Staying true to the first “Dead Rising” game released in August 2006, “Dead Rising 2” is all about coming up with creative ways to kill crowds of the living dead. Blue Castle Games and Capcom once again combines the sandbox style of gaming with the zombie apocalypse once more for a much-improved sequel.
Taking place in Fortune City, Nev., likeable protagonist Chuck Greene has entered a twisted game show where the contestants compete to kill zombies for prize money. His only purpose was to win money to purchase an expensive drug to keep his daughter from turning into a zombie after being bitten by one. But the zombies that were caged for the show are suddenly set free to wreck havoc upon the city and only a few scarce survivors are able to make it to the safe house. And to make things worst, Chuck is framed for the outbreak. Now he must prove his innocence before the military arrives in three days, while also making sure to find enough drugs to prevent his daughter from turning.
Whether time is of the essence is purely up to the player. Important story missions and side quests will appear conveniently on Chuck’s watch, but it is the player’s option to follow them or not. Most side quests include rescuing survivors, which will net a lot of valuable experience for leveling up. The option to restart from the beginning but to keep stats and money is included from the start.
The game’s major strength is the ability to use almost anything you find as a weapon against the undead. The baseball bat, box of nails or even the park bench can be used to fight zombies. Furthermore, items can be combined in one of the many maintenance rooms. Nails can be stuck bats, knives can be taped to boxing gloves, and a lawn mower can be attached to a hat. Just finding the right items to combine and experimenting with them might make the game worth it all by itself.
It is the frustrating boss battles where the responsive controls suddenly seem very clumsy. The bosses are usually people that have gone disturbingly insane due to the zombie outbreak. Unlike the slow and clumsy zombies, bosses run as fast as Chuck drives, and their dangerous attacks are difficult to avoid. They also seem to take very little damage even when blasted with a shotgun. And speaking of driving, the controls for that may need a lot of refining as well.
Multiplayer is available through the Internet. Co-op allows for another player to join with the host. A series of bizarre mini-games is also available, in which money can be earned for players to spend in single player.
Despite the few problems, “Dead Rising 2” is a good game for those who enjoy the freedom of doing whatever you want and killing zombies by the dozens. Now excuse me while I attach this lawn mower motor to a wheel chair.