Frank West is back and bringing his style of holiday cheer to Xbox One and PCs. Dead Rising 4, the fourth entry in the zombie-slaying franchise, lands on both platforms today. Before you rush out and buy, here are five things you should know about Dead Rising 4. Be sure to check out our full review of the game for all of the details.
The original Dead Rising introduced players to Willamette, Colorado, but due to hardware limitations, restricted Frank West’s escapades to the mall. Dead Rising 4 takes place 16 years after the original game and utilizing the enhanced power of the Xbox One and PC, players can now openly explore the entirety of Willamette. While the mall is a fun playground, the majority of the game will take players into the town.
While Willamette isn’t the biggest open-world ever created, it does come packed with plenty of content. In addition to story missions, Frank can rescue survivors, destroy Obscuris equipment, investigate local rumors and clean out shelters. Plus, the open-world is the only place to hop in a large variety of conventional and unconventional vehicles and mow down hordes of zombies. The Christmas period makes wandering around Willamette all the more enjoyable. There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as slaughtering zombies to the sound of “Jingle Bells.”
Capcom Vancouver opted to make some changes to the game, and fans haven’t been very happy about it. One such change is the absence of the timer and time management. In Dead Rising 4, players have an unlimited amount of time to complete the campaign, sidequests, and openly explore. In essence, the removal of the timer is a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, the game’s campaign is structured to where the game works well without the timer. Those who don’t want to worry about managing their time are now free to pursue objectives at their own pace. On the other hand, the removal of time management removes much of the challenge present in the previous games. Due to this, Dead Rising 4 is much easier to complete. There really should have been an option for players to choose whether there’s a timer or not. Sadly, the choice has been made for everyone.
Another controversial decision is the removal of campaign co-op. Capcom Vancouver opted to remove it in favor of a standalone four-player co-op mode centered on four characters players meet in-game. The mode features four chapters with randomized missions to increase replay value. Players will be able to craft weapons, utilize exo-suits, and acquire items much like they can in the single player campaign. However, the progression and skill trees in the mode will be unique from the campaign. Each episode is completed over two days, which equates to about 30 minutes of gameplay.
It all sounds good on paper, but there are some definite drawbacks. Co-op is restricted to just the mall, cutting players off from exploring Willamette with friends. There’s also no additional story content or character interactions. Finally, the four playable characters, unlike Frank, aren’t customizable.
The news that Capcom Vancouver wasn’t bringing back Terence J. Rotolo, the first Frank West, sent ripples of anger down the community’s spine. Petitions began springing up demanding that Capcom replace this yet-to-be-named actor with the original. That obviously didn’t happen, and the game shipped with Victor Nosslo starring in the lead role. You know what? He’s pretty good.
There’s no denying that Nosslo’s performance is different from Rotolo’s. Nosslo’s portrayal is older, more grizzled, and it works in-game. Nosslo is funny in the role, landing punchline after punchline. While fans should be upset that Capcom didn’t bring back Rotolo, they should also be open to giving Nosslo a chance.
Dead Rising has always put its wacky weaponry at its forefront. In this game, almost anything can be used as a weapon. Chairs, swordfish, axes, barstools, guitars, cash registers. You name it, and it’s likely equipable in Dead Rising 4. Players can take these household items and enhance through Blueprints, however, to make some fun and deadly combinations. Ice swords, fire swords, electric axes, magic wands and grenade launching sledgehammers are just a few of the combinations players can make.
Furthermore, Frank can equip exo-suits in Dead Rising 4. These powerful suits allow Frank to deal extra damage, but also allow him to pick up heavy weaponry. With exo-suits, Frank can use Christmas trees like a spear, presents as boxing gloves and giant axes like an even bigger version of a standard axe. Exo-suits can be further upgraded with elemental abilities. For example, combining a suit with a squishee machine gives Frank the ability to unleash an arctic blast that freezes numerous enemies. It’s all very satisfying.