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Gaming Review

'Dead Rising 3' review (Xbox One): Bigger, louder, sillier than ever

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Released on Friday, Nov 22 2013

'Dead Rising 3' screenshot

© Microsoft

'Dead Rising 3' screenshot


Release Date: November 22 (Worldwide)
Platforms available on: Xbox One
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Action Adventure

The original Dead Rising lit up the Xbox 360's launch period with its standout comical zombie escapades, but as a fan of the series, I admit to feeling slightly worried by this sequel's seemingly darker, grittier new direction when it was first announced.

Indeed, during an opening act in which lead protagonist Nick Ramos makes his way through an abandoned quarantine zone populated by the undead, Dead Rising 3 appears intent on pushing horror over humour, with moments that will genuinely make you jump.

However, as you meet fellow survivors and uncover more of the game's open-world environment, it soon becomes clear that this is Dead Rising as we know it, only bigger, louder and sillier than ever before.

'Dead Rising 3' screenshot

© Microsoft

The city of Los Perdidos



Taking place after the events of the first two games, the action shifts to the fictional city of Los Perdidos, a rather typical Californian settlement with mansions, diners and shopping districts that are bathed in perpetual sunshine.

In a series that has made its name in shopping malls and casino strips, the open-world cityscape seems like the logical next step, offering a much larger playing area that's jam-packed with zombies to kill, psychos to defeat and weapons to use.

It's reminiscent of GTA on a smaller scale, with districts that are connected by a series of bridges.
    It soon becomes clear that this is Dead Rising as we know it, only bigger, louder and sillier than ever before.
It's not quite as stunning or diverse as Rockstar's representation of California, and not as garish as previous Dead Rising releases, but it's still quite beautiful.

Benefitting from a next-gen boost in the visual department, the game features smoother character and environmental textures, striking lighting effects and an almost overwhelming number of zombies, which makes every journey feel like it could be your last.

With interiors that include museums, yoga studios, construction sites, shops and warehouses, exploring Los Perdidos always wields new secrets and discoveries.

'Dead Rising 3' screenshot

© Microsoft

Dead Rising 3 contains an almost overwhelming number of zombies



Due to the number of roadblocks in place, getting around the city is initially quite slow, although once you get used to the layout, navigation becomes rather painless.

It helps that Nick has access to roughly 20 standard vehicles, not to mention a wide variety of custom rides that can be created by discovering the appropriate blueprints.

Customisation was one of Dead Rising 2's greatest additions and it has become an even bigger part of the sequel, benefitting greatly from Nick's ability to craft new items and vehicles at any given time.

Limited only by the need to discover blueprints, which are thankfully plentiful, Nick can create weapons and vehicles that are as deadly as they are ridiculous.


In a matter of seconds, Nick can create a gun that fires sex toys, killer robots and Iron Man-inspired chest beams, as well as armoured vehicles made from abandoned cars and vans.

In a game in which you'll easily rack up thousands of kills, it ensures that there's no sense of repetition, something which would seriously inhibit your average third-person shooter or hack-and-slash release.

Modelled after the seven deadly sins, the psychopaths and boss characters are no less silly, throwing up bile and shooting genitalia guns in battles that are as entertaining as they are vulgar.

It's a shame that the same level of imagination and inventiveness hasn't gone into the game's side missions, which are largely made up of dull fetch quests.

The story, meanwhile, is just as barmy, once again involving government conspiracies and featuring a cast made up of highly sexualised police chiefs, mysterious mobsters and unhinged survivors.

'Dead Rising 3' screenshot

© Microsoft

Each Psycho represents a different deadly sin



While there are times when the narrative fails to make much sense, it's still an entertaining story you'll want to see through to the end.

It flits between different groups, with Nick's primary aim to fix up a plane before the bombs go off, but also to discover the meaning behind the mysterious tattoo on his neck.
    Capcom has stayed the path, offering a juiced up Dead Rising experience that benefits from the next-gen hardware's added horsepower.
The game's events are once again played out over a series of seven days. Even though side quests must be completed within a certain time frame, there's less need to watch the clock, which ultimately gives players a little more freedom to have fun.

Also, while missions tend to take Nick to the furthest point of the map, you'll spend less time flitting back and forth between safe zones, which made previous games feel a little restrictive.

'Dead Rising 3' screenshot

© Microsoft

Dead Rising 3 contains a co-op mode



The game also takes advantage of Kinect in a logical and non-intrusive manner, letting players issue voice commands to survivors and distracting zombies to clear a path.

With a co-op mode, SmartGlass and a wealth of collectibles, Dead Rising 3 demands a second and potentially third playthrough, giving it the kind of longevity that's important for a new console waiting for its second wave of releases.

Hardened players will also want to tackle Nightmare mode, which offers a much deadlier and more dangerous experience within a shorter time frame akin to the other Dead Rising games.

Like a shuffling zombie with its eye on a hunk of meat, Capcom has stayed the path, offering a juiced-up Dead Rising experience that benefits from the next-gen hardware's added horsepower.


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