Dead Rising 4 is More Dead Rising, And That's Flippin' Great

Dead Rising 4 is More Dead Rising, And That's Flippin' Great

Capcom Vancouver revisits the series' greatest hits in its new sequel.

We're at E3 this week, covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2016 hub!

After slumming it with Dead Rising 2's Chuck Greene and Dead Rising 3's Nick Ramos, Capcom Vancouver has decided to bring in Frank West to cover a new war in an old place. Welcome back, Frank.

Despite previous rumors, Dead Rising 4 isn't a reboot. The game takes place in Willamette, Colorado, 16 years after the incident chronicled in the first Dead Rising. A second outbreak has hit the town, starting at the Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall and spreading to the rest of the town. Frank is back to figure out what's going on and his stomping grounds are much bigger than they were previously.

Dead Rising 4 plays like an evolution of the Dead Rising that came before. You and Frank will wade through a sea of zombies and other monsters, turning functioning creatures in a spray of meat, blood, and bone. Hit things with your weapon, keep your hit streak high, and slam on some special moves with the prompt appears. Dead Rising's combat has always been pretty simple: the fun is in all the weapons you have at your disposal.

My demo kicked off with some righteous starting weapons: a huge electric axe, a fireworks crossbow, and some grenades. Dead Rising 4 does switch up the game's weapon system a bit. Each weapon falls into three categories: Melee, Ranged, and Thrown. Each category is bound to a button on the controller, so you can switch between the three types of equipped weapon on the fly. This means you can soften a crowd of zombies up with an Acid Grenade, thin the herd with some Machine Gun fire, and then clean up with a little hammer time. It's about giving players options instead of having to switch weapons via menu in combat and it works great.

Pretty much anything you can pick up can be used as a weapon, including the gift set of wrapped presents I bludgeoned a zombie to death with. Like every other Dead Rising, Frank can also combine various weapons together to make all-new tools of destruction. In addition to all those fabulous weapons, Capcom Vancouver has added a new class of weapon via the Exo-Suit.

The Exo-Suit is a powered, temporary suit of armor. You put it on and Frank West becomes the Terminator: he can destroy zombies with his bare hands, ripping them in half. He can also fall from heights without receiving fall damage. More importantly, he can pick up and use a larger, more powerful class of weapon while he's using the Exo-Suit. Unfortunately, the suit is powered and once it's out of energy, it's kaput. While it's live though, you can truck a helicopter minigun in your bare hands.

Frank is still a reporter, so you can also take pictures for more experience. Not only are you graded on taking pictures of interesting settings, the difficulty of your shot is also taken into account. Even better, Frank's camera now has a selfie mode, so you can smile in the midst of the undead and recently dead.

According to Microsoft and Capcom Vancouver, players can also look forward to four-player coop. That means you'll be able to hit the streets and tenderize zombie flesh with your friends!

The demo I played on the showfloor was rather short, but I'm excited for Dead Rising 4. Not every game needs to completely reinvent the rulebook. Dead Rising as a franchise does crazy zombie carnage really well and Dead Rising 4 just executes that well. Is it innovative? Maybe not, but it's goddamn fun. I'm looking forward to revisiting Willamette with Frank again.

He's covered wars, you know?

Dead Rising 4 is coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 this holiday.

We're at E3 this week, covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2016 hub!

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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