XBA Review: Dead Rising 3: Operation Broken Eagle DLC
Written Wednesday, January 22, 2014 By Dan WebbView author's profile
Funnily enough, it was only last year when Telltale Games, with their zombie-orientated and emotionally crippling Walking Dead game, opted to do something very similar to what Capcom Vancouver has decided with Dead Rising 3, and that’s tell a series of mini-stories like 400 Days, all within the scope of the franchise it's building. While that wasn’t anywhere near as compelling as the main game, its emphasis fell on its story, rather than its gameplay. Dead Rising 3 is on the other end of the spectrum, relying on its gameplay for The Untold Stories of Los Perdidos rather than its stories – a lot like the main game. How does Dead Rising 3’s first downloadable episode, Operation Broken Eagle fare then? Not great, unfortunately.
Operation Broken Eagle throws players into the shoes of Spec Ops Commander Adam Kane, who is tasked with infiltrating Los Perdidos and capturing the president. The whole premise of the ‘Untold Stories’ is to fill in a few of the mysteries of the city, as captured – and told – by an observing third-party who uses the city’s surveillance technology. While it’s an interesting idea and nice to to get an intriguing glimpse into how certain things in the city came to be, you barely get to spend any time with the character, making it hard to become attached to their short story. It doesn’t help that Kane isn’t nearly as likeable as Nick Ramos, either.
Part of the lure of the main Dead Rising 3 was exploring this brand new city, seeking out contextual stories within the environment, creating havoc with new combo weapons, essentially exploring the unknown. That unknown is very much known when you jump into Operation Broken Eagle. There are very few surprises left in Los Perdidos and all the DLC really achieves is filling in some of the mysterious environmental situations you come across in the main game. Whose chopper is that in the street? How did Hemlock’s forces take control of the taxi rank? And so on.
Part of the problem with Operation Broken Eagle is that there really isn’t that much to do. You can effectively do everything – collect all dog tags, rescue all (both) survivors, hack all the signals, infect all safe zones, do every mission – in well under two hours.
The other part of the problem with the DLC is that the character really has no defining features that separate him from the main game. Yes, he has some cool new weapons, like the chaingun, the auto-shotgun, dual knives and the liquid nitrogen grenade launcher, but Kane pretty much feels like Ramos with a new skin – heck, he can even create combo vehicles, which was supposed to be Nick’s special ability as a mechanic.
Speaking of combos, yes, there is a new combo weapon: The Beast, a cross between a chainsaw and the auto-shotgun, a cool weapon in its own right; but chances are you’ll find yourself going back to your old favourites. Even the new armoured truck, the Armadillo, isn’t really that great, and who in their right mind would want to wear Hemlock’s outfit? It's unlocked from the off, if you fancy it.
Perhaps one of the primary lures is that all your levels and perks from the main game – including all your PP progress – carry across to the Operation Broken Eagle and everything you do in the add-on chapter carries back across too. That effectively means that if you're looking to get all of the achievements in the main game, this can take away some of the grind. The fact that Operation Broken Eagle’s strongest selling point is just that, says a lot. I guess achievement aficionados will be happy that it’s a ridiculous easy 90 points is another loosely drawn tick in the win column. Can you tell I’m clutching at straws here?
So yes, while there is nothing inherently wrong with Operation Broken Eagle, there isn’t much right about it either. It’s short, it’s pretty expensive for what it is ($9.99/£7.99) and doesn’t really add much to the game whatsoever. Coming from one of the biggest advocates of the Dead Rising 3 main game, this should speak volumes as to what Operation Broken Eagle actually is: an overpriced and underwhelming piece of downloadable content that falls miles short of the main Dead Rising 3 experience.