Dead Rising 3 Review

Dead Rising 3

Platforms: Xbox One (Reviewed) | PC

Developer: Capcom Vancouver

Publisher: Microsoft (Xbox One) | Capcom (PC)

When the Xbox One first came out one release title jumped out above all the others for me, in fact I still think Dead Rising 3 is probably the only reason I took the plunge into next-gen territory as quickly as I did. What can I say, I love zombies and I love all the other installments in the series, I was going to get my hands on it at some point or another!

Ok, so this time round we get a new protagonist in the form of Nick Ramos, a new city in Los Perdidos, an arsenal of new weapons, some fancy new vehicles, and zombie hordes of epic proportions.

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I’m going to be very honest here, the story didn’t grab me at all, in fact I found myself losing interest remarkably quickly, I only spent a brief period running around taking on an assortment of missions before I switched to all out zombie killing, or opted to battle it out with a friend in co-op, which is yet again where this one shines – it’s definitely the crowning achievement of the series in my opinion.

There are a decent amount of implements you can unleash on the undead, with combo weapons being the most powerful, and it’s rare to be caught out unawares because they can be scavenged from all over the place. Sadly, projectile weapons are still a little bit clunky, but not to quite the same extent as we’ve seen in previous Dead Rising games.

Also, it really is worth having a good explore around Los Perdidos because some weapons happen to be located in very logically places, the only other thing I’m going to say about this is that it’s fun to visit the fireworks factory!

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The city itself is a much larger playground than we’ve had before with open streets complete with shops, police stations, residential housing, a cemetery, and long stretches of road. Walking around is always a good way to familiarise yourself with the lay of the land, which is a pretty good tactic in these games because you’ll get to plan out plenty of escape routes if things hit the fan. However, there’s a much larger complement of vehicles to experiment with, some of which come armed to the teeth, for example a motorbike with flame thrower jets and a steam roller accessory that’s capable of causing an unbelievable level of carnage.

Needless to say, vehicles get you from point a to b a lot quicker too, which can make all the difference when there’s a countdown close to expiring on a crucial mission. You just need to make sure you don’t damage it on one of the freeway overpasses where it’s easy to get overrun in no time at all as they tend to be chock a block with reanimated corpses.

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If this does happen though, it’s not all bad, particularly if you can get to a good vantage point where you can look down and really appreciate the engine that’s driving this one. The graphics are impressive, but things come into their own when you take the time to cast your eyes over the crowds. There’s more variation in the zombies, and the ways you can damage them, than ever before, which allows you to slice and dice in style. Unfortunately, it’s not all smooth sailing; there are one or two glitches present, so you can expect to occasionally see a floating zombie, or one that’s had the lower half of its body sucked into the pavement.

The levelling system is a lot more complex in Dead Rising 3 and requires a little bit of thought depending on what sort of direction you want to take. It’s not something I was overly keen on, but it didn’t take anything away from the experience either.

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I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, co-op is where it’s at with this one and has easily been the most enjoyable aspect of the game for me. It’s just a shame the mechanism behind getting another player into your game is a bit frustrating, although it’s definitely worth the effort! It’s also a particularly efficient way to progress through the story if you happen to know somebody who’s one or two levels above you.

Leaps in technology have allowed you to tuck a few more tricks up your sleeve. You can now attract, or helpfully distract, zombies using your own voice thanks to the Kinect sensor. You’ll also be able to set waypoints, discover new items, and call in airstrikes if you’ve downloaded the Xbox SmartGlass app, which I did end up having a decent amount of fun with without getting too distracted to the point where I got chomped to death before turning my attention back to the TV screen.

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It wouldn’t be the same experience if there weren’t psychopaths tucked around the corner to challenge you at awkward moments, and as always they can be tough to beat early on, but it’s worthwhile to acquire some of their beefed up possessions.

No longer will you have to flee into toilets to save the game, you can now do it from anywhere you choose, unless of course you’re playing through in ‘Nightmare Mode’, which brings back this tradition along with the familiar time limit too.

It’s good solid fun, particularly if you’re playing with a friend, although it does suffer slightly from an underwhelming story, but if you’re a zombie fan you’ll almost certainly get on board with it thanks to the gameplay, which has definitely built on its predecessors in a positive way.

Pros:

  • Co-op
  • The devastation you can cause with vehicles
  • Unrestricted saving

Cons:

  • The story isn’t particularly gripping
  • Can get repetitive after a while
  • You can only bring one other person into the fray with you

The Short Version: Great zombie killing mayhem made all the better by a bit of co-op, but sadly stumbles when it comes to the narrative.

7/10

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