Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (January 2013)|
|Dead Rising 2: Off the Record|
|Release date(s)||NA October 11, 2011
|Distribution||Blu-ray Disc, DVD, download|
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is a survival horror video game set in an open world environment, developed by Capcom Vancouver and published by Capcom. The game is a reimagining of Dead Rising 2, with that game's protagonist, Chuck Greene, replaced by Frank West of the first Dead Rising.
Development and release
At Captivate 2011, Capcom's annual press show, the company announced that it was releasing Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, as a reinterpretation of the game, with Frank West from the original Dead Rising as the main character. The game was released for the same consoles on October 11 in North America, October 13 in Japan, and October 14 in Europe for a discount retail price.
Off the Record is intended as a complete reimagining of Dead Rising 2, with new missions, cutscenes, environments, enemies, and weapons. The photography mechanic from the first Dead Rising is also included. There are technical and system upgrades, such as optimization of loading times and improved network performance. Off the Record also features a new sandbox mode. This allows players to explore Fortune City without the obstacle of time.
The entire game is a "What If?" scenario where Frank West covered the Fortune City outbreak, instead of Chuck Greene. As such, the game isn't considered canon within the Dead Rising continuity. It also changes the plot of Dead Rising 2 significantly in regards to the different characters and their motives.
After surviving the outbreak that occurred in Dead Rising, Frank West quickly became a bit of a celebrity. After authoring a successful book, he is given his own talk show, but soon wastes his opportunities and money as his fifteen minutes of fame expire. In hopes to regain a place in the spotlight, he accepts an offer from Tyrone King to appear as a special guest on Terror is Reality.
At the beginning of the event, West, wearing a wrestling outfit, is lifted via platform to the center of a ring surrounded by a chain-link fence. Joining him in the ring is a group of zombies in which he must defeat as many as possible within a certain time limit. Upon winning the event, West feels that he has lost his dignity and decides to take his prize money and get out of town. As he is leaving, he overhears TK and Brandon Whittaker discussing plans. With his trusty camera around his neck, West watches from a nearby scaffolding as TK exchanges money for a mysterious package from Brandon.
When West is caught eavesdropping, TK's henchmen attack him. He fights them off, but soon the zombies get loose, beginning the infection of Fortune City and forcing West to once again fight for his life. Later on it is found out that Brandon let loose the infection upon Fortune City, and the entirety of CURE is set up for it. While West is skeptical, he still helps Stacey Forsythe uncover the truth.
Later, Frank finds Brandon hiding in a bathroom. The latter has gone insane; after Frank stops him from letting a zombie bite a female survivor, he kills the girl and turns on Frank. After Frank defeats him, he is bitten by the zombie and slits his own throat to avoid turning. Frank then confronts Stacey about how he was part of CURE, and he started the outbreak (as seen on the TV earlier). Stacey responds that he was new, and TK must have planted him in the group. They continue to argue until Frank notices people moving equipment in the underground on a security camera. Frank investigates, and finds TK moving packages through the underground tunnels. After fighting off some guards, Frank confronts TK. The game show host admits that he is indeed behind the outbreak, before escaping.
Frank tells Rebecca about what he saw, when they hear explosions going on from outside the safehouse. A number of TK's goons are trying to break the casino vaults. After Frank stops them, Rebecca invites him to come with her to see her source at Bennie Jack's later. Frank arrives, but finds nothing except a tranciever. TK talks to Frank on the other line, telling him if he ever wants to see Rebecca again, he has to bring one million dollars to the bar at the Yucatán by 7:00 PM that day. Frank comes with the money, and it is taken by one of TK's guards. After, Frank is confronted by the Bailey twins. They attack him, but he fights back and manages to kill one of them. The other, grief-stricken at the loss of her sister, commits suicide. Rebecca and Frank catch a chopper on top of the hotel, which TK is trying to escape with. Frank destroys the helicopter, leaving TK knocked out. They bring TK back to the safe house and explain the story to Sullivan.
By this time, the military rescue is imminent, so Frank decides to go on top of the Royal Flush rooftop to get a good view. When the military arrives, they have little trouble with the zombies at first. However, a strange gas begins rising from the vents in the ground. This causes some of the zombies to mutate: they change appearance, become stronger and faster, and gain the ability to spit a blood-like substance that temporarily incapacitates those it hits. No match for the "gas zombies", the military team is nearly wiped out. The sergeant in charge of the team escapes the zombies, gets in a truck, and heads underground. Rebecca (who was also filming the military) follows. Frank heads to the underground, and finds the sergeant has gone completely insane and has kidnapped Rebecca. After defeating the sergeant (who then kills himself), Frank gets Rebecca back to the safehouse. They confront TK, asking where he got the gas. TK refuses to say anything. When asked why he framed CURE, he said that was just the name that "they" gave him. After, they are talking in the security room when the door is breached, allowing zombies to enter the safehouse. Frank goes out and hotwires the panel, releasing a second door to re-secure it. After realizing it wasn't an accident, Frank goes to search for TK, and finds him sneaking around the safe house. TK is knocked over by a zombie that was still in the safe house and is bitten. Frank contemplates if he should give TK the Zombrex he needs, but eventually gives him the drug.
