Dead Rising 4: Back in Style

A beautiful, gorey, holiday themed game.

You play Frank West, the professional journalist, from the first Dead Rising game. Frank teaches at a local University now, and one of his students had pressured him into investigating a “refugee site”, but clearly there was more shady stuff going on there. It doesn’t take long for the zombie outbreak to occur, and Frank West is the only one who can fix it.

Dead Rising’s Story has never matter as much as the weapons, characters, gore, and many other things that happen in the game. Dead Rising 4 is no exception to that. The story does have a few twists, and turns, but really the story is there for a lot of the one-liners said in the game. Frank West is sarcastic, and completely casual to the fact that there is a zombie apocalypse happening around him. This really pays off with the fantastic writing, and great voice acting. With a lot of the recent zombie games taking a more serious approach to storytelling, it’s always good to see a story where the character isn’t bawling his eyes out at every death, and is able to still keep the story moving forward.

Dead Rising 4 is set back to Willamette, which was also the location of the first Dead Rising game, but this time around the mall isn’t the only place you can go. Instead, Frank is able to roam around the town of Willamette, and it is one of the largest maps that the series has seen. The town looks, and has this very nice christmasy charm to it.

The main point behind Dead Rising 4 is all about killing zombies, by the thousands with the most ridiculous weapons, vehicles, explosives. Just about everything around you can be used to keep your killing spree going. The vehicle combinations are very unique, and they all feel different enough to each other. You’ll see yourself driving a electrified golf cart, and killing people with the power of Zeus. The ridiculous weapons, and insane amounts of gore have always been a hallmark of the series.

There is plenty of things to unlock, and find in Willamette to aid Frank in his fantastic slay ride. Blueprints are scattered all around Willamette, which teach Frank new ways to create deadly weapons/vehicles with the resources around him. Skills are unlocked regularly, which make Frank more powerful, and more fun to play. Frank can also gain access to new venders, by rescuing survivors, and building up the various shelters around Willamette. Searching for the schematics is fun, because every new schematic is unique, and fun to collect.

Dead Rising 4 is probably one of the best in the series it comes really close to the original in how much fun you can have. The sense of urgency is gone, and people don’t like it, and other do. The mechanics in game all have been marginally improved in a way that doesn’t effect it’s original intended purpose. Obviously one of the big changes being the removal of the timer, and this really lets you just lay back and kill zombies, and not have to worry about some ever impending doom that your game is going to end prematurely. People who have played the previous installments in the franchise will know this feeling. Dead Rising 3 fans will familiar to the feel, and look of Dead Rising 4. Another pretty big change was the regenerating health, but this isn’t as big of a problem as you think. As it won’t regen the entire health bar, and it is very slow to even begin to regen. Which is nice if you get hurt a tiny bit, and the you don’t need to worry about it.

A few more QoL improvements was technically it ran much better than it’s previous installments on the Xbox One. As Dead Rising 3 is a good example of one, it had a pretty bad launch as it was very glitchy and just didn’t run so great back when it had launched. Dead Rising 4 does have it’s fair share of problems, but they have fixed the vast majority of them. The frame rate is as smooth as they could get it to be which is pretty impressive with how many zombies you can see on screen, and throughout the mall in Willamette they do take advantage of that. To make some pretty impressive scenes. I’ve only experienced some lag, and one hard crash which had my Xbox reset, but other than that it ran like a dream. 

Dead Rising 4 looks amazing, character models are realistic, the gore is very detailed. That said this isn’t a game that will impress you like Crysis did when it came out. The sound design is superb, the sound effects for some of the weapons are hilarious. The soundtrack is also great because of the Christmas theme most of the music you’ll hear is Christmas-y.

The CO-OP mode also adds it’s own separate multiplayer campaign, which consists of four episodes. You level up a character separate from your SP one. The 4 players are tasked with things like disarming bombs, surviving waves of zombies, and killing bosses. You level up as you go, and because it’s CO-OP you also have a points scoring mode, the way the game was build works perfectly in multiplayer, and mainly it feels like a more scaled down version of the main game.

Dead Rising 4: Back in Style
In conclusion
Dead Rising 4 doesn't build much farther than it's predecessors, but it lays down a foundation for more games to come. The setting is great for the genre it's in and it helps build up the world around it. It's very fun by yourself and with friends, doesn't matter if you are trying to rack up the highest score, or if you're running zombies over in a tricycle. You'll enjoy the game both ways. There were some points where it didn't shine, being the technical aspects, and there wasn't much of an improvement compared to the other games in the franchise.
Coop Mode
Removed Urgency
Open World
Poor Performance
Graphical Issues