Already in the initial period of last year they had left some rumors about the possibility that Capcom was working on two new open world projects. Here, then, that a few months later, at the last Microsoft E3 conference, Dead Rising 4 was finally announced, showing among other things the return of Frank West as the main character, this time grappling with a new epidemic throughout Christmas in places already known to fans of the series.
Developed by former Blue Castle Games, now known by the name of Capcom Vancouver, this fourth installment of the zombie themed series initially conceived by good Keiji Inafune aims to get back to basics with a wink to the first Dead Rising, but try to take the best from the last two chapters.
It's Time To Return To Willamette.
In Dead Rising 4 gameplay as the famous photojournalist Frank West, already appreciated in the first Dead Rising and Off the Record , which will be found at fifty-two played in search of a new scoop that would make him famous around the world. Awakened from a nightmare in the middle of the night the good Frank, reluctantly, he is persuaded by his pupil Vick to return to Willamette (the same city in the first episode) to investigate a military base of the place. Our protagonist - who still dreams of a possible victory of the Pulitzer Prize - after sixteen years is still convinced he can prove that in the explosion of the last zombie epidemics there is the US government.
After some vicissitudes Frank is abandoned by Vick and finds herself back in the Willamette for a third time because of someone ready to believe him and support him in his "witch hunt." In Colorado town Meanwhile the epidemic raging for six weeks and appeared as a new organization known as Obscuris , interested in something in this town. Within the seven cases that make up the game you'll be getting in touch with other survivors and even discover the connections with the first Dead Rising . We will not dwell on because, although it is a narrative plot that does not of course want to be taken seriously, it is altogether enjoyable.
Although it is not the narrative and the general plot the strong point of the brand, thanks to some found it is interesting and we were never bored as also the misadventures of Mr. West are undoubtedly the most convincing of all that the saga has proposed.
In the aftermath of the announcement of the game, Capcom has tried to indicate Dead Rising 4 first as a reboot and later as a Reimagine , something in short, that should have marked a rebirth for the brand; while boys of the Vancouver study spoke of "return to origin" without specifying any reasons that go beyond the return of Frank West as the protagonist, or the setting proposed, namely the Willamette in the center of the events narrated in the first chapter of the saga. What we can tell you with certainty is that the use of the previous two terms, there appeared slightly misleading, and in our opinion the most suitable is simply to sequels.
Yes, because the pivotal points of the saga were the same as those of the past and Dead Rising 4 arises mainly as a result: the plot is bound slightly to the past, the game has a base of more of the same real, despite proposing the the same time something new. In short, we speak broadly of sequel features, because profoundly change the formula of a zombie game with a structure like that of the saga created by Keiji Inafune is complex and poorly feasible.
Also there would be frankly was why, whereas the gameplay is not one of those who do not feel the weight of years and is still fun and rewarding today. The great news is the EXO Suits, exoskeletons able to guarantee the wearer superhuman strength and unrivaled strength: you can shoot for kilometers, easily cut up the enemies and kicks by sending them vehicles towards the zombies. The battery of these fantastic armor, however, has a limited life. For this reason we must never lose sight of the spies they start flashing red, the power is winding down and you have to run for cover by taking specific turrets able to recharge it, finding an upgrade to ensure a longer battery life and infuse new capabilities to its EXO or preparing to return to fight simple human being.
Around the map the weapons - which are melee, distance or launch - and EXO items will be marked by the purple color. Another new feature is the presence of new enemies. Besides the classic hostile zombies and survivors, you'll also dogfight with neomorti zombies, those evolved and with the organization's soldiers Obscuris . The first are nothing but human bites and just in the early stages of the transformation; They are strong, aggressive and faster than the others. They will attack with claw and grabs.
The zombies have evolved into neomorti zombies that have been able to resist the parasite within them. Retain part of their intelligence, and at the same time acquire superhuman strength and agility. Tend to attack from above and from the distance, they are very durable and able to increase the ferocity of the surrounding zombies. Finally, the organization's soldiers Obscuris , armed with axes, rifles and military grenades (you can also collide with special agents in an EXO or equipped with flamethrowers).
In this new episode we find the elements, great classics of the beloved series, such as a wide range of weapons and vehicles that players can combine - with greater ease than in the past thanks to a new system that highlights objects useful for diagrams collected - to face hordes of crazed zombies. The attacks load a special counter that, if brought to the maximum, allows the use of a particular fail more quickly able to defeat the strongest enemies.
