Dead Rising as a franchise has been changing more and more with each instalment, and many of these changes have been controversial. Those with more modern palates probably enjoy the steps that Dead Rising 3 and Dead Rising 4 are taking to make their games more accessible. Others will probably enjoy the devilishly tense and challenging original game, and to a lesser extent the second one. Some, like me, are bizarrely insouciant to the changes that each game brings to the franchise. To me, Dead Rising is about a massive open world, lots of objects to interact with and hordes of relentless zombies. Others will argue that a timer is integral to the experience, but this is a controversial discussion point in the community that I daren’t touch upon today.
What I am here to talk about instead is Capcom’s presumed efforts to celebrate the franchise’s tenth anniversary. The celebration? Capcom has chucked Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 2: Off The Record on the current generation of consoles and PCs. If the term chucked sounds loaded it’s because it is. These games have been moved over to the new generation of consoles in a manner more akin to a “port” than a proper remaster. Each game is available separately or can be purchased in a package at a discount. But where some remasters are proper remasters and others are quite literally ports, there’s not a whole lot of enhancements in these games beyond a boosted framerate and increased resolution.While I hate to make reference to other games in a review given how time sensitive such a discussion point is, it’s quite obvious that games like Dead Rising, which are ten years old, haven’t aged anywhere near as gracefully as the similarly aged BioShock games. Each game plays rather differently and each game has its own idiosyncrasies. Whereas with the BioShock Collection it was easy to recommend the entire package – it’s less of a straightforward story with the Dead Rising games. Thankfully, they’re available in a package or separately, but whether you’ll grab all three is hard to say.
The original Dead Rising is easily the least forgiving in the franchise. It’s designed differently and is meant to be played differently. Looking at it from a shallow perspective, it’s old. It’s plodding. It’s archaic. But it’s more or less a rogue like. Go into the wide open world, level up your character, take that same character through everything once again. The open world nature of Dead Rising means that despite this repetition, the improvement of your character provides a newer experience.But while the gameplay systems are glaringly obtuse but fun once you learn them, it’s still hidden under a hideously dated layer of paint. Some aspects still stand up today, like, the style of gameplay. Others are horrendous especially when compared to other games in the series. Survivors you rescue rarely can find their own way through the hordes of the undead without extensive help which leads to many frustrating losses that feel out of the players control. Without going into extensive detail – Dead Rising is the kind of game for those that crave the old school, unforgiving, sometimes even janky style of game design.