Dead Rising 3 Won't Force You Along A Timeline

One of the most notable things about the Dead Rising series has been the fact that you're forced to play the game strictly against the clock. It's divisive, but it makes Dead Rising what it is, or to be more accurate, what it was.

In an interview with the LA Times, Dead Rising 3's executive producer stated that the whole missions-against-the-clock thing is a thing of the past, stating that "The past installments were relatively regimented and you were kind of forced along at a particular rate of time. Now we’ve unlocked that to really let you explore this world. We went deeper with more stuff to interact with, more areas to explore, it just feels like a much richer world as a result."

I'm a little torn by this. On the one hand, it's unfair to judge a game before it's out, and the prospect of a totally open-world zombie-fest still has some appeal. On the other hand, the clock-based mechanism in the previous games was such a core part of their appeal to me.

‘Dead Rising 3′ poster, plus Max Brooks, Xbox One and more zombies [LA Times]


    Yeah, every bit of info that is released about this makes me want it less and less. It's like that thing that Luke wrote about the Persona games yesterday - a major part of the appeal with DR for me is that you can't do everything in one playthrough. You had to make choices. I know that mechanic pissed off a lot of people, and equally I understand from an economic point of view how we can't have things that piss off people in AAA games anymore, but it doesn't make me want to play it. One bit.

    Last edited 19/07/13 10:39 am

      a major part of the appeal with DR for me is that you can't do everything in one playthrough.

      And that you can almost do everything, but it requires a lot of effort and planning. A 'perfect' run in the previous games was really fun. It added a whole puzzle sort of dimension to the game.

      I just hate to see it go because I'm sure a big factor in the decision is that they never really explained that you're not meant to be able to save everything right off the bat. A lot of the negative feedback for the series boils 'this is stupid, it wants me to be in ten places at once'.
      I remember a friend trading it in and telling me it was dumb because no matter how he did it he'd always miss the mission and get the 'case has gone cold' game over screen. The game just didn't explain at any point that rescue missions are optional side missions.

    I dunno. I'm a big fan of the previous segments, but you were pretty much forced along a specific path each time; it felt like you had arrived at a theme park (filled with zombies) but you only had a set amount of time in which to test all the rides.
    Sure, there's enough time to rescue every single survivor and kill every psychopath in the one playthrough, but the timing is incredibly tight, and usually at the start of each day there'll be such a sudden cluster of survivors spawned that you'll have to follow a set path.

    I liked the whole idea of surviving for 72 hours (+24 overtime in some cases) until the military arrives / firebombs everything, for the atmosphere and all, but I think in terms of being able to fully explore the world at leisure and actually take the time to enjoy everything there is to offer without worrying about missing something, this will be a welcome change.

    Feel free to disagree :P "BLASPHEMY! CALL YOURSELF A DEAD RISING FAN?!" - I just don't think this is a dealbreaker for me. :)

      but I think in terms of being able to fully explore the world at leisure and actually take the time to enjoy everything there is to offer without worrying about missing something, this will be a welcome change.

      But that's the thing. It's not meant to be enjoyed in one play through. You're meant to play it three or four times. That's why Frank/Chuck retains his PP after each run. Sort of play it through once to get the basic ending and then work your way forward to the best ending.
      Although if you're not into that sort of play fair enough.

        It's not that big of a deal; there'll probably be a 72-hour-mode available regardless. It's not that I'm not into that sort of gameplay, I just don't see a problem with it all being one big leisurely open world. I know it's not strictly dead rising formula, but at the same time I don't see it as a dealbreaker - or even a bad thing, really.

        In the same respect you have all of your PP, only you're not on a time limit. I imagine you'll be able to restart the story and hold onto your character progression. And chances are that when you find survivors, you'll have a set time to save them; if not shorter if the zombies are more aggressive this time around.

      I can disagree with you and still respect your opinion, though!

      But then I am that guy that preferred FarCry 2 to FarCry 3.

