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E3 2013: Dead Rising 3 (Impressions)

by: Matt -
More On: Dead Rising 3 E3 2013
The dingy garage outside didn't do much to allay my fears of the zombies wandering around just outside the wall. Sure they were boxed in to the E3 booth by a chain link fence, but there was an obvious gap that they could easily get out of if someone lead them over there. Looking around, I didn't have much in the way of weapons, or any duct tape to combine stuff from my backpack. So I just sat down and relaxed and let Capcom show their latest survival horror title, launching for the XBox One this November. Dead Rising 3 looks to be every bit as hectic as the previous two titles. Though I do have some reservations after the very controlled demo.

First up is our new every-man with a 'mysterious past,' Nick Ramos who works as a mechanic in the urban sprawl named Los Perdidos. His skills as a mechanic put him right at home in the Dead Rising universe, giving him experience in crafting new weapons with the help of blueprints that can be found throughout the city. The city itself is made up of four districts, and our demo gave us a glimpse at just one of them, though it seemed to be rather expansive, taking us through multiple safe houses, to the underground sewer system (that had vague flashbacks to Resident Evil), and through a seemingly never ending horde of zombies.

The zombies this time around seem to follow more of a mob mentality, where if one spots you, you're more likely to get picked up by the group as a whole. This leads to using a lot more items to distract zombies with sound and light. In one instance our demonstration covered the use of a flare gun to distract a large collection of shamblers, allowing Nick safe passage in to a gun store. Blowing up cars is another way to get attention from the zombies, but that seems like a much more risky proposition. 

During the exploration we also were contacted by an anonymous source who noticed fireworks being set off in the distance. Surely zombies were going to be attracted to that, but why not help another survivor in need? Indeed a person was stuck on a pagoda in the city's Chinatown area. At this point our demonstrator called down a drone strike with the use of a SmartGlass companion app. These drones quickly laid waste to the zombies in the area, giving us a chance to rescue the survivor. 

The demonstration also made it a point to show off the new safe houses, which contained lockers that can hold weapons and clothing, so now when you pick up an item it will be stored in the weapon locker to be picked up at your convenience. This seems like a tactic meant to draw in casual players who found the difficulty to be too high in the previous games, and hopefully this is just an option that can be adjusted in difficulty otherwise it diminishes a lot of the thrill that went in to going for hard to find weapons. 

Speaking of weapons, there were plenty on hand, and plenty of combinations to make. A flashlight and a handgun makes for a tactical handgun with the use of some duct tape. Got a grenade and a shotgun? Then you've got a crowd clearing grenade launcher that will completely devastate a group of zombies. These weapons are still of limited use though, so it doesn't do much good to go in all guns blazing. The stat altering books also make a return and this time around they don't need to be held in your immediate inventory in order to receive their benefits, which is a much needed change.

The prestige point system returns once again, and like always it comes down to how you dispatch zombies that determines the amount of points you receive. Mowing them down in a car? Sure it's efficient but it doesn't net the most amount of points until you get a high enough combo going. Where as using a close quarters bladed weapon has plenty of risk, but plenty of reward, with high amounts of points rewarded for each kill. There are also killstreaks now that allow you to perform a special attack with the equipped weapon. Killstreaks? Drone strikes? Not quite sure how I feel about this one. Leveling up from prestige points now allows players to assign their points how they see fit, and though we didn't get much of a look at the skill tree, it looks like it addresses the player's ability to carry items, and increase their hit points.

The Dead Rising 3 demo concluded with a long shot of the city from a freeway overpass, but not before our demonstrator showed one more special attack with the Smart Glass app. Calling down a massive airstrike that decimated the zombies in front of Nick, because why not. Hopefully Capcom can explain some of these over the top acts of zombi-cide when the game comes out later this year.