Review: Dead Rising 4 (Xbox One)
The foul-mouthed, wise-cracking Frank West (Hank East) is back for another round of “Who’s conspiracy is this anyway?” co-staring the zombie apocalypse crew and they brought their new friends, the Fresh and the Evo. So, sit up, get customising, aaaand LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!
Welcome home, Franky boy.
Frank West, being the unconventional photojournalist he is, is always on the lookout for a noteworthy piece. Luckily for him his understudy, Vicki, has discovered something back in Willamette, Colorado. Seems poor Frank can’t get away from the place. Being the big-scoop hunter that he is, even though coaxed into it, he embarks on another journey into the mysterious world of human experiments performed by the government in this little town. This time, he’ll be plying his craft in both fact-finding photojournalism and un-dead extermination in the brand spanking new Willamette Memorial Megaplex. The event leading up to the festive zombie season starts on Black Friday at the mall, with almost the whole town flocking to get their hands on some deals only to find that the gift they get for Xmas is to become a mindless rotting corpse in search of brains.
With a magnitude of customisable weapons, vehicles, and outfits to your disposal, you might end up crafting, driving and collecting more than following the story. It can get that addictive. With the introduction of Exo-suits and Exo weapons, expelling large amounts of reanimated bodies has never been more fulfilling.
It’s like LEGO, for zombie exterminators.
The creators of this game obviously took a lot of time conjuring up the many permutations of weapons and vehicles. Who ever thought a shopping cart could be so deadly?
Baseball bats, sledge hammers, axes, umbrellas and t-shirt cannons. If you can lift it, you can bash a zombie with it. With some of the old mechanics still intact, the overall custom weapon and vehicle creation is a breeze. Grenade-infused hammers seem to disperse of hordes pretty well, not so much with the electrified Xmas wreath though.
The vehicles are an absolute pleasure to drive, especially when modified. Go-karts, shopping karts, police vehicles, Segways, little miniatures of cars. It’s mayhem. Obliterating zombie has never been such fun than in a custom death-rod (hot rod + death machine). Burnouts while cracking hips, tire tracks on splattered skulls – it’s all pure bliss.
Let’s not complicate things…
There hasn’t been much (or any) change in the gameplay, with simple control schemes and easy access to weapons using your D-pad. The controls do feel a bit unresponsive when trying to flee from becoming a zombie buffet, or when swiping wildly with a broad sword or axe. Getting up and over some objects does seem to be a bit of a chore. Your skill points play a roll here, enabling you to have better control and deal more damage with all your weapons.
Your trusty camera also gets a bit of an upgrade with new ways to identify clues and secrets throughout the game. And, obviously, to capture your moment of awesomeness. You are limited to the amount of pics you can take though, so snap wisely.
Stamina, for those who do run away from a good fight (not very Frank of you), should be monitored while fleeing. This can fortunately be altered in the skill section in the options menu as well. The same goes for vehicles and long range weapons alike, improving stability and accuracy, even when using a clown’s bowling ball cannon funnily enough.
There has been a ramp up in the graphics department, but nothing to write home about. The blood splatter effects does leave something resembling a Jackson Pollock painting, which is always a big plus when taking selfies of your massacres.
Frankly, it’s gonna be a bloody good Xmas this year.
As usual, Frank entertains with his sharp tongue, fighting ability and true survival instinct. As one of the best zombie franchises around, even though it’s a small leap, it does what it does best. Destroy all the un-dead in emphatic fashion, and look dashing while doing it. The controls might feel a bit dated, but that wont deter you from finding the next weapon or vehicle to craft and field test to your hearts content.