Chris is a fan of the Dead Rising series. He actually bought me a copy of DR3 a while backThanks buddy! and I got to see what the series is all about. Now he’s played Dead Rising 4, and we discover the series has changed quite a bit this time around…
Like Chris says at the start, Dead Rising is a polarizing game. Either you find it off-putting, or it gives you a kind of gameplay and tension that you just can’t get anywhere else. I know the zombie genre is played out at this point, but Dead Rising pre-dates the zombie craze and – until now – has been very much focused on doing its own thing.
Mechanically it’s kind of old-school Japanese survival horror, but thematically, it’s… uh? I dunno. Honestly, I was never able to figure out what the game was trying to be. Between the crafting, the unforgiving timer, the super-serious plot elementsFight to get a dose of anti-zombie serum to stop your young daughter from turning., gonzo world, goofy dress-up mechanics, and vague scattershot commentary on consumerism, I never had any idea what I was supposed to be feeling at any given moment. Is this supposed to be funny? Sad? Ironic?
I’m one of the people who dislikes the series. The timer is a complete killjoy for me. I hate this kind of time pressure. It’s not the good kind of tension you get from a “race against time” type story. Instead, it’s a sort of nagging nuisance, like knowing you can’t settle in an enjoy this game because you have to leave for work in twenty minutes. Everything about it seems engineered to inhibit my ability to have fun.
The game is also critic-proof, which means I can’t even enjoy tearing it apart for analysis. The game is such a mess of tones and ideas that you can’t zero in, figure out what the designers were trying to do, and see if they achieved it. No matter how stupid the story is, how frustrating the gameplay, how broken the mechanics, or how incoherent the themes, someone can always excuse it with, “No Shamus, you just don’t get it. They made that bit stupid on purpose. See, it’s actually satire.” Kojima has been getting away with this for decades. All criticism can be deflected with the “It’s satire!” defense.
But now it looks like this latest Dead Rising has been designed to make the series more “mainstream”. I know I just spent four paragraphs dumping on the game, but this sounds like a terrible idea. They’re abandoning the things that gave the series its personality. That’s like adding quicksave and quickload to Dark Souls. It doesn’t make me any more likely to play it, but it will probably alienate existing fans.
I hate to see something unique taken away, even if it’s something I don’t personally enjoy.
 Thanks buddy!
 Fight to get a dose of anti-zombie serum to stop your young daughter from turning.
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