Sullivan, Frank, Stacey and Rebecca are watching the television when they hear on the news that a military firebombing has been ordered, because someone told them that there were no survivors in the safe house. The group are now convinced that TK was not the only person behind the outbreak. Frank then decides the only way to find out who created the gas is to find the source. He heads to the underground tunnels and finds a secret base of people harvesting queens from the zombies. Frank discovers these people are employed by Phenotrans, the company that manufactures Zombrex. He grabs a laptop with proof, a phone and a keycard, and then turns off the gas. He heads back to the safe house with the new information. Rebecca explains that they did this because of lack of sales of Zombrex, and in order to drive up their stock price, they started this outbreak. Rebecca is about to use the phone to call her station to come get everyone, when she is shot in the stomach by Stacey. Stacey also shoots Sullivan, then turns to Frank. She thanks Frank for taking care of the protester and TK, also saying that releasing the tape to the news was not "part of the deal". Before she can shoot him, Sullivan punches her in the face, knocking her down. She shoots Sullivan two more times, mortally wounding him, before Frank can kick the gun away. He grabs Stacey but she escapes, and also leaves behind a wig that she was wearing.
Frank heads to Fortune Park and finds that Phenotrans has deployed several machines designed to harvest queens from the zombies they created. After he destroys the harvesters and finds a radio, he goes to Uranus Zone to confront Stacey. Stacey reveals that Phenotrans didn't start the outbreak for money, but to save lives. At first, Frank is confused, but she explains that they need queens to make Zombrex, and therefore needed to make more zombies to produce them. She calls it "a necessary sacrifice for our country". TK's actions (getting CURE on television and robbing the city), were carried out without her permission. She then turns on a giant robot, and attempts to kill Frank, but he is able to destroy it. Stacey attempts to shoot him, but is crushed when the robot collapses on her. Frank then uses the phone she stole to call Channel 6 Action News (Rebecca's news station). They arrive in helicopters, and all the survivors are rescued. TK is not amongst them, however. Frank goes to get him, but soon finds out he is gone, along with Rebecca's body. All Frank can find is Rebecca's ID card.
After the initial credits roll, TK announces over the walkie-talkie that he has escaped, and that Rebecca survived her wound and is now with him. He asks Frank if he's ready for "Overtime" and that he needs Frank to bring him an assortment of supplies. Some of the items are medical items that Rebecca needs, others are things that TK wants for himself including: a Compromising Photo, Zombrex Stash, Expensive Champagne, Sutures, Men's Silk Thong, Gauze, and Pain killers. After Frank obtains all the items requested and makes his way to the Fortune City Arena, TK attacks him with a tazer, laughing maniacally. Frank awakens in the same arena where the game started, stripped of all his inventory and surrounded by a ravenous horde of zombies. His initial objective is simply to survive while TK taunts him from above, while Rebecca crawls her way to the winch control switch. After two minutes, Rebecca reaches the switch, throws a rope down, and reels Frank up. TK stops her, stating that "Audience participation is not allowed", but he is too late. Frank is already up on the platform, and engages TK in combat, while trying to keep Rebecca stabilized. After the battle, TK uses his last strength to choke Frank and try to throw him to the zombies below while reciting the lines: "You've gotta...risk it all if you're.... ever... really.... gonna-." and is interrupted as Frank throws him over his back off the platform while sarcastically remarking: "Fall to your death". He then picks Rebecca up, and leaves Fortune City, just before the firebombing. As they depart, a zombie screams at the camera, giving one last scare.
Off The Record received generally positive reviews, with a score of 73 and 72 on Metacritic for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 respectively. Gametrailers gave the game an overall rating of 8.2 out of 10. IGN gave it a 7 out of 10. GameSpot gave the title a 7 out of 10 rating, praising the core game but criticizing the lack of improvements and the sandbox mode's perceived lack of depth. Game Informer, by contrast, gave the game a 9.5/10 (the same score as the original) saying that "Frank's photography adds another layer to the already deep gameplay," and that "by itself, the sandbox mode is an incentive to buy Dead Rising 2."
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