E3 Preview: Dead Rising 3
There are many types of Zombie games currently on the market. There are some that are grim, survive-or-get-your-intestines-ripped-out games, like The Walking Dead, you have the ones that use awkward camera angles and limited ammo to make you terrified of the next corner, like the original Resident Evil games, and then you have Dead Rising. The game where you know it should be scary, at times it’s quite terrifying, but generally you’re more interested in wearing kiddies clothing and running around with a Lego man head as a hat. Welcome to the world of comedy-horror games. However Dead Rising 3 isn’t quite like this. In fact, compared to the previous games, it’s actually quite dark.
Microsoft revealed the third installment at this year’s E3 conference, much to my delight. I’m quite the horror and zombie fan, so naturally I’m excited. The first thing you notice, after watching the trailer and gameplay, is the change in art style. Dead Rising 3 is much grittier, darker and looks more like the potential end of the world when compared to the previous two games, which has good and bad points. The main good point about this change is that it really reflects the ‘zombie-end-of-the-world’ theme, giving it a much grittier and somber feel, similar to that of The Walking Dead games. However I’m hoping that the comical style makes it’s appearance as well, as this is what really helped to set apart the Dead Rising series from the hordes of zombie games currently plaguing the market (no puns intended!) Capcom have said that the darker style is designed to make the game ‘more realistic’, but will this be a good thing?
We’re also introduced to our brand-new protagonist, Nick Ramos, a mechanic that just so happens to be trapped in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Why? We haven’t exactly found out yet. However it’s nice that we haven’t got a hulking army commando with advanced military training to fall back on – we’ve just got a mechanic who can call in air strikes! Our hero gets to explore a rich, open world in a city that is the same density as a real city, which is pretty awesome. Larger maps means more exploration, and I’m quite looking forward to exploring more than just a mall.
This new world comes teeming with undead. In what seems like never-ending numbers, the situation looks pretty grim for the hero. As well as sheer numbers the zombies also have brains, to a point – zombies are now attracted to light, motion and sound. This does make them susceptible to distractions, and the trailer shows Nick using a flare (which might just become my new best friend). To deal with them you’re going to need weapons, and lots of them.
As with the previous games, weapons aren’t looking like much of a problem. Dead Rising 3 is set to boast over 100 weapons, and from the trailer we can already see that you can use guns, wrenches and a conveniently placed saw. We also see that you can craft new weaponry without the aid of a crafting bench (which is a good thing so you don’t have to spend years trekking back and forth) – the trailer shows Nick crafting a gun with a light and improving the saw, with deadly results. Of course, you’ll need to explore the world, which is made a little easier by the inclusion of vehicles.
Being a large city it would be a little unfair to expect you to walk everywhere, and one of the things I’m most looking forward to is the ability to mow over large crowds of zombies. In the trailer you see Nick mow down a large group, which actually begins to slow the vehicle down. It really shows that vehicles aren’t invincible (like GTA style vehicles) so it makes you think a little more tactically. There are a few things I wonder about the inclusion of vehicles, however. First I’m wondering what other vehicles we’re going to get to play with, maybe a moped of the undead? Also it does make you wonder how much of the game is going to be running from building to building, using the cars like Saints Row 3 with zombies. Either way adding vehicles is an exciting feature that I can’t wait to take advantage of.
As with most of the games announced at E3, Microsoft have also implemented SmartGlass features. The main one we see here is the ability to call in an air strike to deal with large groups of zombies. It has good possibilities for getting more than one person involved with the game at a time, especially if that second person doesn’t have an Xbox and provides support, and I’m interested to see in what other ways SmartGlass can actually be used.
So far Dead Rising 3 seems to be an interesting game, different to previous titles yet similar in so many ways. The main thing I really want to see more of is how the dark and gritty environment will develop. It’s drastically different from the comical designs of Dead Rising 1 and 2, so it’s going to be interesting to see what else they have decided to keep and change. Dead Rising 3 is an Xbox One exclusive title set for release ‘this holiday season’.