Review: Dead Rising 4

Throw a log on the fire, grab a plate of gingerbread people, and pour a tall glass of eggnog, because you’re going to need supplemental material to enjoy the Christmas-themed Dead Rising 4. Despite a few new features and the return of signature elements, Capcom Vancouver’s latest is a mediocre attempt to breathe life into a series that has lost the interest of average gamers and die-hard fans. Dead Rising 4 fails to deliver a satisfying zombie-slaying experience and is not the kind of present you want to see under the tree.

In the broad strokes, Dead Rising 4 is a lot like previous entries in the franchise. It’s an open world game about killing hordes of zombies using a variety of improvised weapons, and there are a few things that the game does well, including the well-written dialogue and story. Photojournalist Frank West, the protagonist of the first Dead Rising, returns to investigate and resolve another zombie outbreak in Willamette, Colorado, and the tongue-in-cheek humour helps elevate the serious tone of the subject matter. The narrative is quite easy to follow, with most of the laughs coming from West, as many would expect.

The Christmas theme also puts a fresh coat of paint on the otherwise ordinary setting. Players have been to the Willamette mall before, yet with the holiday décor, it feels entirely new, and the town’s enthusiasm for Christmas during a zombie outbreak is hilarious in concept. It would have been nice for the holiday theme to play a larger role in the actual narrative, but the change in aesthetic still adds a positive element to the game.

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