Dead Rising

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This article is about the video game. For the series, see Dead Rising (series).
Dead Rising
Deadrising boxart.jpg
Developer(s) Capcom Production Studio 1
Publisher(s) Capcom
Director(s) Yoshinori Kawano
Producer(s) Keiji Inafune, Yoshinori Ono
Writer(s) Makoto Ikehara
Composer(s) Hideki Okugawa
Marika Suzuki
Series Dead Rising
Engine MT Framework with Havok Physics
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Release date(s) NA 20060808August 8, 2006

EU September 8, 2006[1]
AU 20060914September 14, 2006
JP 20060928September 28, 2006

Genre(s) Survival horror
Beat 'em up
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution DVD-DL

Dead Rising (デッドライジング Deddo Raijingu?) is a 2006 open world action survival horror video game. It is developed and published by Capcom and produced by Keiji Inafune. It was released on August 8, 2006 exclusively for the Xbox 360 video game console.[2][3]

Dead Rising's story centers on Frank West, a photojournalist who ends up trapped in a shopping mall in the fictional town of Willamette, Colorado, that is infested with zombies. Frank must defend himself from zombie attacks, rescue survivors, contend with crazed psychopaths, and stay alive while still attempting to uncover the truth behind the incident. The player controls Frank as he explores the mall, using any available object as a weapon. The player can complete several main and optional missions to earn Prestige Points (PP) and gain special abilities. The game is designed as a sandbox game and features several endings, depending on the decisions the player makes along the way.

The game was a commercial success and has been introduced into the Xbox 360 "Platinum Hits" lineup. Two sequels, Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 3 were developed by Capcom Vancouver and were released in September 2010 and November 22, 2013, respectively. A Wii remake was released in February 2009 titled Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop,[4] and a mobile phone version is also available.

Gameplay[edit]

West attacking zombies with a 2x4 plank

The player character is Frank West, a photojournalist who sneaks into the fictional town of Willamette, Colorado, which has been quarantined by the military. The main objective of the game is to investigate the Willamette Parkview Mall and complete "Case Files", missions that advance the storyline and reveal the cause of the zombie outbreak. The player has three days to do this, at which point a helicopter will arrive to retrieve him. Time passes twelve times faster in-game (i.e. one day in-game is two hours in real time); therefore, the game automatically concludes after six hours of gameplay. If a player fails a mission, it does not end the game, but different actions result in different endings at the end of the 72-hour period. In addition to the Case Files, the player is offered the opportunity to rescue other survivors of the zombie outbreak, either from the zombies themselves, or from "psychopaths", boss characters who have either been driven insane by the zombie attacks, or are using the outbreak as cover for their own purposes. Alternately, the player can ignore all missions and play as a sandbox game; wandering though the mall (modeled on stereotypical American shopping malls), trying outfits and food, and killing zombies with a variety of objects.

A counter at the bottom right corner of the screen helps the player keep track of how many zombies have been killed. Electronic Gaming Monthly reported that there can be up to 800 zombies on screen at once.[5] During the day, the zombies are sluggish and weak, but at night they become more active, tougher, and more numerous.[6]

Dead Rising is notable for the hundreds of weapons that the player can find in the mall and use against the zombies. There are over 250 items that can be used as weapons, ranging from powerful to near-useless.[7] Weapons will break down or run out of ammunition with use, and will break or be discarded (some of which break into usable pieces). Others can be changed by the environment, such as frying pans, which can be heated on a stove to both increase damage and gain access to a special move. Large items, such as benches or cash registers, can be used, but are not stored in the player's inventory and are dropped if they pick up or switch to another item. Many of the more useless weapons exist purely for humorous effect, such as a toy Megabuster, from Capcom's Mega Man, that shoots tennis balls, or a glowing light sword toy. Other comical weapons, such as traffic cones and Servbot novelty masks, can be placed on zombies' heads, causing them to stumble about blindly.

Certain books from the mall's bookstores will provide bonuses to the player, such as increasing weapons' durability or granting increased experience for certain actions. Food and drink items can be consumed to restore health, and can be cooked to increase their effectiveness, or blended to make different "Juices", which provide temporary effects to the player.

