Dead Rising 2: Case Zero Review: The Case Of The Zombie-Killing Demo

I have downed alcohol until vomiting, I have halved zombies crown to crotch. I have wielded an electrified rake. I am Chuck Greene: The zombie apocalypse's worst nightmare.

Xbox 360 exclusive Dead Rising 2: Case Zero is meant to be a prequel to the full Dead Rising 2 game due out on September 28. In Case Zero, you are introduced to Chuck Greene and his zombie plague-infected daughter as they roll into a service station in Still Water, a tiny town outside of the Vegas-like Fortune City. Minutes into the game, Greene finds himself trapped in the town with a daughter desperately in need of a zombie-fighting dose of Zombrex and the threat of an encroaching, uncaring military bearing down on his location.

You've got half a day to find the medicine, find a ride and stay alive.


Gameplay Overhaul: Case Zero is for the most part a glorified demo, but that doesn't mean it's not worth the five dollars. Besides getting to dip into the world of Dead Rising again, you also get a chance to check out all of those wonderful additions to the series. You'll learn how to build your own weapons by putting two things together at a workbench. You'll scramble up walls and along rooftops. You'll be able to try the much-improved shooting of Dead Rising 2. And then there are the graphics, the new weapons and the gruesome way you can slice and dice zombies, lopping off body parts and even cutting them in half vertically.

Pick a Path: Case Zero isn't just a zombie-killing fun park. There are missions and side stories. While working your way through the objectives you'll also have plenty of opportunities to pick up stranded stragglers, saving them for experience and cash, both of which transfer over to the full release of the game when it hits. The best part, the biggest draw for playing and replaying and replaying the game for me, was discovering that the game has four different endings. Depending on what you do and how well you do it, you're treated to different game-ending cutscenes. That's a fantastic way to get gamers to get the most out of the Case Zero's town and many buildings.


Losing the Plot: Capcom was very clear about how Dead Rising 2: Case Zero was going to be a game that fell at the middle point between the original Dead Rising and the upcoming Dead Rising 2. I was even told at one point that we'd find out a bit about the original game's protagonist, Frank West. But no such thing happened during my three complete playthroughs of the game. And the plot that the game rests on is more a device to keep you moving, to excuse the time-locked play session, than it is something that plucks at your emotions or pulls you through the game. Let's hope that developer Blue Castle Games does a much better job with the story of Dead Rising 2, because the prequel's felt flat and rushed.

Viewed from the perspective of value: Dead Rising 2: Case Zero walks a very fine line. There are many things about it that feel an awful lot like a demo: The time limit, the throwaway plot, the level cap. But on the other hand, it's a game I played through completely not once but three times and thoroughly enjoyed with each pass.

The town of Still Water is packed with places to explore, roofs to get to, stores to unlock, weapons to find and weapons to build and even a final boss fight. And there are all of those zombies, the walking dead that get so thick and piled up against one another at times that they look like an ambling, roiling jungle of decay. A jungle you can't help but cleave through again and again with broadsword, with bowling pin, with heated frying pan, with nail-studded baseball bat... with great satisfaction.

Five dollars? Absolutely!

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero was developed by Blue Castle Games and published by Capcom for the Xbox 360 on August 31. Retails for 400 Microsoft points or $US5. A copy of the game was given to us by the publisher for reviewing purposes. Played through the game completely three times, achieved three different endings. Played through large sections of the game more than a dozen times.

Confused by our reviews? Read our review FAQ.


    Any Aussies got it yet. I did and loved it. Played about an hour last night and it just is FUN... what did you think?

    Spiked bat (nails + baseball bat)
    Drill bucket (Drill + bucket)
    Molitov (Whiskey + newspaper)
    IED Propane (Gas tank + Nails)
    Sniper rifle and M16..... Awesome!!!

    and that is all I have found so far!

      Do you need a Gold membership because i couldn't find it last night or this morning.

        You don't need a Gold membership Unicron. A bit of a search on the xbox site was all it took. It is purchased and now in your download queue awaiting your arrival home from work. Hope that helps.

          UNICRON !!
          Why do you torture me!?!
          I now possess that which you most fear!!
          You will do my bidding...or taste my wrath...

            Nice Quote.
            I was actually watching/glancing at the movie on my new N900 while driving home last night. Had my 8 year old step son glued to the screen. He had only seen the awful live action try hards.
            I have Unicron (obviously my favourite Transformer) hanging from fishing line in my loungeroom. Looks very cool.

      other weapons that I saw was a handbag, a broom, a circular saw blade, a cart that you push around, a moosehead that you wear, 2X4 timber, crates and wooden boxes... Oh so much fun.

      I seriously can't wait to get home, put my son to bed, do a small amount of Uni study and then smash this game for 2-3 hours... Can't wait for the full release. Day 1 for sure!

    Yeah, I love it. I'm only up to the boss Jed though and it was 3am. For 400 MSP it is AMAZING value. Seriously. Its so large for the price your playing, they could easily have slapped 1200MSP on it and it would STILL be worth it! AMAZING!

    I havent tried the bucket drill yet! I didn't think of that combination...what the heck does it do? :S


      Only got 4 hours sleep hehe :P

      Oh the bucket drill. It basically is a bucket upside down with 3 drills sticking into it. You place it on the zombies head like a hat, then the drills turn on and turns their head into mush while still within the helmet. Their hed just falls apart...

    Dammit Capcom! I'm getting the zombie killing shakes, I have to wait till PS3 release which, now I think about it, is probably good because I have a ton of Uni work and uni break starts for me on the 27th.


    Xbox Live, being the twunt that it is, keeps telling me, "This item isn't available from your current Location.".

    Is there some Xbox live rep I can find and hit until they sort this shit out?

      I followed the link below

      Queue it up from the PC and DL when you are at the console... all good and Im in Sydney!

        Dammit still not working for me! I just want some zombie killing action... Uni is far too stressful. I need zombie bashing :(

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now