Return most pleasing is that in the camera our dear journalist, will in fact take pictures ironic, unique, bloody and tragic. The machine also has an analyzer compared highlighting elements not perceptible to the naked eye, a night filter and a survey mode, useful in some missions that will be required to find clues to solve a mystery.
All this will also be useful for points, which are awarded normally every time you level up and can be spent to unlock new abilities; the tree of skills is deeper, with the possibility to get to spend a maximum of one hundred points overall (the level cap increased from fifty to one hundred). If there is something in which Dead Rising 3 was fully convinced was in the management of psychopaths, real small boss can vary the qualitative range of enemies.
These, in Dead Rising 4, are substantially changed in so-called maniacs. It is the survivors who lost their reason under the psychological pressure of the epidemic: they move in groups in the streets of the Willamette and have a head but are not dangerous or particularly fun to deal with. To give a practical example, we found ourselves faced with a crazy Santa Claus in the trees and it was a clash lasted very little and nothing exciting; considering everything would really not take much to ensure greater overall depth and has been there so a little bitter taste in the mouth.
Another sore point is the difficulty, you move it too fast from being barely able to chain together a series worthy of combos to perform instead of the incredible massacres with ease. In this sense does not help either the simplifications of the lack of time constraints, resulting in the absence (the game progresses substantially with the classic operation chapters) of a day/night cycle that real go and change the behavior of the zombies; it is natural to wonder if it was more correct to give a choice to the player.
To all this is added an exaggerated amount of healing items and foods, much given the opportunity to finish the main adventure without dying. After using a phrase like "return to origin", with the first chapter beautifully carved in our minds, it was reasonable to expect a more complex game.
Just like its predecessors, also 4 Dead Rising is full of side quests, diagrams and collectibles (some of which are useful for understanding the epidemic history and discover the people involved). There are the classics rescues survivors, but also a lot easier, because for the majority of cases, once saved, will not escorted to the nearest safe house. You can also free up the emergency shelters infested by zombies to try to ensure a safe place to Frank but also to all others; among other things, drawing to rescue as many people as possible will be able to meet people willing to sell what they have collected around the city such as clothing, vehicles, patterns but also basic items like keys and maps.
In the game world are also scattered rooms panic Zom-B Safe, in which you will find trapped survivors or useful weapons. It is of utmost safety rooms that can be opened with specific access cards. As soon as I find one, you will note that your map will be highlighted circular area to join. Many rooms are hidden and can only be found with the camera spectrum analyzer. As for NPCs secondary missions players must be said, unfortunately, that the stories and activities that lie behind these characters are not well constructed and interesting but rather developed in some haste.
For this, going to look at the basic structure of the game, which he sees as one of the greatest dangers to the repetitiveness, due to the continuous massacre of zombies, it would be only right to make a deeper work. And it is precisely here, in the side quests, that Dead Rising 4 let us down: the latest work by Capcom Vancouver remains overly tied to the past and does not try to offer something really new. In our view diversify the structure of secondary activities, expanding the number, the basis and the objectives had to be absolutely crucial.
Small Steps Forward.
The game can move on the screen a number of absolutely amazing characters at certain moments even higher than seen in Dead Rising 3, trying to maintain 30 FPS constantly. The more than problematic frame-rate of the previous chapter is only a bad memory and in this specific aspect Dead Rising 4 fails to make a overall good job. We have not seen declines but only to some delays, especially at critical points where we ended up using special weapons and vehicles of large groups of enemies. Fortunately never anything overly serious. Even the pop-in was reduced despite less use of "filler" in-game objects just rapprochement of our protagonist. Also more than enough work done on-flung locations that are sufficiently detailed and whose textures are placed on an informed basis.
Good polygonal modeling of the main while preferred greater care characters on the survivors, especially as regards the realization of the faces, which are more or less in line with what was seen in the past. Let me be clear, the game does not shine for their technical skills but the overall improvement is real and appreciable. Dead Rising 4 manages to solve in part also another problem encountered within its predecessor: during the adventure we have witnessed absolutely sporadically to the annoying tearing , this more than anything else during the horizontal displacement of the camera: in each if its presence was not invasive, because not present during the real game stages and right.
Finally we did not notice the usual long boots, which go regularly to break the action by dropping the voltage of the players at each change of section, but thanks to the intelligent management of the map design and game chapters they seemed much less Frequently. Although still far from reaching very high technical peaks, Dead Rising 4 manages to make small significant steps forward compared to what we saw in the past. Different speech instead for the excellent sound sector, which sees an explosive mix of the usual laudable effects on objects on the screen and a real OST Christmas these musics are revealed as absurd as complete with the context. We are sure you will appreciate the generation of several moments of hilarity data from the destruction of entire hordes of zombies rotting between a Jingle Bell Swing and Looking for Santa Claus.