Dead Rising incorporates an experience system based on "Prestige Points", or "PP". Completing Case Files, rescuing survivors, defeating Psychopaths, and killing large numbers of zombies all earn Frank PP. In addition, Frank can take photographs of the zombies and the mall, with photos automatically scored based on the presence of one or more of five "genres": horror (zombies and graphic gore), outtakes (humorous events or scenes), erotica (photos of female survivors or zombies, particularly those focusing on the breasts and crotch), drama (dramatic events, such as the survivors' reactions while in the security room), or brutality (deaths of zombies and other characters).

PP causes Frank to level up, with upgrades to attack power, running speed, throw distance, health, and the number of items Frank can carry in his inventory. New moves can also be unlocked, which boost Franks effectiveness with hand-to-hand combat. Should the player start a new game, all experience progression the player has already made can be carried over to the new game.

The game features three modes of play:

  • 72 Hour Mode: Frank has three days to solve the mystery of the zombie outbreak. This is the main mode of play.
  • Overtime Mode: This mode starts on the third day at 12:00 PM, which is only unlocked once the player completes 72 Hour Mode with all Case Files completed (Ending A). This gives another 24 hours of in-game time, and reveals the game's true ending.
  • ∞ (Infinity) Mode: A sandbox mode unlocked by completing Overtime Mode, where Frank must survive as long as he can. Frank's health bar drops every 100 seconds, and the player must eat to prevent dying from hunger. Food items are limited, and the save system is disabled until the player's death. All characters (including survivors) are enemies, and will drop weapons and food items when killed.

The save system in Dead Rising allows only one game-in-progress save to be made per memory device and player profile. When Frank is killed, in addition to reloading from the last save, the player has the option to restart from the beginning. Any experience, levels, and unlocked moves are carried over to the new game. This is a deliberate game mechanic, borrowed from the Capcom role-playing video game Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (the two games share some development team members), and was implemented to give players a sense of responsibility for their decisions and actions.[8]

Plot[edit]

Frank West is a photojournalist, who is snuck into the town of Willamette, Colorado in a chopper. He is investigating why the town has been sealed off by the National Guard. The helicopter lands on the roof of the city mall; Frank informs his pilot to return to the roof in exactly 72 hours. Inside, he finds survivors of a zombie outbreak barricading the mall entrance, which fails after a woman attempts to save her dog. Only four people escape to the mall security room, Frank, Department of Homeland Security agent Brad Garrison, his rookie partner Jessie McCarney, and janitor Otis Washington, who welds the door shut. Brad leaves via the air duct to continue investigating. Frank heads out to investigate himself. Before reentering the mall itself, Frank turns to attack something sneaking up behind him, which turns out to be Jessie, who falls and injures her ankle. She asks Frank to go help Brad, who is pinned down in a gunfight. Frank helps drive off the gunman, Carlito Keyes, and convinces Brad to tell him what is going on. The agent agrees, if Frank helps him track down Dr. Russell Barnaby, the man in a photo Frank took in the mall. Brad and Frank find Dr. Barnaby barricaded in a bookstore, but the Doctor refuses to leave without a secure escape route from the mall.

The next morning, Carlito is spotted on the monitors; he has captured Dr. Barnaby and has suspended him over a group of zombies. Brad and Frank drive Carlito away and rescue the doctor, although Brad is wounded in the fight. Frank goes to collect medicine from the supermarket pharmacy and rescues a woman he recognizes from the mall entrance, but she runs off. Frank returns to the security room and tracks her down via the monitors. After a fight, the woman identifies herself as Isabela Keyes, Carlito's sister. She agrees to set up a rendezvous between the two men so Frank can learn the reason behind the Willamette outbreak, but at the time of the meeting shows up alone and with a shoulder wound; her brother shot her in anger. Frank takes Isabela back to the security room, where she identifies Dr. Barnaby as the head of a United States research laboratory located in her hometown, Santa Cabeza in Central America. Dr. Barnaby, who is starting to succumb to the infection, explains that he was attempting to mass-produce cattle, but instead caused a local wasp species to mutate; the wasps inject eggs into victims by stinging them, the eggs hatch into parasitic larvae, and the host is killed and "zombiefied" when one of these matures in the brainstem. One of the wasp queens escaped into Santa Cabeza, and the U.S. government sent the Special Forces in to stop the outbreak and kill any witnesses. Outraged over the massacre, Carlito released the mutant wasps in Willamette for revenge, and blackmailed Dr. Barnaby into coming to the mall, to kill him via the zombies he had helped create. After the true nature of the infection is revealed, Dr. Barnaby becomes a zombie himself and bites Jessie, but is shot in the head by Brad before he can harm Frank.

