If you have never played a Dead Rising game I advise you to go play at least Dead Rising 2 on Xbox 360, if you can’t do that then just be aware there are story references to 1 and especially 2. Dead Rising 2 was free recently so if you snapped it up go play it FIRST!
To sum up the whole Dead Rising story in a paragraph there is a zombie outbreak in a Mall in 2006 (Dead Rising 1) Frank West being the main character. Then in 2011 there is another outbreak at a Casino (Dead Rising 2) with Chuck Greene being the character. His daughter had been bitten so Zombrex, a 24 hour only cure is needed to keep her from turning. There was also an alternate sequel (Dead Rising 2: Off the Record) where Frank West is the hero doing most of the same story except he is the one taking the Zombrex. Dead Rising 3 is set in 2021! with a new hero Nick Ramos living in the City of Los Perdidos when another outbreak occurs.
Dead Rising 3 is a launch title for the Xbox One and it really shows off the power of the new console, it has also been mentioned that it was originally going to be a 360 title until they realised it wasn’t powerful enough. This means future games in the series should look even better as the developers get used to the hardware.
Graphics are great and the amount of zombies on screen, all moving, all doing something is incredible. I recommend playing it on normal first than going straight to nightmare mode it would be super hard and would also strip away the fun of a second playthrough. On closer inspection of what’s on screen I can clearly see it’s using the same Dead Rising 2 engine with all graphical querks. Blurring as you spin round and strange object loading, the resolution of the textures and the ingame cutscenes are really impressive though.
The weird thing about the series is fans loved the time limits but also wanted the ability to just wander with no restrictions. Capcom flat out ignored the request in Dead Rising 1 and 2, with them finally caving in on the alternate sequel Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. This added a free roam mode with no story but had challenges like killing 100 zombies in a minute etc. In 3 this mode is sadly gone but instead you get 6 days instead of 3 so about 24 real life hours to play before it’s game over, the challenges are now scattered around the map and are part of the main game. Hopefully a DLC mode will remove all time limits just for fun but on normal mode at least you never feel pressured to keep moving and my completion of 1 playthrough clocked in about 23 hours of real game time.
I am a huge fan of the series, it can’t be taken seriously other reviewers just don’t get it and give the series poor scores because the didn’t like it. 3 is no different as it has a fun story with some choice dialog and weird characters, if you are expecting a Walking Dead style survival game this won’t be for you.
There is lots to do and the game has been designed around having fun, it isn’t overly difficult and I probably only died 3 times in the whole playthrough. The saving is also a lot more forgiving and the plot is decent but clearly wasn’t a huge focus. If I were to be picky taking away elements of the 360 games has made this weaker. From aboout 30 minutes in you can build a tank like car which is great fun but removes nearly all danger, only when it breaks down do you panic a little. Same goes for the weapons, you can combine them anywhere now instead of key locations so it’s easy to make a great weapon, later on you can spawn as many as you want. These features are clearly appealing to the masses but it would have been nice for a 3rd hardcore mode like the XCOM games where you can strip away features and add extra difficulty. I would also imagine the story makes as much sense if you haven’t played ALL the games including the arcade mini episodes.
Overall with some added content in the future this will become an even greater game than it is now, can’t wait for a true next gen sequel.