The original Dead Rising is one of those games that will always hold a special place in my heart because it's this was around the time when I was old enough to have a job and was old enough to buy my own games and videogame consoles. The Xbox 360 was the first game console that I ever bought myself and Dead Rising is the game that made me buy that system. I remember when it was first revealed and my mind was blown. It's crazy now but seeing that many zombies on the screen at once back when the game was first revealed was the moment that made me say "oh yeah, next gen is finally here". Here we are in 2016 and Dead Rising 4 is about to be released later this year, but if you have never played this series before, you have the chance to get into the series now as a "Dead Rising Triple Pack" has been released and features the first time that these games have been released on the Xbox One and the PS4. I got a chance to play the PS4 version of the games and while the games do show their age a bit, it's still a fantastic collection of games that are still fun to play to this day.
The Dead Rising Triple Pack contains three games. Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. It should be noted that these games are not remakes so these are the exact same games that were released years ago, but since these are HD remasters they have been cleaned up quite a bit for the current gen release. All games now run at a smooth 60FPS, which is a godsend as I remember the original games had the tendency to lag at times. It should be noted though that while it does run at 60FPS, it can dip a bit when things start to get hectic but never to a point where it becomes a problem
The original Dead Rising sees photo journalist Frank West being caught in a shopping mall during a zombie outbreak and the mall itself is just as much a character as the survivors and zombies themselves. The thing that was always great about the Dead Rising games is how they never took themselves seriously. The shopping mall is full of color and full of a wide variety of shopping stores. From clothing stores, food courts, a movie theater, sports stores, and much more, part of the fun of this game is just going around the mall and seeing all the wacky and crazy things that can be used as weapons against the zombies. Just about anything that isn't nailed down can be used as a weapon. The game also has tons of different crazy clothing options as well. It's always funny when a serious cutscene will start and you see Frank wearing a tiny cowboy hat, sun glasses, biker jeans and cowboy boots. The only thing that can be annoying about this game is the sometimes unforgiving timer system when it comes to story missions. Having a timer on missions isn't bad but sometimes you will literally have to rush from location to location to prevent the game from ending because you didn't make it to a specific location in time.
Dead Rising 2 takes place in a new city called Fortune City and moves from a shopping mall to a giant casino. Dead Rising 2 also features a new protagonist, Chuck Greene who's daughter has been infected and needs Zombrex every 24 hours to keep her from turning into a zombie. The timer system does return but it is much more forgiving than the first game so it's a lot easier to rescue survivors, kill hoards of zombies and still have enough time for the main story missions. Dead Rising 2 is my favorite game in the series so far as much enjoyed Fortune City's casino to Dead Risings shopping mall. This game also introduces the weapon crafting system where you can combine two weapons together to make new more powerful weapons. For instance, combine gems with a leaf blower to create a gem launcher. Combine nails with a baseball bat to create a spiked bat or a hunk of meat with a stick of dynamite. Much like the first game, even with the more forgiving timer system, it's still incredibly easy for time to completely slip by as creating weapons and slaughtering hoards of zombies is so much fun.
Dead Rising 2: Off The Record is an alternate, non canon take on the Dead Rising 2 story. Instead of playing as Chuck Greene, Dead Rising 1 protagonist Frank West makes his return. This game takes place right after the events of Dead Rising. Having being hailed as a hero for exposing the outbreak at the mall, Frank West has reached celebrity status. Money, women, fame, he practically turns into a Johnny Cage style movie star. Unfortunately all of the fame and fortune goes to his head and everything comes crashing down. He resorts to selling out and being a contestant on Terror Is Reality and the same outbreak from the original Dead Rising 2 takes place. Off the Record is pretty much the exact same game as Dead Rising 2. However, since you are playing as Frank this time, some of the characters in the story and their motivations are a bit different, so it's absolutely worth playing through the game again with the alternate storyline. The return of Frank also means the return of his photo journalistic skills with his camera, which was something that was absolutely missing from the original Dead Rising 2. Now, I won't spoil all the details for those who haven't played the game before but Chuck Greene does make an appearance in Off The Record and it's pretty amazing alternate take on the character. Despite basically being the same game, it does add additional content including new crafting weapons, updated survivor AI (ill get into this later) and decent checkpoint system.
I am not going to go in depth about each game since these are the same games that were released years ago, however it should be noted that while these games still are a ton of fun some parts of these games really do show their age. For one, there is no sprint or run button so getting to one end of the mall or casino can get frustrating especially when you are trying to get back as quickly as possibly before the timer on the main story missions expire. As you level up, your speed stat increases but at the beginning of the games, you will usually be looking for a skateboard or a shopping cart or a wheelchair that allows you move quickly through the area. The absolute worst part about these games however that hasn't been fixed at all is the absolutely atrocious survivor AI. In all three games you will find survivors around the area and you can bring them back with you to the safe house. You can give them a weapon to "defend" themselves but they will hardly ever use it since they will take two steps and usually get attacked by a hoard of zombies. They will start losing health and when you attack those zombies to try to save them you will most likely end up damaging the survivor as well. These survivors give you massive XP boosts but it's usually never worth it since it's almost impossible to bring any survivors back that aren't at least close to the safe house. The survivor AI is a bit better in Dead Rising 2: Off The Record, but it can still become incredibly bothersome.
Despite showing their age all three of these Dead Rising games are still a ton of fun and are absolutely worth playing if you haven't gotten into the series at this point. If you have already played the original games to death, there isn't going to be anything new here. It's Dead Rising 1, 2 and Off The Record, nothing more, but even so that's not a bad thing at all as these are three incredibly fun games that provide hours of zombie killing fun.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember. My earliest gaming memories come from playing Lady Bug and Snafu on my fathers Colecovision and Intellivision respectively. It wasnt until I was 6 years old and played a Mortal Kombat 2 arcade machine in a game room at a hotel that I truly fell in love with a videogame. I have so many wonderful memories of my dad and I playing Mortal Kombat on SNES every night after dinner. Throughout my childhood NES, SNES, Gameboy and Sega Genesis were the loves of my life. Here I am 29 years old and still as much in love with videogames as I ever was. And for the record... I enjoyed the Mass Effect 3 ending... sue me