Thanks to George Romero, the thought of going to a mall has been made all the more stressful with the addition of zombies. Thankfully, with the power of video gaming, you can relive all those moments from the comfort of your Dorito-stained couch.
Dead Rising puts you in the shoes of wartime journalist and all-round meathead Frank West. You have 72 hours to uncover the source of a zombie outbreak in Willamette, Colorado. Of course, in a surprising twist of originality, the game is entirely set in an enormous shopping mall.
In true B-movie fashion, the source of the outbreak makes about as much sense as the average wardrobe of a Final Fantasy character, but Capcom realized that when it comes to the undead, nobody gives a fuck about artsy-fartsy things like "plot" and "coherency". All you need to know is that there are zombies, and you have about 50-million ways to kill them.
Also, there's boobs.
Dead Rising also incorporates an RPG element to the game, where killing zombies using special moves or partaking in the photography minigame earns you "Prestige Points". These points add up to 50 levels worth of unlockable special moves, faster running speed and larger health/inventory bars. We here at Cracked aren't sure where Frank's getting the time to train up what with all the killing and attempted saving of survivors, only for them to suddendly get distracted and promptly eaten, but we figure there's no point in asking too many questions.
Like anything involving zombies, there are a myriad of survivors throughout the mall that you can save. Saving them also earns you points, but honestly? Expect to have to clear out an entire area of zombies before you can even ask them for the time of day. Why? Because they're as thick as shit made from cement.
Okay, so they're bearable, really. But this seems to be the general agreed-upon reaction for mall survivors. Aside from bleating helplessly in pants-shitting fear when anything even remotely undead comes near them.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the "psychos", survivors who have gone mad and decide that the best course of action is to pump bullets into the nearest non-shambling fleshy target. This of course means Frank.
Dead Rising is also a sandbox game, which means you can pretty much play the game any way you want. This also means you can kill the zombie menace using anything you can pick up. Feel like replicating that scene from Shaun of the Dead and hurl a few CD's? You can do that. Smack them around with a guitar? Go for it. Put horse and teddy bear masks on their heads? Uhm... Sure. Weirdo.
Lastly, this means you can dress up Frank in a variety of ways. Maybe it's a good thing the AI in the game is kinda dodgy. I mean, would you want to be rescued by the bastard child of Lady Gaga and Jason Voorhees?
"Don't worry ma'am, I'm from the internet"
Because Capcom likes money almost as much as zombies, there's a Dead Rising 2 in the works, which will be set five years after the original in glamorous Fortune City, essentially Las Vegas with a crappier name. Dead Rising 2 won't be featuring Frank (reports say he's off covering another war), but I'm sure the new
zombie bait protagonist will be just as willing to beat up zombies while wearing a pink dress.