Isabela reveals that the zombie outbreak in Willamette is only the start. Carlito hid several explosive charges in the maintenance tunnels beneath the mall, the detonation of which would propel immature queen larvae into the stratosphere, potentially triggering a nationwide zombie pandemic. Frank is able to gather the bombs and carry them outside, where they explode harmlessly. Brad pursues Carlito, but while both are injured in the following fight, Carlito escapes, while Brad becomes a zombie. Isabela and Frank go to Carlito's hideout to find his laptop, which is controlling a jamming device and preventing contact with the outside world. Carlito is spotted on the security monitors, captured by the butcher for meat. Frank goes to rescue him, and defeats the butcher, but Carlito is close to death. He gives Frank his locket to pass onto Isabela, and Frank promises to break the story of the Santa Cabeza massacre. Frank returns to Isabela with the locket and news of her brother's death; the locket prompts Isabela to the laptop's password, and she is able to shut down the jammer. Jessie calls for help, but is told that Special Forces are being sent in to cleanse Willamette instead. She is captured, but becomes a zombie from Dr. Barnaby's bite shortly after and kills her two guards, then is killed by Frank. A note from Otis reveals that he hijacked a military helicopter and flew to safety, along with any other survivors the player rescued in the mall during the game. Frank and Isabela hide from the soldiers in Carlito's hideout, but when Frank goes to meet his helicopter, Isabela opts to stay behind. The helicopter arrives on time, but a stowaway zombie attacks Ed, causing him to crash into the mall's central park. Frank slumps to his knees in defeat, unaware that a group of zombies are approaching him from behind.

Overtime mode[edit]

Frank is saved by Isabela, who shoots a zombie just as it is about to bite him. Frank passes out; he comes to in Carlito's hideout, where Isabela tells him that he may be infected, giving Frank 24 hours before he becomes a zombie. Isabela believes she may be able to manufacture a cure, and sends Frank to scavenge items from the mall. Isabela can only assemble a symptomatic treatment from the available resources, which temporarily halts the development of the parasites. While accessing Carlito's laptop they discover documents indicating that he has placed 50 similarly treated, larvae-infected children with foster parents across the country.

While developing the treatment, the generator powering the hideout fails, and Frank goes to the clock tower in the mall's park to retrieve another one. On arrival, Frank finds an underground tunnel filled with zombies. He reports back to Isabela, who synthesizes an anti-zombie pheromone from the treatment's leftover ingredients. The two escape, but find the other end of the tunnel guarded by the military. Frank and Isabela overpower the guards and steal their jeep, but are pursued by a tank, which Frank manages to disable using the jeep's mounted machine gun. The Special Forces leader, Brock Mason, emerges from the tank and points its cannon at Frank, revealing that he was the one who led the original cleanup operation in Santa Cabeza. However, the tank's auto-targeting mechanics activate and point the cannon to an incoming horde of zombies from behind, distracting Brock and allowing Frank to close for hand-to-hand combat. Brock is defeated, and Frank stands on the tank, screaming at the sky.

The epilogue states that Frank managed to escape Willamette and reported on the incident, forcing the government to admit partial responsibility for the livestock research program and the Santa Cabeza incident. However, the Willamette outbreak is blamed on terrorists, which is technically true, and Carlito's infected orphan plan is neither confirmed nor proven false.

