Be careful what you wish for. Since Dead Rising's release in 2006, players have been clamoring for a sandbox mode. In Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, you finally have a chance to tear through Fortune City without a leash pulling you through, and it's now clear why such an option was absent in the past. It's boring. Finicky controls and shallow combat have been a part of the series since the beginning, but it was possible to look past these problems because you were constantly pushed from one ticking objective to the next. Once the handcuffs are removed in Off the Record, these quirks become more apparent, and it only takes so long before the thrill of killing zombies dissipates. Story mode isn't much of a draw for series veterans, either, because it's virtually an identical retread of Dead Rising 2. For people who have never touched a Dead Rising game before, Off the Record is as good a place to start as any, but it's far too similar to the previous game to make it exciting for longtime fans or those who have never had interest in these wacky adventures.
6339401For those times when you don't want to throw buzz saw blades by hand.None
After breaking the scoop on the Wilmette zombie outbreak at the end of Dead Rising, Frank West entered a life few are privileged to enjoy. Fame and fortune followed his every step, models hung from his arms like soft salamis, and the world was his for the taking. But any journalist worth his salt knows that the truth is more important than dollars and dolls, so Frank RSVPs "no" to the many party invitations flooding his inbox and sets out to Fortune City to uncover who is ultimately behind the zombie epidemic. Frank seamlessly replaces Chuck in Dead Rising 2's conspiratorial events, appearing in mostly the same cutscenes and conversing with the same characters from the previous game. Despite a new protagonist, the situations are largely the same despite a few twists, and the sense of deja vu makes it difficult to care about how these scenes unfold.
Although story has never been one of Dead Rising's strengths, the enticing structure thankfully returns to bring stress and happiness to your life. Unlike other open-world games, Dead Rising doesn't believe in unrestricted freedom. Situations play out at a specific time, and if you fail to complete objectives before the clock chimes, you not only fail that mission, but you also can't get a satisfying ending. It's punishing, to be sure, and it can lead to frustration for people unaccustomed to such a high difficulty. But once you come to grips with the strict time management, it's tough to pull away from this experience. You have to carefully weigh your actions at all times. You may want to scrounge around for powerful weapons or rescue a survivor on the other side of the map, but you have to constantly keep your eye on the clock lest you find yourself sprinting long distances while the second hand seemingly flies around the dial. Automatic checkpoints are new in Off the Record, and you encounter them each time you enter a new area. Now, if you manage time poorly or die at a psycho's hands, it's easier to reload than before, though people who find this feature distasteful are free to ignore it.
When Frank isn't photographing zombies, he's standing on the top turnbuckle.