All those years I hoped and begged for a Dead Rising sequel. I knew the first game
had some mechanical problems and the story was iffy at best, but I liked what it was trying to do and wanted more of it. Little did I know that Capcom was going to deliver not one, not two, but THREE brand new Dead Rising games in one year. I should be overwhelmed with excitement, however I'm starting to question the direction Capcom is taking this franchise.
This is Dead Rising 2: Case West, the expansion pack of sorts to the moderately successful action game
from a couple months ago. As the clumsy title suggests, this is the episode where Chuck Greene meets the star of the first Dead Rising, Frank West. It's the pairing everybody has been dreaming of, with results that left me feeling a little cold.
The story picks up mere moments after the events of Dead Rising 2. After killing an evil game show host and saving his daughter (and a whole bunch of other people), Chuck Greene is still searching for evidence that will help clear his name. Unfortunately, all of his leads have come up dry and he's surrounded by nasty, smelly zombies. Things do not look good for our hero. But just at the last second, a familiar face shows up to lend some support. Frank West definitely knows how to make an entrance.
The good news is Frank has a plan. He may not trust Chuck, but he's willing to let the former motocross champ tag along. His plan is to infiltrate the Phenotrans facilities (the makers of Zombrex) and rendezvous with his inside source. Needless to say, things go wrong and the two are forced to battle deadly zombies, company soldiers and other baddies as they save innocent survivors. In other words, it's a typical Dead Rising game.
But not so fast. Case West is different in one very important respect - the location. Since all of this Xbox Live Arcade game takes place in the Phenotrans facilities, Frank and Chuck will have nowhere to shop. As corny as it sounds, the one thing that always linked the Dead Rising games together (besides the gameplay, weird leveling system and zombies) is the protagonist's ability to shop. Between the shopping center in Willamette and the casinos in Fortune City, Dead Rising has always been about fighting zombies to elevator muzak. That's definitely not the case in this brand new expansion.
The Phenotrans facilities are nothing like your everyday world, unless you hang out in high tech laboratories that resemble a horrifying cross between a prison and an army base. You will not find a grocery store or a movie theater. There is no item shop to buy Zombrex. At no point will you throw a cash register or buy a hotdog. The Willamette Mall was warm and inviting, while this feels like it's constantly trying to push you away.
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