Review by GamerGuy2014

Reviewed: 11/25/14

Fortune City: Your #1 Gambling and Zombie Killing Destination

Dead Rising 2 was how I first found out about this franchise and it was the first game in the series that I played, along with its spinoff Off the Record.

The story takes place a few years after the events of the first game and since then the idea of a zombie outbreak has been considered to be a new form of terrorism. The protagonist this time is Chuck Greene, a former motocross stuntman who lost his wife in an outbreak in Las Vegas that also resulted in his daughter, Katey, to be infected. Since the incident Chuck became a contestant on the gameshow Terror is Reality to earn money for Zombrex, a drug that doesn't cure the infection, but only delays the inevitable. After participating in the most recent episode of the show Chuck is returning to see his daughter when suddenly the zombies that were being held for use in the gameshow have gotten loose and are causing chaos in Fortune City. Chuck and his daughter manage to escape to a bunker and from there Chuck works with some people in the bunker to figure out the cause of the outbreak and to find Zombrex for his daughter, or else she becomes one of them. I can safely say that this story is much better than the first game's plot, it has a better sense of intrigue to what's going on and it has some more interesting characters besides the protagonist and the psychopaths you'll encounter.

The core gameplay is the same but some noticeable improvements have been made in this installment. Escorting survivors in this game is no longer a pain to do because their AI is much better than the intelligence of the survivors in the first game. They always kept up with me and if they got themselves into a sticky situation usually they could get themselves out of it. The time limit is back as well but here it's not as strict as it was in the first game; generally I always had enough time to do what I wanted to do in between missions and I never really got worried that I might not make it to a mission in time. The biggest addition to the gameplay, however, is the introduction of combo weapons, in which you can take two different objects and assemble them at workbenches scattered around the town to create new weapons. This system gives you a lot of room for experimentation and there are a number of different weapons that you can create such as a spiked baseball bat or boxing gloves with knives on them. Though then you also have some more sinister creations like taking a wheelchair, combining it with a car battery, and then an assault rifle to make a wheelchair turret that you can ride around in.

Even though most of the problems from the first game are fixed, one problem that I think wasn't fully fixed was the difficulty of the psychopath fights. Some of the fights in the game were rather frustrating but then there were ones that were easy. Though fortunately on a second playthrough some of the fights did still feel challenging and not plain easy.

Graphically this game looks much better than the first installment; Fortune City is a much more interesting environment to explore because of the fact that its a resort town filled with various casinos and other locations. Yet I did encounter some pop-in while playing the game and the cutscenes would sometimes lag as well.

The voice acting is solid and much the music is a lot like the first game's music in that there's not a lot of it save for some ambience and the mall/ casino music.

Dead Rising 2 is one of those sequels that manages to fix up a number of problems that the first installment suffered from, resulting in a much more enjoyable game to play. While there were some problems in this particular game, it's still a highly enjoyable experience.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Dead Rising 2 (US, 09/28/10)

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