Dead Rising 2 - why get up?

April 03 2009

Dead Rising - the first game I've given up on in 2011

I was bought dead rising 2 for Christmas by my mum - quite why this one attracted her attention is beyond me, but due to prioritising both GOW and ME2, I only got round to playing in this weekend for the first time. And boy, did I wish I hadnt bothered. The interesting thing with DR2 is that there is quite clearly a lot right with it. I only got about 2 - 3hrs into it and loved some of the ideas it brought out, but other parts of it I just downright hated and got infuriated with.

I'll go into a bit more detail below, but there was one thing theme that seemed to permeate all the complaints I could have of the game - they were design choices, that is, the developers deliberately set the game up that way (with one potential exception).

1. the combat was designed by a child

Repeatedly tapping the x button is not my idea of fun, but that seems to be the only way to succeed in DR2. Every bit of violence I was involved in was a simple hammering of the X button. How can you make chainsawing zombies so dull?

2. the HUD is awful

honestly, what were they thinking? It was totally cluttered, I never had a clue what mission I was meant to be doing or why andthere seemed to be as much information on the outside of the scream as there were zombies in the middle of it

3. the missions were tedious

Trying to find old grannies and escort them and escort them back to a safe house while they are chased by zombies, who cant hurt them, is, plain and simple, not fun. When they cant get hurt there is no risk in the mission, it is just a linear tailgating exercise where you have to repeatedly smash the X button to hurt any zombie that gets close to you.

4. it thinks its funny, but it's really not

I got so put off by the humour due to the terrible cut scenes that every attempt grated on me. Yes, dressing a grown man up in women's clothes is amusing for about 5 seconds, but that's it.

5. The lack of saves

So, you walk for twenty mins, and get killed. Bad news, there is no option to restart from the last area you loaded up - your right back to the last save point and have to go through all the load screens again just to get to where you were. Major frustration that one, leads me on to....

6. Constant load screens

Cutscene - loadscreen - out of safe house - loadscreen - cutsence - load creen - in mall , exit area - loadscreen and so on... I mean, if GTA can avoid load screens, surely this can

7. no direction or guidance

Apparently I was meant to find something called Zombrex. I got the first one from a pharmacy, then I had to find another. The game gave me no clue as to how to get this, save for the useful tip "you can buy some". Shame really that it costed 5x as much cash as I had. It's not so much the game was hard, just really obtuse and deliberately deceptive in what it wanted you to do


There are other complaints, and I am sure I would have found many more if I continued playing, but the above was enough to make me not want to play anymore. The game was deliberately designed to have high difficulty spikes, punishing save structure and a "humourous" take on violence. Add this into what was really cheesy dialogue and a crap story and I was left totally cold.

The game has already been listed on amazon and bought by someone - maybe they can find more joy in it than I could, I was left as cold as the dead by DR2.