can’t wait for Dead Rising 2 to come out. Bring on the zombies!