Reader Review: Dead Rising 2

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Mathew does. But if there ever were a zombie apocalypse, he'd probably be having to much fun to save the world.

Yes, that’s right, we’re publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku, in addition to reader retrospectives and features.. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Mathew Gray. If you’ve played Dead Rising 2, or just want to ask Mathew more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Dead Rising 2

Ready your Baseball Bats, MMA gloves, Lawnmowers, Parasols, Casino Chips and golf clubs, Because Dead Rising 2 is finally out, and it's first outing on PC. Is it up to scratch? Let's find out.

Loved

Weapons: One of the main draws of Dead Rising is the sheer amount of weapons you can use on the zombie hordes in the game. Fire Axes, Broadswords, Cash Registers, anything you can pick up can be used to carve your path through a group of zombies.

Most weapons are great, some are useless, but all are hilarious to use. The new addition to the weapons lineup includes Combo Cards., which allow you to combine 2 weapons into a new one. Boxing Gloves + Motor Oil = Flaming boxing gloves, booyeah!

Make your own fun: One of the things I find myself getting lost in is just roaming around the various malls and casino's just doing stupid things. You can loot stores, try on clothes, play various minigames for cash, mix drinks, play slots, and just lose yourself in finding new things. Most of the game's draw is just finding new and stupid things to do, and making your own fun.

Co-Op: This is where the game shines. Get a friend, (preferably one with a good sense of humor) and go nuts. I wasted 5 hours in one night doing co-op with a friend, and we didn't even attempt to make any sort of progression through the main story, we just messed around for 5 hours straight, and it is probably one of the best co-op experiences I've ever had in a game. We trashed stores, we had ketchup fights, we dressed up like lumberjacks and slaughtered a few hundred zombies with Battleaxes, we got mauled by a tiger, we pushed each other around in wheelchairs, raided a gunshop and played with sniper rifles, hung out in a casino's security room and got drunk, and spent all of the night laughing at the crazy stuff we could do.

Hated

Underpowered: At the start of the game, you are really weak, to the point of it being crippling. I know the whole point of having a leveling system in place is to have a sense of your character growing over time, but the game seems to really crawl along at the lower levels, and necessitates ignoring the main story and most of the bosses until you have a few levels under your belt.

Time Limit: it seems like you have 2 options when it comes to the time limit: Stick to it, or Ignore it completely, there isn't a middle ground. It would be nice to have an option of disabling the time limit to mess around, similar to GTA IV's sleep mode of the Phone. Because rescuing survivors, completing missions and finding your daughter's anti-zombie EpiPen leaved very little time for you to go messing about.

Overall, it's well worth the money, especially if you have a friend who will join you for the fun.

Reviewed by: Mathew Gray


Comments

    Wow, got my review posted. Nice. :P

    All the co-op happened and no attention was paid to the daughter. at all.

    "You have 1 hour to find Zombrex, or Katey will die"

    "Who is Katey??" *rides tricycle down escalator*

      Is neglecting to find the Zombrex for Katey a fail condition in this game? i.e. is it possible to just completely ignore it, or will you get a game-over if you do?

        It's not, you can skip giving her zombrex, have her turn, and continue on your merry way, the game won't end. you can literally abandon your daughter, disregard the entire storyline and spend the 3 in-game days in what is essentially a free roam mode, where you can still rescue survivors and fight the occasional boss.

      I was showing a few friends the game and one of the first things I did was a tricycle ride down escalators. You didn't mention TIR multiplayer though. Not nit picking as I enjoyed your post but thought this was actually really good fun.

      I am looking for more friends for Co op and have a good sense of humor. Send a FR to 'FatShady Live' if you are keen. Hardly any of my friends have this game... Please please be my friend.

        Multiplayer isn't anything to write home about, really. 500 word limit means I cut my experiences on competitive multiplayer, but to sum it up: kinda boring. relies more on luck than skill, games are so-so and the cash prizes aren't all that good.

          What do you mean "cash prizes aren’t all that good."???

