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The mall-infesting zombies of Dead Rising are back and ready for some much needed zombie bashing.

It has been four years since the release of the original Dead Rising from Capcom and instead of standing in the shoes of the now legendary Frank West, Dead Rising returns to tell the tale of Chuck Greene, an ex-Motorcross champion who has gotten himself in a little bit of a fix.

How does Dead Rising 2 stack up to its predecessor? We find out, full review after the jump.

Chuck Greene isn’t your average run-of-the-mill U.S citizen, but then again, protagonists rarely are.

As an ex-motocross champion who lost his wife and his job and Chuck has been left to fend for his daughter with nothing but a huge cleft chin and memories of the glory days.

In order to generate some income, Chuck has entered a crazy reality TV show called Terror Is Reality, in which riders on chainsaw-fitted motorcross bikes plow through hordes of zombies in front of a live audience.

To cut a very long intro short, shortly after the show, zombies manage to break free of their holding areas and begin to wreak havoc on Fortune City. Chuck discovers that he has been framed for the entire mess, and it is up to him to prove his innocence and keep his daughter safe before the military arrives in, you guessed it, three days time.

If you have already played the first Dead Rising, then I don’t really have to explain how this game works at all, as it is pretty much exactly the same as the first with a few changes here and there.

For those of you who don’t know, here is a basic rundown. In Dead Rising 2, you have 72 (not real-time) hours to run around the “open-world” setting of Fortune City and do all that you need to do before the military arrives . When the hours run out, the game is over. When the game ends, you can start it over but keep your upgrades and stats. In fact, Dead Rising is meant to be played this way and is basically impossible to fully complete in one play-through.

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During the 72 hours, you have tasks that need to be completed at certain times as well as within certain timeframes. While most missions consist of you having to save people and bring them back to the safe-house, case missions need to be completed in order to discover the truth of the story. If you are not in the right place at the right time when a case mission actives, the entire main storyline is completely lost. From there you have the option of reloading and trying again, or deciding to continue on and leave the story for another play-through.

This is where I need to make a big point of emphasizing that new-comers to Dead Rising need to really pay attention.

If you are looking for an action game that has a straight-forward story and structure, Dead Rising 2 is not for you. The game can basically be split into two different experiences: doing missions and killing zombies.

While you might think that the two go hand-in-hand, they really don’t. In order to complete the missions you will spend a lot of time avoiding zombies at all costs, keeping your health up and trying to get people through the hordes. The missions can become infuriating at times especially coupled together with the fact that the game has no sort of autosave feature whatsoever and only allows you to save using restrooms spread throughout the game world.

If for example. you set out to do a rescue mission and end up failing the mission or dying (sometimes for reasons caused by bad game design), you can easily lose anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes of game time when loading back to your previous save.

This was easily the biggest gripe I had with the game, and one that made me shut the game off on more than one occasion out of pure frustration. If you are the type of gamer who only gets to play in short bursts, the save system will be an issue for you, as game time can easily get lost, and the need to simply shut the game off will result in loss of progress unless you are able to get to a save point first.

Last Updated: October 1, 2010

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Dead Rising 2
Summary
7.9

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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