Latest

latest

Dead Rising 4 Review

Dead Rising 4 is a more focused journey that, in my opinion, provides leaner action and better level designs that all previous Dead Rising entries combined.

December 12, 2016

/ by Tin Salamunic

I’ve always considered the Dead Rising series a fun distraction, but I could never play for more than a few hours before moving on to other things. The pacing and characters just never clicked for me. Instead, I turned towards the Dynasty Warriors series to fulfill my need for meditative chaos after a long day at work. I’ve played previous Dead Rising titles only on a few occasions and I’ve heard nothing but complaints and worries from veteran fans prior to Dead Rising 4’s release, and expectedly, I went into this review with a heavy dose of skepticism.

What I actually walked into, however, is some of the most fun I’ve had with a brawler in years. Dead Rising 4 is a more focused journey that, in my opinion, provides leaner action and better level designs than all previous Dead Rising entries combined. I can see how die-hard fans may be disappointed with certain omissions from previous entries, but personally, I feel the changes have only made the series more cohesive. As a result, I see how this entry may divide audiences into love/hate camps, although based on my own experience, I find myself enthralled with Capcom’s new approach to the franchise.


"What I actually walked into, however, is some of the most fun I’ve had with a brawler in years. Dead Rising 4 is a more focused journey that, in my opinion, provides leaner action and better level designs than all previous Dead Rising entries combined."

Structurally, Dead Rising 4 serves as somewhat of a fresh start, although story wise, it’s set only a year after the predecessor. We see the return of photojournalist Frank West, now voiced by the excellent Victor Nosslo, return to Willamette during the Holiday season, only to face yet another zombie outbreak. The game still embraces stupidity and cheesy humor, and the end-result is a very similar experience to what we've come to expect from Capcom's zombie-killing fest. Dead Rising 4’s biggest changes lie in several fundamental gameplay differences. The timer system is now gone, and the pacing is more structured and story-driven. There’s a greater emphasis on exploration, and thanks to gorgeous level designs, wandering around and discovering secrets is undeniably more enjoyable.


"The entire game has a very 90’s holiday, action-movie vibe. The tone is reminiscent of films like Ted Demme’s The Ref or George Gallo’s Trapped in Paradise."

Victor Nosslo has done a remarkable job as Frank West, and I see no problem with this new shift in direction. Victor’s Frank interpretation is more likable, and I feel he’s able to pull off cheesy one-liners more effectively. Dead Rising has never been known for its narrative, and while the latest story is pretty unremarkable for the most part, it’s the overall execution that works better for me this time around. Most of it has to do with the atmosphere and setting, which is Dead Rising 4’s biggest highlight.

The entire game has a very 90’s holiday, action-movie vibe. The tone is reminiscent of films like Ted Demme’s The Ref or George Gallo’s Trapped in Paradise. Even though I found myself doing pretty much the same things I did in previous entries, this was the first time I actually had fun doing them. The levels are still semi-open sandbox sections divided over several interconnected maps, but it’s the overall layout that makes the exploration so exciting. The maps are more varied and complex. Collectibles are actually fun to gather, which isn’t something I can say for most open-world games. The action is smoother, albeit heavier. There’s a real sense of weight between weapons, and Frank’s varied animations give an excellent impression of variety in combat, even though you’re technically just button-mashing.


"Dead Rising 4 embraces the brawler genre, and even if you’re one of those gamers who was concerned that the changes are detrimental to the series, I’m confident that anyone with a slightly more open mind will appreciate what Capcom tried to do with this latest entry."

My biggest issue with Dead Rising 4 is the humdrum multiplayer mode. Story co-op is no longer available, so you can only play a horde-style mode in randomly chosne environments with up to four other players. The mode is fun for a short while, but feels constrained and limited compared to the many gameplay options offered in the single-player campaign. There’s also no way to ramp-up difficulty should your character become more powerful. Aside from a Game+ mode, replay value can certainly become an issue after a while—although 18 hours for the campaign isn’t too shabby!

Dead Rising 4 embraces the brawler genre, and even if you’re one of those gamers who was concerned that the changes are detrimental to the series, I’m confident that anyone with a slightly more open mind will appreciate what Capcom tried to do with this latest entry. I, for one, find myself immersed in the Dead Rising universe for the first time. As a huge fan of Koei Tecmo brawlers, I’m excited to have found an alternate series for classic, brainless beat em’ up fun.

8.5

No comments

Post a Comment

Don't Miss
© all rights reserved