E3 2013: Dead Rising 3 First Impressions Preview – Zombie Playground
Written Tuesday, June 25, 2013 By Dan WebbView author's profile
Dead Rising has been a franchise that hasn’t really strayed too far from the original formula, set in motion with the release of the original way back in 2006. You could argue that aside from a few new environments, the franchise only really evolved to introduce weapon combos with Dead Rising 2 in 2010 and then just stepped sideways with every step it took since then. That rather sideways evolution is a thing of the past though, as this year at E3 Microsoft took to the stage to show off the Xbox One’s new-look Dead Rising, a game that maintains most things that made the franchise so great, and brings them forward into the new generation with a bang.
Set 10 years after the events of Dead Rising 2, Dead Rising 3 sees new protagonist, Nick Ramos – a mechanic with a mysterious past – step into the infested South Californian city, Los Perdidos, as he intends to survive the zombie outbreak. Quite what Nick will be doing in the sprawling world of Los Perdidos remains to be seen, with Capcom Vancouver remaining tight-lipped, but the developer informs that us there’ll be the usual survivors, psychos and bosses to contend with, as well as a few cameos of characters from games gone by… fingers crossed it’s our old friend Frank West. Incidentally, Dead Rising 3 will also make use of a traditional levelling mechanic, presumably similar to those of previous Dead Rising games.
If you’d caught the Microsoft Press Conference demo at E3, you might have got the impression that Capcom Vancouver has gone for a more serious approach. You’d be wrong. Well, according to them that is, and they assured us that the game would still retain its “goofball qualities.” So, if you want to dress up in a dress and kill zombies with batshit crazy weapons, yes, you can still do that.
Speaking of weapons, Capcom Vancouver’s Producer, Mike Jones, informed us that there are over 400 different weapons, a lot of which can be combined – as signalled by some duct tape on the weapon icon in the bottom right corner. A big part of Dead Rising 3 will be scavenging for weapons and goodies in lockers – while being able to store them in safehouses too – and searching for blueprints for new weapons. As was the case in other Dead Rising games weapons still deteriorate, so using weapons like random tyres that you find lying around will still very much be an integral part of the game. Improvisation is still very much an essential part of the game too, and there’s even been an effort to make the controls more fluid, allowing players to eat and run at the same time for instance.
Because of the expansive nature of Los Perdidos, players will become more reliant on vehicles to get around, but thankfully those godawful loading screens are a thing of the past and the seamless world is fully-loaded and fully-streaming now – inside and out that is, but I guess you’d expect that from a console 10-times more powerful than the Xbox 360. Players should also expect “hand-crafted” interiors too, so look forward to smashing into shops, houses and looting to your heart’s content.
Being an Xbox One exclusive it’s only natural that Kinect and SmartGlass functionality be shoehorned in; I mean, you should be used to that by now, right? While people usually grimace at gimmicky Kinect gameplay features, Dead Rising 3’s is perhaps more novel. When grabbed by a zombie instead of shaking them off with a QTE sequence, players can now shake the controller to break free of their grasp. If you want to, that is. You can still do the QTE if you like.
I wish I could say the same of the SmartGlass inclusion. It's delivered as a Zombie Defense Control PDA interface on your mobile or tablet devices, allowing players to call in support like airstrikes and get help from survivors, taking players out of the game somewhat. Not a fan? Then look away in disgust now as Capcom Vancouver promised exclusive missions and exclusive weapons that are tied to the interface, ultimately meaning that if you don’t use SmartGlass, you won’t be able to check out all Dead Rising 3 has to offer.
Players miffed by the save system of Dead Risings of years gone by though will rejoice in the news that the traditional bathroom save system has gone, with an option to save now located in the start menu. That said, Dead Rising purists who thrived in such a tense environment will be able to have a classic Dead Rising experience in Nightmare mode, where the usual save restrictions apply. Some would argue that this is probably the best of both worlds. And by some, I mean me. All me!
Aside from all that, there’s been a lot of work been put into location-based damage, increasing the visual fidelity and injecting more variety into the zombies. There's even been more work sunk into how zombies react to the environment and Nick – they respond to sound, movement and bright lights – meaning this will be a Dead Rising experience like no other.
And that’s just what Dead Rising 3 is, a new experience on a new generation of consoles. Sure, it might be a more realistic world than Dead Rising fans might be used to, but the trademark goofball antics and over-the-top weapon combos are still very much a big part of the Xbox One launch title’s draw. Dead Rising 3 is an Xbox One title that is quite possibly our most anticipated launch title, and for good reason. It looks chuffin’ ace!
Dead Rising 3 is set to launch when the Xbox One launches, whenever that may be. Presumably sometime in November.