The dubbing is a bit lame and shows a generally acceptable work on some characters, both during the game and during the cutscenes, while it is mediocre in others, mainly due to the lack of attention given to the general synchronization. Rather negative note for the IA, perhaps the only point on which the game has not made real progress: the boss's movements do not appear at all convincing and even the offensive capabilities of the maniacs around the map leave to be desired.
Of Survivors stories.
Unfortunately, as written above, the game does not include any feature regarding the time limit in the country, but such "vacuum" was filled with the all-new co-op multiplayer. For here it is imposed on players to complete specific objectives within a clearly defined time frame. The intention of Capcom to include a co-op to four players in a possible follow was clear already shortly after the release of Dead Rising 3, and so it was. It is a series of survival missions, with up to three other players, in the Willamette Memorial Megaplex : with your fellow will receive a new list of missions and activities at the beginning of each new day that will form the episode.
Each of these focuses on a specific area of the map; the whole megaplex is free roaming but most of the missions of each episode will take place in the same area. Guests can choose between Isaac Tremaine, a talker butcher, expert in close combat and with a hammer as a starting weapon; Jordan Maxwell, an expert in demolition and equipped with a grenade throwing; Connor McMann which can be used in a manner similar to the classic doctors of various other multiplayer titles. Finally, you can also use Jessa Yatsuda a passion for cars and high-caliber weapons, which instead has two goals.
As usual, beyond the chosen character, melee weapons can still be collected anywhere, to try to avoid any desperate situations. Any object can be used as a weapon against the large horde of zombies with which you will be dealing with new throwing objects can wipe out entire groups of enemies. Even in multiplayer mode weapons have a limited life and may break: just check the inventory, that if it were to appear in red, indicating that the weapon is next to the break. Around you will also get the classic patterns to create weapons-combo with the necessary components that will light up in blue to facilitate their recovery.
The story of four characters which you will have the chance to glimpse even during the main adventure will be enriched by details with the progress of the different cases available: it will start with the first episode, dedicated to the challenge of Hammond (also know him during the campaign), then go to develop with the other three episodes, all unlockable upon completion of a certain number of missions. The player will start inside a safe house, where you can buy items for their own health and weapons, first of opening the doors and approaching enemies, and you will always end in what is called safehouse.
After a day of Hammond himself will announce the next retreat position, you will have to reach before the stroke of midnight. In general, the basic game is very similar to that already appreciated in the Infinity Mode of the first chapter of the saga. You can also get points which will allow you not only to advance but also ways to increase your total score on the online leaderboard in different ways, for example by killing various zombies, from the variable type, completing quests or reviving his teammates. Other actions, such as death or the late arrival at the shelter will result in a penalty in the final score. Completing the trials of multiplayer modes will unlock new lethal objects and patterns for the construction of special weapons combo-called golden combo.
To create these specific weapons must have at least an ingot inventory, which can be found around the map or it can be purchased at vending machines. When you run out of health points, instead of dying instantly, as now seen in many other titles, the player will start to bleed to death, at which point its allies will proceed with the resuscitation. If you do not want to wait, you can press and hold the button to speed up the bleeding bleeding process and subsequent death. Then it will begin a count (the waiting time can be reduced by spending points) for the return match.
The mode is well built overall and fun; also thanks to the scoring modifiers and some limitations, arises in some ways like a even more tantalizing challenge than what the production offers in the main campaign. However, we wonder if it was really necessary to completely give up the coop two players in the country and it was instead a wiser and compelling choice to keep it, giving the title a further opportunity to play. In this regard, we remain convinced that going forward with the chapters of a saga you should give more choice to gamer therefore going to add and not to take off.
Dead Rising 4 is a good product that is able to partially solve the technical problems that plagued the previous chapter. The game manages to entertain, thanks to the usual freedom of action and the various possibilities of destruction of zombies that is made available to the player. To all this is added a valuable work on the multiplayer segment, not only able to entertain but which is also developed with some care.
The flaws do not allow the Vancouver Capcom production to present really like the big brand revival to be sought in an overall simplification. In our view too, there are some shortcomings and feel a little more work on secondary activities is required. Absolutely recommended to all fans of the saga who want to enjoy a zombie Christmas.