Back to Willamette with Dead Rising 4

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Back to Willamette with Dead Rising 4

This weekend was quite a welcome treat, as I had the opportunity to enjoy Dead Rising 4. Thought it wasn't exactly what I expected when it came out of the box, so to speak--it was a digital purchase, after all--it was still the kind of thing I could get used to, and did ultimately enjoy.

The early changes were grating to say the least. Why Frank West suddenly sounded like James Belushi was beyond me, and an infuriating choice at that. Surely the original voice actor wasn't so demanding, and it seems I'm not the only one dismayed about the loss of Terence J. Rotolo. I base that on reports of a petition that went out to bring him back to the series.

Setting the training level in a military base gave me cold chills; that's generally a end-stage operation, so why they used it as a training level was just unfathomable. However, I did enjoy that opening dream sequence; that was a beautiful little opening that set the stage for a unusual but thoroughly fun game.

What I really love about this latest version is how clearly it draws on previous titles and tries to improve on these. There's actually quite a bit of Dead Rising 3 in here; the new Willamette looks a LOT like Los Perdidos, especially in the way it's laid out. The little things like the highway overpasses and the like are particularly noteworthy. Frankly, though--no pun intended--the second game did the job just fine when it came to level design, so it's a wonder they're not calling on the second game more often. In fact, while playing, the one big thing I noticed was a visible lack of save points. While autosaving seems to be a factor here, it was still a noticeable loss to see save points gone.

Still, one undeniable point here was that the game was fun. I enjoyed stomping around in the new exosuits, especially when those great infinite-ammo points were available for projectile weaponry. It seems like the challenge was up a bit too, because it's no longer really possible to clear out an area as it just fills up from other, more zombie-rich parts of Willamette.

Regardless of my few faults with the title, there's still plenty to like here, and in the end, Dead Rising 4 will provide a fun and thoroughly valuable experience for fans and newcomers alike. It's not the best Dead Rising out there, or the best game either, but it's certainly a fun time.

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