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Like many other gamers out there, I was surprised to hear that we were going to be “treated” to another instalment of Capcom’s Dead Rising series. What to many was thought of as a dead rubber of a series has managed to squeeze out one last title as the last of Xbox One’s 2016 exclusives




As the fourth of the Dead Rising games to come out, Capcom thought it would be a good idea for some reason to go back to the story of the original with the return of Frank Miller, professional photojournalist and full time smart ass. This necessarily isn’t a bad thing as it’s Frank with his dry jokes or slight insults to other characters that make this game and story somewhat bearable. We pick up with Frank returning once again to Willamette, Colorado, albeit at Christmas time, to investigate a biohazard “accident” that has resulted in all the locals turning into the walking dead. It just so happens, just as it was before, that he finds himself in a shopping centre. The game is not limited to just here though and eventually the story allows you to go to the further reaches of Willamette such as the suburbs and junkyard.




I hope that the lack of tension or suspense was intended by Capcom because I felt this game doesn’t take itself too seriously and that’s why some people call this type of game, similar in ways to ‘Saint’s Row’ or ‘Sunset Overdrive’ as a playground game and ‘easy to play’. A bit of fun but nothing too heavy or hard to figure out.


If you’re into killing a never ending horde of zombies and more or less repeatedly pressing the same button over and over then Dead Rising 4 is the game for you. Just like its predecessors, the main objectives in the game are either get from A to B or protect someone, all while fighting through hundreds of zombies. This can be fun for a few minutes but before long it gets repetitive and even the novelty of crafting silly weapons or plonking Lego heads on zombies doesn’t cover up the underlying core of the game, kill-move-repeat.




The series is also known for how many NPC’s (non-playable characters) it can have on screen at one time but again after the second or third instalment of dead Rising, this wasn’t anything new. Frank, being a photojournalist, also has the job to investigate a story which has you using his high-tech camera, which has night and thermal vision along with a thing called a spectrum analyser, that can be used to hack doors and laptops all to the avail of a not so interesting distraction in the game. This has been done before and to much more success by the likes of Rocksteady’s Batman franchise so, again, it’s nothing new or impressive.


As with many of Capcom’s games these days, they seem to have a certain cartoony style and it appears that detail and realism aren’t that important. Also, with a lot going on during gameplay, it would be hard to obtain the kind of detail other games like Gears of War manage so it’s only fair to expect a little less. There are a few issues with glitches and pop in rates but to be honest, I can’t say it’s a bad looking game, just not great.




The overall theme of a Christmas time town is well achieved with snowy outdoors and tinsel covered interiors which gives the game a nice setting while Christmas music playing over speakers in stores adds a nice touch of cheer to an otherwise bleak and boring enough experience.





At the end of enduring a number of hours with Dead Rising 4, I can’t say that I am any better off because of it. There was no real sense of achievement or satisfaction as a result of my efforts to kill what must have been thousands of virtual zombies. It could nearly be summed up in saying, “Déjà vu” because it’s almost like playing the same game again for the fourth time. I would have a hard time recommending this game unless you’re a fan of the series or you want to pass a few hours with some mindless and sometimes fun gaming.



Dead Rising 4 was reviewed on a review code by TheEffect.Net contributor, Mark Reilly.

Mark Reilly

I've been playing games as long as I can remember and appreciate everything from the main stream to the more obscure. My favourite genre is FPS but enjoy sports titles as well.

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