        I haven't played Far Cry 3 yet :P I didn't mind the sequel. Anyway, I'm just saying it's not really a dealbreaker for me; not when they've removed those repetitive and tedious loading screens from the games. :)
        Not that it even matters; if it stays an Xbox exclusive I probably won't get a chance to play it, but IF I COULD, I wouldn't mind the leisurely open-world. Without loading screens. Did I mention that part? :p

    It's no dealbreaker, but it does kind of take away from 'I CAN RESCUE X.... or I CAN RESCUE Y... I DONT HAVE TIME TO DO BOTH!!!!!!! WHAT DO I DO!!!!!!!!' I hope there's some sort of mechanic in there stopping you being able to do both. Time limits, draining energy on them stopping you being able to rescue everyone, moral choices etc. It was a major part of the appeal for me not being able to rescue everyone.

      It's not really a choice though (of not being able to save both), cause most people that have replied to this thread say you have to play it multiple times... So there isn't really much of a decision other than "this playthrough i'll save X, next playthrough i'll save Y..." There still no real big consequences for choosing one over the other.

      To me the sheer fact that you retained your XP on the next playthrough really kinda eliminated the whole point of the time based thing for me anyway.

      That's just me though.

        Yeah but that's the thing, on your NEXT playthrough. On no particular playthrough can you perfectly save everyone? I don't think? Infact I actually don't think it's possible to save everyone because it's preset certain people die anyhow...

          There are certain survivors (most of them at the beginning) you can't save in Dead Rising 2, because they're set to die in the story. Same as select survivors when it comes to psychopaths. But in terms of the majority of survivors in the game being rescuable, it is actually possible to save every single one.

          To memory there's something like 65 rescuable survivors, and you pretty much have to plan it all out, but you can save all 65. The biggest problem with saving them all isn't just the timer - it's the fact that there can only be 8 spawned survivors/psychopaths at any one time, across the entire map. I saved them all on one playthrough, but I had to reload at one point because there's this group of 4 'nerds' that wouldn't spawn because it would have taken the number of spawned characters to 9; so even if they're set to spawn at a specific time, it will hold off until you've rescued/killed enough to fit them.

          So yeah, technically you can't save everyone, but of the survivors that it's actually possible to save, you can rescue them all in one playthrough. The related achievement (Hero of Fortune City) only requires you to save 50.

        Only upon reading this thread have I realised that stats carry through to the next play. I'm still finishing up my first playthrough with Dead Rising 2, having not played the original, and so far there has been a very tense atmosphere based around decisions of what to do and who to save.

        I imagine the intensity will remain through the rest of my playthrough as I'll be thinking "So many zombies, must save X, Chef? Is that you-aarrggh" instead of "I'll just save x in my next playthrough". Living in the moment and all that.

      I always felt pressure to rescue everybody :( so I did, but the timing is very precisely set. Not to mention it all turns into a big escort mission, with you having to go back and forth between loading screens if a survivor didn't keep up and come through to a new area with you.

      I wouldn't mind if they made it so that survivors spawned randomly in areas near the player (or were already there if the world's big enough), and from the moment you discovered them the zombies could potentially overpower and kill them if you didn't rescue them. That way you'd still have the 'choice' - do I spend the time and resources attempting to rescue this survivor, or do I simply move on, and perhaps save another nearby?
      Survivors were always so damn tough. You have to really try to get them killed, as they tend to shove clusters of zombies off with ease. Maybe if zombies posed a significant enough threat to their safety, it would be a decent replacement to a simple depleting bar.

        Absolutely, survivors were a little too OP at times. I think that has to be changed, you should have to work out a 'safe' way to get them back. Make you 'work for your reward' as such.

          If survivors were actually properly susceptible to zombie attacks, it would certainly make it more of an interesting challenge. Would be even cooler if instead of just "Steve is dead!" you could get "Steve is now infected!" :P
          Hopefully it's the case; I know some people are bummed that they're going for more aggressive, dangerous zombies as opposed to carefree shufflers this time around, but it'll certainly make getting around / rescuing survivors interesting.

            Absolutely, infection would be awesome!!! To get back and they say 'Oh god no! I've been bitten!' or something and realise though you got back, they got bit anyhow? That would make it all the more important to protect them.

