Joypads: Dead Rising 2: Case Zero Review
I’m going to get straight to the point here, most of you will be asking ‘Is this a 400 Point Demo?’ This review, shall be the answer to that question, and provide a nice analysis of exactly what Case Zero is. A bit of background to start off, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero is the prequel to Dead Rising 2, coming out later this month, it’s an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive title, uses DR2’s engines to provide a feel of what the full game will feel like. It sounds like a 400 point demo yes? Well it is, but it isn’t at the same time.
The graphics are the exact style Dead Rising 2 will be using, the result? Potentially the greatest looking Arcade game to be released. The graphics are a decent improvement over the original games, everything generally looks smoother, more detail and just more polished. They’re not the best you’ll see on the 360, in terms of retail games which DR2 inevitably will fall short on, but as I said for a downloadable Arcade title, it just looks amazing.
Sound has also had a nice improvement from Dead Rising 1, music is generally the same but items sound a lot better. Thumps of hammers smashing across zombies, the roaring of your chainsaw, to the simple sounds of the orange juice in it’s container flying around as you run holding it. It all sounds great.
The major deal maker or breaker here is obviously gameplay, Dead Rising 1 had it’s issues, it wasn’t perfect but it was still a great game, DR2 seems to be improving on some of these issues and including nice little additions such as the abilitiy to combine items. There’s around 8 combo items to be made in Case Zero, some really obvious ones such as grabbing a box of nails and sticking them into your baseball bat, to getting a hard hat, combing it with some beer to make a ‘Beer Hat’, a great way of replenishing health. The engine as a whole generally seems untouched however making it very similar to the first Dead Rising, I can’t decide whether it’s a good idea or a bad one. On one hand, it works well for this short arcade game, but will it work for a big retail game soon to follow? For now I can only question the first point and say yes, the gameplay does work very well for this Arcade title.
This is potentially the only problem with this game, it’s short, very short. Going purely for the story, you can be done in an hour or so. However, doing that means you miss on a few other things, such as attempting to rescue all 9 survivors, unlock all the buildings and trying to find all the combination items. I’ve played through it 3 times now, once for the story, once for the other things I stated, and the first time I was generally smashing everything I could find against zombie heads. So you can get a few playthroughs of it, between 1-2 hours each.
Case Zero is an excellent Xbox Live Arcade title, and is well worth the 400 Points it costs. It’s a prequel to Dead Rising 2, having it’s own story, setting and characters. It’s far much more than a simple demo, which traditionally steals 1 level from the main game. It’s an excellent, if very short, Xbox Live Arcade game in it’s own right. The problem? Will this work for Dead Rising 2, when it gets released at RRP later this month? I’m not sure, I’d most likely recommend waiting until DR2 drops in price before buying it, this should be a definite addition to your downloadable collection however.