Dead Rising 3
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2013-12-18 Xbox One Survival/Horror M (Mature) Capcom / Microsoft Studios

Zombies. Way overused? Sure. Do we get tired of them? No way!

I have more and fonder memories of the first Dead Rising than of Dead Rising 2. Unsure why, but there's something about Frank and the whole "Faaaan-tastic!" photography exclamation that just make me smile. As for the second game, I was clearly not prepared for the zombie apocalypse, virtual or otherwise, as I attempted to survive as Chuck Greene and his creative weapon combination ability. I did have some fun times though.

Dead Rising 3 stars newcomer Nick Ramos, a mechanic in Los Perdidos (a fictional city located in California). It's now been 10 years since the events of the second game, and infected citizens are required to wear Zombrex chips, a solution that automatically delivers their daily Zombrex dose.

The chip also acts like a GPS, tracking whoever has it, and some people are not too keen on that and refuse to have one implanted. They are called "illegals".

The game begins as Nick explores a part of the city looking for supplies. It's been three days since the outbreak and hell breaks lose some more as a massive number of contained zombies escapes as Nick exits this initial area. My issue with the beginning sequence of the game is that I really didn't want to go in there, but I had no choice. You just know sooner or later, zombies are going to break through whatever barrier, so this part seems redundant. But oh well, moving on, right?

As Nick attempts to escape the hordes of pissed off formerly imprisoned zombies, more craziness ensues in the form of thugs and a plane crash. The panic was already apparent, but now you get to see a few survivors being attacked and just as you think that maybe you can save them, they're dead. Not much health left on those guys, so you might as well run and hop from car to car, and attempt to reach safety.

Nick eventually reaches a diner, where other survivors wait for some good news: Nick's boss Rhonda, a truck driver named Dick, an illegal named Annie and two others, mother and son. The undead approach and they need to think fast and get the hell out of there, but there is always some idiot in zombie movies and games that will just go out in a moment of particular stupidity. In this case, you lose two people right away, but hey, at least they were the stupid ones. Then you learn how to make your first combo weapon and start making your way to Rhonda's garage, taking the first steps in your attempt to get out of the city before the military nukes it.

In the same Dead Rising formula, you must complete the story missions within the allocated time frame, here initally six days. In the meantime, you will receive radio messages regarding side missions, strange happenings or survivors spotted somewhere. Anyone who has a quest for you can basically follow you to a safehouse once their requirements have been fulfilled. Although I don't think I would be stopping for someone who lost their tarot cards in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. Seriously? No. You go find your own damn cards, I'm getting the hell out of here!

Anyway, you can make allies this way, and you can take them along as a party member, equip them with weapons and yell at them to follow because they decide to stop somewhere inconvenient to whack some zombies. Most times they will get in trouble more than not, so it's best to just "stash" them in the safehouse. You can also spot stranded survivors surrounded by zombies, who will need a hand clearing them out, but they will go their own separate ways. These side missions reward you with good amounts of PP (Prestige Points), which you use to level up, obtain skill points and raise your skills.

Psycopaths are back, and they are crazier than ever. If that was even possible. I don't really want to give it away, but damn, pardon the language, there is some weird shit going on in Los Perdidos! Just be ready for anything and keep an open mind.

Our friend Nick is a mechanic with some impressive creative skills, much like the MacGyver of zombie apocalypses. Not only he can make weapons out of a number of unrelated items, but he can also combine vehicles into what I can only describe as mobile awesomeness. Obviously, you don't just make them out of nothing, so you need to find blueprints for this stuff first, be it the most excellent ride ever, the RollerHawk (a cross between a motorcycle and a steam roller that also has flamethrowers and spikes) or a dildo gun. It looks like The Penetrator from Saints Row has some competition now with Nick's Super Massager made of dildos and a leaf blower! Seeing zombies impaled by jelly dildos is... really something!

Dead Rising 3 has an incredibly detailed open world with no loading times that becomes as scary as amazing to explore as time goes by. Yes, because the amounts of zombies on the streets at day 5 are definitely much higher than on day 2. And there were no frame rate issues with all that is going on on screen to report.

The SmartGlass feature certainly impressed me. The gameplay experience becomes so much more where you are receiving calls and instructions on your own mobile phone via the Dead Rising 3 Companion App. You can use the app to call for help, find transportation or initiate an air strike. However, this only worked properly when launching the game through SmartGlass. Initiating the game on the console and then running the app was problematic.

The game does pretty much everything right. With the exception of collision issues and a few bugs (annoying checkmark that wouldn't get off the screen, and this particular zombie corpse insisted on hopping in one place, being simultaneous hilarious and startling since I kept thinking he was still alive), there is little to complain about. It's interesting being able to voice certain commands to direct allies, taunt psychopaths and even attract zombies (for example, if you want to get them away from someone, just yell "over here" and they will come to you). Co-op is an interesting change of pace and some of the vehicles make it quite fun. And when you reach higher levels, you become just about invincible, driving indestructible vehicles (as long as you're inside) and able to pick up whatever weapon or vehicle from your storage at will.

Dead Rising 3 still has all the good features that we have grown accustomed to from before: timer, new game plus, lots of outfit combinations that allow us to be as ridiculous as we can, weapon combos, side missions, zombies that become more difficult at night. But it also adds a series of new ones: smart zombies that act accordingly to their former "living" activities, survival training, vehicle combos, co-op gameplay and interactive features. It's good to know that after three installments of the series, Dead Rising still provides us with hours of absurdity and enough scares.