              While we're at it let's make it so that if you bring an infected survivor back he can potentially attack your other survivors ;)

              Anyway, even if they weren't to add some form of infection for survivors, I just want them to be... More bloody vulnerable. EVERYONE is a bloody tank. The old lady you rescue (who is also not meant to have a clue there's even an apocalypse going on) bats zombies away with ease. And that fat cowardly guy you find with his in-law doesn't seem to have too much trouble simply decapitating them. It was literally a matter of talking to them, then running to the finish line and waiting for them to push their way to you. Even if they got mauled by a zombie, they'd lose what - a milimetre of their health bar - before continuing to plow their way through the horde. :P

                Absolutely. I think you should have to have some modicum of planning for your survivors. Arm them, give them armour or something (thick jackets to wear etc or put them in a box and push it on a trolley etc) or SOMETHING...

    **** YES.

    So glad this will be my launch game. I liked the original but the timer really turned me off. I hate being forced to a time restriction.

    I see they are taking Bioware's Dragon Age 2 approach with this...

    Because what we need is more dirty brown zombie games.... There was I think 5 minutes there where one wasn't released...

    They've stated in a previous interview that you will be able to select a mode which does in fact play out like the previous two in terms of time limits and being restricted to saving in restrooms.
    *EDIT* here

    Last edited 19/07/13 11:27 am

      Nice one -- as should be evident, that's something I didn't know.

      Although making it a "nightmare" mode suggests an entirely different game flow. I suppose I'll have to wait and see.

        Not an attempt to disparage your journalistic abilities mate - just figured I should point it out. Now, your scribbling ability is another matter.

        Last edited 19/07/13 12:19 pm

      Yeah I was going to post this, glad you saved me time! :P I actually never got into the other DR games, but this one looks cool, and I like not having the clock - because I'm an explorer/completionist and it irks me when I'm rushed :P

    I dunno, the strict time limit was defining characteristic of the first two, but I felt that was such a bad call. Along with the awful gun aiming mechanics and the ultra short life span of items ( come on, 5-6 hits and the my thick steel pole breaks?? BS!). Maybe a separate campaign mode with the strict time limit would be the best way to appeal to new and HC fans alike. I know I'd certainly like to take my time with the game and explore.

      The weapon aiming got a lot better in the sequel. I still find the sniper rifles / zoom scopes a bit awkward, but it's much better having the aim on the right analog stick / being able to actually move while aiming. I think guns were a lot more welcoming the second time around for these reasons.

      As for weapon durability, don't you think you're exaggerating it just a little ;)
      The game was packed with magazines that could triple the durability of weapons anyhow; I think weapons being breakable is kinda part of the DR experience. Maybe if you could repair or reinforce them I guess, but honestly if you pick up a related magazine their lifespan isn't offputting at all.
      They've mentioned they've got a "Nightmare" mode which runs with the original clock. Should keep everyone happy. :)

      My sentiments about the previous game exactly, it seemed like they were just putting in random stuff to make the game harder and that smacked of laziness which was a pity as I enjoyed the rest of the game.

    This look's be a great zombie game. But a Dead Rising? I don't know...

    Doesnt matter, my enthusiasm for thid died once they released the gameplay trailer. Too serious for a DR game, and the protagonist looks as interesting as Random Tough Guy #27.

      No childs tricycle in a pink tutu and a cowboy hat? No sale!

      At least he's not Random Tough Guy With An Arsechin the Size of the Freakin Titanic #27. I'm talking to you, Chuck Greene. :P

      Frank West was a cool cat, but I can't say I ever pegged Dead Rising to have the most deep and interesting protagonists. As shoddy as this one may look, it's hardly one of Dead Rising's key areas :P
      (besides, you never know - your arseless chaps and cowgirl outfits might still be there somewhere) :D

      Last edited 19/07/13 2:45 pm

    Now all they have to do now is release it on PC and i'm sold

    I absolutely hated the clock mechanic. It seemed like a good idea on paper, amp up the adrenaline as you try to perform a task before the clock runs out, but it never turned out that way. More like raise my anger while I throw my controller at the screen because of a ridiculously unfair mechanic hampering my enjoyment of the game.
    Something would always happen, like I got caught up in the scenery, some random zombie managed to catch hold of me and the time limit stopped any exploration. Perhaps they thought it would add realism but it didn't as why would any mission have to fail at an arbitrary 10 minute mark, like at 10 minutes a person would always die - what!!!
    It may have made the game unique but it definitely didn't make it good. This new game looks better but I'll keep my final verdict until I actually play it.

    Last edited 20/07/13 11:14 am

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