Other endings[edit]

The above plot is for "Ending A", the canonical ending of the game's story. This ending requires the completion of all storyline missions (identified in-game as "Case Files"), along with two time-sensitive events (a request to talk to Isabela around 10:00 on the third day, and the arrival of the helicopter 72 hours from the game's start). There are five alternate endings to the game:

  • Ending B is achieved by not completing all the Case Files, but reaching the helipad at the end of the 72 hours. Frank convinces Ed to airlift all of the survivors out of the mall. Text at the end of the cutscene explains that the cause of the outbreak remained unknown, and that other outbreaks occurred shortly later in other American cities.
  • Ending C requires the player to complete all Case Files, but fail to talk to Isabela. A cutscene shows Ed on another roof, watching the mall for Frank to appear. The pilot is then attacked by a zombie. End text indicates that Willamette was quarantined because of an unspecified disease, with nobody escaping to contradict the story.
  • Ending D happens if Frank is captured by the military (losing all health to a Special Forces soldier) and fails to escape before his helicopter arrives. Frank is taken away in a military helicopter, and while the end text admits that the military was sent in to clean up a series of incidents in Willamette, what those incidents were remains unknown.
  • Ending E occurs if the player fails to complete the Case Files and does not reach the helipad on time. Ed lands on the roof, and is about to leave without Frank when the roof access door opens and Otis steps out. Otis, Jessie, and any other survivors are transported to safety, and while the end text has the survivors crediting Frank with their survival, his whereabouts are unknown.
  • Ending F is the result of the player failing to collect Carlito's bombs in time. The cutscene shows a bomb timer count down to zero, followed by a white-out, then a photo of an explosion. The end text states that Carlito's plan was successful; within days, the United States was suffering under a widespread zombie pandemic.

Characters[edit]

Development[edit]

Promotion at E3 2006

The game was mainly inspired by zombie films from the 1960s and 1970s, especially those of George A. Romero. Despite its similarities to Dawn of the Dead, Capcom asserts that the concept of "humans battling zombies in a shopping mall" is a "wholly unprotectible idea" under today's copyright laws. Dead Rising followed on Capcom's other zombie-centered game series, Resident Evil, but Guru Sarge wanted to show a more comical view of zombies.

Soundtrack[edit]

Dead Rising Original Soundtrack was released in Japan on March 30, 2007 in a 2,000-copy limited edition, bundled with a T-shirt. It was packaged with a T-shirt that showcased Frank, Isabella, and an outline of the mall. A non-limited edition of the same soundtrack was released on June 20, 2007.

Release[edit]

A playable demo was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace for download on the Xbox 360 on August 4, 2006.[9][10]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 85.12%[21]
Metacritic 85/100[20]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com B+[8]
AllGame 3.5/5 stars[11]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 7.5/10
Eurogamer 8/10[12]
Game Informer 9.25/10[13]
GamesRadar 8/10[16]
GameSpot 8.4/10[14]
GameSpy 4.5/5 stars[15]
GameTrailers 7.8/10[17]
IGN 8.3/10[18]
Official Xbox Magazine (US) 8.5/10
(UK) 9/10
TeamXbox 8.7[19]
X-Play 4/5 stars

Dead Rising earned generally positive reviews upon release. All the reviewers commended the game's "sandbox" style mall to explore and the sheer amount of ways to kill the thousands of zombies. Most reviewers also agreed the save system, as well as the survivors' AI, detracted from the game's overall quality.