          Earning $80k plus in 10 minutes seems pretty good to me!

            I can earn that much playing slots with 3 gambling books in my inventory. Multiplayer just isn't for me, that's all.

              Fair enough, I actually enjoy it but I want to have 4 friends. I am not sure if no-one is talking or if voice is not supported, but it is quite.

              As for it requiring skill, i disagree, I have won a couple of episodes and a few of the rounds and there is certainly skill involved here. It is not overly complex, but there is some degree of strategy adn skill. Imnot saying it is a deep MP experience, but i needed a quick $100,000 for a mission, loaded up TIR, had a blast adn 15 mins or so later I was back into the game 150k richer!

              But yeah, not for everyone.

    How does the MP on the PC work? Does it have LAN? Splitscreen?

      Multiplayer is done through Games for Windows Live. Unfortunately, no LAN or splitscreen support is in the game.

    I think this game will appeal in one way or another to most people. If you like exploring, finding new stuff and making your own fun, you'll enjoy it. If you like linearity and a solid narrative, you might not see what all the fuss is about.

    Also, there's a grammar error in my review, now I look like a moron. I blame it on the lack of sleep last night from this game, and a 6am start at work. Ghuuuuuuhh, braaains.

    The lack of a 'sleep mode' is the biggest drawback for me. Otherwise still an awesome and a little bit quirky game just like the first.

    Rockin' review and very apt description of the co-op mode.

    Much fun is to be had in single player but co-op just ramps it up to a whole other level.

    The time limit is vastly toned down from how demanding it was in the first Dead Rising, at least.

      If memory serves me correctly, DR1 had it's 3 days pass in 6 hours of gameplay time, and DR2 has it pass after 8. I could be wrong, though. (It could be 8 / 12, I'm not sure.

    Really awesome you got your review published on Kotaku. Great work.

    As far as the game goes, I haven't had a chance to pick it up, but Case Zero was a hell of a downloadable title.

      I've got case zero on my 360, but I had the full game already pre-purchased on my PC. It would be nice to see some DLC hit the PC eventually, as Case Zero and Case West are "Xbox exclusives". I hope the other systems get some DLC love too.

    I find it strange that so many people are hating the time limit so much with this game. There was a particularly bile filed rant about it over at the escapist complaining about how bad it was and how you couldn't have any fun because of it (using many many more f-bombs).

    However on my play through I found that there were many times where I had finished everything and had nearly 12hours in game time to mess around. Hell I spent nearly a full day playing strip poker with all the survivors I had rescued and am currently fighting the final overtime mode boss.

    The way I look at it, the time limit is more of a 72 hour set off scripted events. In something like GTA when you go into 'sleep' mode nothing evolves. In this, the game loops through a series of events that you can then muck around with. If you want to complete the main story you can. The game doesn't force you to do anything in particular. Given that unlocks carry over into the next play through it isn't like you have to start again and wait until you can start having fun again. If zombie killing is what you want, you just leave the safe room, grab a weapon and get to it.

      I just feel that it's weird to have a time limit / window of opportunity for missions in a game where it's easy to get distracted by other things. The time limit isn't a game-breaker, but early on it's a big hurdle to overcome, and could have been implemented better.

    Haha such a good review.

    Yeah Case Zero was great in that it let you start the game at Level 5 with a bunch of Combo Cards already, which made the game feel a bit easier to play.

    I remember restarting the first Dead Rising 5 or 6 times just so I could keep levelling up so I wouldnt die all the time

      Yeah I'm finding the same thing. But with so many options and still finding secrets after 12hrs of gameplay I'm not too worried about restarting.

    12hrs in and I'm still not bored with DR2!

    Thanks again Matt. Your review highlights all the fun of both single player and co-op modes nicely. The game may be harsh to complete without building your levels first but I think that was a way for the developers to inject more play time into the game. But I for one am not complaining with the amount of combos and hidden items I'm still discovering.

    Now, what can I make with this pitchfork and shotgun?

Join the discussion!