Dead Rising was one of the original stand out Xbox 360 games that helped spawn a legacy of zombie killing for many years to come. Following Frank West, a photojournalist and lead protagonist of the series you attempt to survive in a mall that's filled with zombies. It truly stood out from the pack with its focus on hardcore survival under intense time pressures and being able to pick up almost anything to hit zombies with. There were funny costumes matched with a humorous, yet serious narrative that had Frank discover what really went on behind this outbreak.
Dead Rising released in 2006 as a Xbox 360 exclusive with the game later being remastered for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. It's one of the most iconic games to the Xbox platform, having had many limited exclusives for the series since. The game starts off with a surprising and dark exploration of Willamette, a town that the military has shut down. As you're flying over and taking pictures, it's clear right away that things are going bad. Once you land, it's time to get down to business and deal with the zombie outbreak. What greets you is this massive mall filled with zombies, survivors and psychopaths. From there, you can basically do whatever you'd like whether that's mulch down zombies or work through the story. The story itself is based around important objectives that must be done on time constraints and you'll earn various endings based on what happens.
There was just so much choice available in the game and a ton of options on just what to do. Your skills carried between plays so you were always improving, which allowed players to have freedom. Sometimes I'd just go out exploring the large areas with some attempts at the game being more story oriented. The narrative was actually really great and one that continues to stand out. It's dynamic, not only with what's happening but also with the growing mystery of what caused this apocalypse. The characters were iconic whether you met the useless Otis or even the creepy Carlito. Aside from just meeting main characters, there were many fun and charming side survivors to collect through side stories.
That fun also was extended to the psychopaths whether you come across our Clown friend, the crazy jail folk or the ones who run the theater. There's a crazy mix and with these events occurring over the course of days, it's a fun surprise to see something pop up or to run into one. The mall was also far ahead of its time just in terms of size and out dense it was. It's not quite as impressive now, but the general look holds up well and the game is as fun as ever. This will always be one of those fondly remembered games with its different type of zombie gameplay and the wacky fun that followed it.
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