PREVIOUS ARTICLENEXT ARTICLE

By Hanleigh Daniels 28 November 2011

0
Will bring smiles to the faces of zombiephiles everywhere.
8.0    Gameplay
6.5    Story
7.0    Presentation
7.0    Lasting appeal
3.5

Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is a strange title, not because of its zombie theme but rather because of its origin. Capcom released Dead Rising in 2006 as an Xbox 360 exclusive. The game featured the series’ protagonist Frank West who found himself trapped in a shopping mall in the fictional town of Willamette, Colorado, in the midst of a zombie virus outbreak.

The Japanese company then followed it up with Dead Rising 2 in 2010, which sported a new hero in Chuck Green. This didn’t sit well with some of the game fans and Capcom released Case West DLC (downloadable content) for Dead Rising 2 bringing the wise-cracking West back by enabling him to partner up with Green.   

It would appear that this wasn’t enough, since Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is not the third game in the series, nor is it an add-on or DLC for the second game, but rather a retelling of Dead Rising 2 with West instead of Green. So with camera slung round the neck and baseball bat in hand, we follow in the footsteps of photojournalist Frank West, to send a seemingly unending zombie hoard back to the grave.    

Story Mode

Within Dead Rising 2: Off the Record you have 72 hours to solve yet another zombie outbreak, this time in the Las Vega-esque Fortune City. After competing in a reality show dubbed Terror is Reality, which is a bit like WWE with zombies instead of wrestlers, Frank finds himself yet again trapped in a mall just as a zombie outbreak hits the city.
 
Every day I'm shufflin...

He has no time for site seeing though, as he needs to find Zombrex to stave off his own zombie infection, dispatch waves of the undead as well as psychos (humans that went crazy because of the infection), and rescue the odd survivor.

The graphics are impressive with realistic explosions, smoke effects and hundreds of zombies descending upon your location at every turn. Besides being a visual treat, the graphics also help to convey a real sense of space within the enormous complex.
 
Being inside a mall, you will quickly discover that there isn’t a shortage of weapons to cause zombie carnage, as virtually all objects can be employed to kill. This ranges from stock-standard ones, such as pistols, baseball bats and knives, through to the bizarre including a vibrator sex toy, woman’s purses and the highly uneffective water pistol.

As with the previous titles, the weapons do a lot to enhance the entertainment value of this title, as you find increasingly innovative ways to slaughter the zombies, keeping this monotonous task fun throughout the game. For instance, stumbling upon a golf club not only means that it’s zombie clobbering time, but also that you can launch golf-balls at high velocity at distance, in a game of Aim for the head, Tiger.

Just like MacGyver was able to fashion weapons out of seemingly any type of ordinary household items, West is able to do the same when it comes to weapons. For example, by combining a canoe paddle with a chainsaw you’ll be able to slice through foes from a longer distance, keeping the gore as well as the fun factor at an all-time high.
 
Scream cheese!

Frank isn’t only armed with weapons, since as a photojournalist he logs around his trusty camera with which you are able to net some prestige points (PP) to up your level. This is done by  capturing Kodak moments according to predefined themes, including the likes of drama, horror and erotica.

For instance if a victim is surrounded by the undead and about to be ripped apart (in an area inaccessible to you of course, otherwise you can rescue them), then you can take the photo which will be rated and classified under the theme of drama. If you take the pic a few seconds later when they are being devoured, it will be classified under horror. Erotica we’ll leave up to you to discover.
 
The new Canon  EOS 1D X is a superior camera in every way.
Sandbox mode

Sandbox mode is exactly as its name suggest as Frank is let loose in Fortune City without any time limits. You have to make your way through various areas to a exit point, such as a staircase through numerous waves of the undead as well as the odd psycho here and there. This can be done solo or with a friend, as there is an online two player co-op feature for this mode.

Within the sandbox mode you will also be given the opportunity to complete challenges that are scattered throughout Fortune City. An example of these is seeing how many zombies you can kill within a 30 second period, after which you’ll be given a bronze, silver and gold rating along with escalating amounts of prestige points and cash.
 
After having his camera's battery gone flat, photojournalist Frank West calls it a day. 

Final word

Dead Rising 2: Off The Record boasts some excellent graphics and extremely enjoyable gameplay that will become an entertainment black hole, sucking away the hours out of your day. If you played the first game and gave the second one a miss due to Chuck Green replacing the series’ protagonist Frank West, than you will love this game. However, if you have already played the second game, rather give Off the Record a skip and wait for the third installment. For those simply looking for some zombie skulls to bash in after watching season one of The Walking Dead, than rent this from your local video store for the weekend.

It goes for a recommended retail price of R499 for the PS3 version, but the game is also available on the Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

Pros:

A myriad of ways to eliminate zombies, graphics is great, you can combine weapons.  

Cons:


Nothing really new as this is Dead Rising 2 with a different hero and not a great deal of replay value for this title.  

 

PROS
A myriad of ways to eliminate zombies, graphics is great, you can combine weapons.
CONS
Nothing really new as this is Dead Rising 2 with a different hero and not a great deal of replay value for this title.
USER COMMENTS

Read
Magazine Online
TechSmart.co.za is South Africa's leading magazine for tech product reviews, tech news, videos, tech specs and gadgets.
Start reading now >
Download latest issue

Have Your Say


What new tech or developments are you most anticipating this year?
New smartphone announcements (11 votes)
Technological breakthroughs (14 votes)
Launch of new consoles, or notebooks (9 votes)
Innovative Artificial Intelligence solutions (10 votes)
Biotechnology or medical advancements (16 votes)
Better business applications (6 votes)