December 11, 2013

Dead Rising 3

Lasting First Impressions

With every new generation of consoles, we need a game that really shows off the power of your new toy.  For the Xbox One, that game is Dead Rising 3, developed by Capcom and published by Microsoft.  Created exclusively for the Xbox One console, this game demonstrates, not only the graphical powerhouse that is Microsoft’s latest console, but also the technological prowess of the system and its companion app, Microsoft Smart Glass.  Having played the previous titles in this series, I was curious to see where the Dead Rising franchise was going to go from here.  The preview videos and demos really made the game look incredible and quickly became a must-buy day one game for many fans.  Does it live up the the hype? Let’s find out.

DR3 screen 4

Dead Rising 3, unlike its predecessors, is a huge game.  No longer are we confined to a single environment such as the mall in the original Dead Rising.  Now we take on the role of Nick Ramos, one of several still surviving the zombie hordes in the city of Los Perdidos.  During your zombie fighting career, you will find yourself helping other survivors out of a tight mess, and even teaming up with other survivors in an attempt to find Zombrex, the shot that staves off the zombie plague, and a way out of the city before it is destroyed.  Vehicles, missions, and weapons galore all await you for your zombie fighting pleasure.  But it won’t be easy and time is ticking!

First of all, this game is most certainly worthy of being called a “next generation” game.  There is so much going on in Dead Rising 3 that just couldn’t have been made possible in the previous generation.  Sure, the first two Dead Rising games had plenty of zombies around, but never to the shear numbers we see here.  Not only do we get an overwhelmingly large number of zombies roaming the streets and amassing together, each and every one of them seems unique in some way.  One may have an arm missing, another part of their head, or a large chunk missing from their torso.  Each individual zombie feels unique and the sheer number of them is almost mind boggling, showing off the power of this new console.

DR3 screen 1

The Microsoft Smart Glass app, something that has never truly been used to its full potential, really shines with Dead Rising 3. Once connected to your console, the app becomes used completely by the game as your ‘in game’ smartphone.  A mysterious stranger is ready to help you through your ordeals in the zombie-ridden streets of Los Perdidos, and calls that come into your in-game phone, are routed to SmartGlass and will play on your actual phone.  The map of the city can also be displayed on your device, whether that be your iPhone or your tablet, and some simple inventory management as well.  What’s missing from this app, however, is the ability to view and manage the blueprints that can be collected in the game. These blueprints are what allows the player to discover and create new weapons throughout the game.  While we’re on the topic of weapons, Dead Rising 3 has some incredibly fun and humorous weapon combinations waiting to be discovered.  From the chainsaw mallet to the Teddy Bear turret, there is nearly no limit to what can be created providing you find the necessary components and the blueprints required.  Even vehicles found throughout the city can be customized for the enjoyment of mowing down the hordes in style.

DR3 screen 3

Control is King. With any new video game, it doesn’t matter how perfect the game looks, or how wonderful the technology behind it, if it doesn’t control well, players will be quickly frustrated with the entire experience.  Unfortunately, this is the case with Dead Rising 3.  The controls in this game are simply too sensitive to give any sense of true control to the player.  The best way to describe how I was feeling while trying to play the game was: I felt like someone who has never played a console game before attempting to play a first person shooter.  Whenever I used the right stick to change camera angles, I ended up looking at either the sky or the floor.  The sensitivity of the sticks is set incredibly high.  Even controlling Nick with the left stick was much too fast.  During the opening stages, players need to wade their way through a veritable sea of zombies by running and jumping along the tops of stranded cars along a freeway.  I never felt like I had the proper control of the character to do this successfully and consistently found myself either missing the cars or falling off.  Dead Rising 3 also implements the dreaded “time limit” to the entire game and, in my opinion, any game that institutes a timer is limiting the amount of enjoyment one can have with the game.  No more did I feel like I was allowed to just wander, explore, and discover everything this game has to offer. I felt pressured to just keep moving the story along, losing a great deal of enjoyment for me.

Dead Rising 3 is a beautiful game. It is a next generation game. It has everything in it that should make everyone want to play: heart-stopping action, a large variety of weapons, missions to complete, and an incredibly huge number of zombies to slay.  Unfortunately, bad controls and a time limit render an otherwise perfect experience simply unplayable.  Remove the time limit, and tighten the controls and Dead Rising 3 could be the perfect launch title.

Capcom, I gave you an hour and I am NOT IMPRESSED.

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About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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