Video Game Review: Dead Rising 2: Off The Record

Developer: Capcom/Blue Castle

Publisher: Capcom

Release Date: October 11th, 2011

Platforms: X-Box 360, PlayStation 3,

Genre: Action/Adventure, Survival Horror

Rating: M for Mature

By Nolan Patrick Smith

(Victor Valley)–The Dead Rising franchise has enjoyed much success since its debut in 2006. The game centered around Photojournalist Frank West being stuck at a mall during a zombie outbreak. The second Dead Rising abandoned Frank as the lead, putting motocross champion Chuck Greene in the forefront as he fought for his and his daughter’s survival during an outbreak in Vegas-like Fortune City. For Off the Record, players play a different version of the second game, now playing as the returning Frank West.

Story: The game is billed as a reimaging of the second Dead Rising. Instead of playing as Chuck, it is Frank who goes through a slightly twisted story mode. Chuck is in the game, just not as you would expect. The story goes that after the first Dead Rising, Frank rose to stardom, and then plummeted just as fast. A washed up has been, Frank goes to Fortune City to compete in the zombie game show, Terror is Reality, much like Chuck did. Of course, the outbreak happens, and Frank is once again forced into the role of a hero.

Characters and villains from the second Dead Rising are still present, as they react to Frank in a different way than Chuck. Another addition is that Frank was bitten by a zombie, and now has to inject himself with the anti zombie medicine, Zombrex, every 24 hours. Other than some small additions, this is basically the same story from Dead Rising 2, but that isn’t a bad thing.

Design/Art: Dead Rising has always had a unique feel to it. The zombies with their glowing red eyes, the different psychopaths with their specific weapons, and of course, the setting. Fortune City is composed of casinos, malls, restaurants, outdoor corridors, tunnels and more. The setting is well made, and is quite a chore to explore. The violence factor is kicked up a notch, so the blood flows in many different manners.

Gameplay: This franchise has always excelled in the gameplay department, and this addition is no different. The third person action is back in full effect, allowing for easy to control, smooth zombie bashing. The arsenal you have at your disposal is massive, as you can take anything from a chef knife to a moose head and wield them as weapons. The combo weapon system is back, as is the photography aspect of the first game. The story mode consists of mandatory missions, side missions, rescuing stranded people across the city, and fighting psychopaths who for one reason or another have lost their mind. The controls give you the freedom to go and do what you please, which is always a breath of fresh air.

Sound: The soundtrack to this game is more than zombie screams and groans. When you come across a psychopath, the music changes to a character specific track that not only alerts you to danger, but is also highlights some really great tracks. The voice acting is top notch once again, as Capcom seems to deliver in the sound department on every outing.

Overall: At first, I was worried about this game. I have played the first two, and felt this might get old and tiring. Well, when it comes to zombies, it can never get old. Capcom once again shows that Dead Rising is doing just that: rising.  An excellent game, I give Dead Rising 2: Off the Record a 9 out of 10.

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