IGN stated the game needed "a better save system, more intelligent NPCs, a more forgiving story progression, and tighter controls," but still called Dead Rising "one of the more unique and entertaining titles on the Xbox 360."[7] GameSpot said, "It's zombie action for people who want zombie action, and it's simply a great piece of entertainment."[14] A point of contention was the operation of the game's transceiver, specifically how persistent it is when ringing, and how vulnerable Frank is while answering any calls on it. While using the transceiver, Frank is unable to jump, attack, switch weapons, or pick up or use any item. Furthermore, if the telephone call is somehow interrupted (such as being attacked), the call will end abruptly, only for the transceiver to ring a few seconds later. If Frank answers, Otis will scold the player for being rude, then start the previous call over from the very beginning.[22][23] Numerous gamer-oriented webcomics and blogs parodied the use of the transceiver within Dead Rising.[24][25][26] The Australian video game talk show Good Game's two reviewers gave the game a 6/10 and 7/10.[27]

Awards[edit]

Dead Rising has won several awards. IGN awarded the title "Most Innovative Design for Xbox 360" in its Best of 2006.[28] GameSpot's Best and Worst of 2006 awarded the game honors for "Best Action Adventure Game",[29] "Best Sound Effects",[30] and "Best Use of Xbox 360 Achievement Points".[31] Additionally, the game won "Action Game of the Year" at the 2006 Spike TV Video Game Awards. It ranked #2 in gaming magazine Gamesmaster's Top 50 of 2006. It also won "Best Original Game" of 2006 on X-Play.

According to Capcom, Dead Rising had shipped 500,000 copies in the first month after its release, and one million copies worldwide by the end of 2006.[32]

Reaction in Germany[edit]

Due to its graphic violence and thus obvious fulfilment of at least one of German BPjM's indexing criteria, the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle, Germany's board responsible for rating entertainment software, has refused to rate the game. Microsoft does not allow unrated games to be published for the Xbox 360 in Germany, effectively halting the production of a German version of the game. Right from the start, the game has been indexed by the BPjM as a document that glorifies violence, but has been available as an import to players of legal age.[33] Following a decision of Hamburg's county court in June 2007, the game has been prohibited in late August 2007. Therefore, selling this game in Germany is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment or monetary penalty according to §131 of the German criminal code. The game can be confiscated by the police from stores in Germany.[34]

Legal issues[edit]

The MKR Group, who holds the copyright to both the 1978 Dawn of the Dead film and its 2004 remake, sent letters on February 6, 2008 to Capcom, Microsoft, and Best Buy, claiming that Dead Rising infringes on the copyrights and trademarks of these films. In a complaint filed February 12, 2008, to seek an injunction that would pre-emptively counter an anticipated complaint from MKR, Capcom asserted that "humans battling zombies in a shopping mall" is a "wholly unprotectable idea" under today's copyright laws; Capcom further pointed to the warning "label" on the box cover as a preemptive measure that was intended to separate the game from the films and avoid any customer confusion.[35][36][37] The MKR Group subsequently filed a lawsuit in February 2008 after failing to reach an agreement with Capcom over the dispute.[38]

The lawsuit was dismissed in October 2008, with United States Magistrate Judge Richard G. Seeborg stating that MKR failed to demonstrate the similarity of any protected element of Dawn of the Dead to that of Dead Rising, with many of the elements MKR claimed were similar being part of the "wholly unprotectable concept of humans battling zombies in a mall during a zombie outbreak".[39]

Text-size issues[edit]

Dead Rising has drawn complaints from gamers that have standard definition sets and smaller high definition sets for having difficulty reading the on-screen text. This is due to Capcom's decision to develop exclusively for high-definition televisions, as the game had been touted as one of the first truly "next generation" titles available for the Xbox 360. On August 10, 2006, a Capcom representative posted the following on Xbox.com:

A week later, Capcom released a statement saying they would not be fixing the problem and suggested some DIY solutions.[41]

Legacy[edit]

Downloadable content[edit]

Many costumes are made available to the player once completing certain tasks, such as a Special Forces uniform, wrestling boots, even Jason Voorhees' hockey mask and Mega Man X's armor. Soon after Dead Rising was released in the United States, Capcom released nine downloadable "keys" to Xbox Live Marketplace that would unlock different lockers in the Security Room, providing the player with nine new outfit options.[42] On May 31, 2007, three more keys were made available over Xbox Live.

Remake[edit]

A remake of Dead Rising for the Wii, named Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, was released in February 2009.[4] This version of the game came about after the positive reception of the Wii version of Resident Evil 4. The game is built on the RE 4 Wii engine, and includes additional features from that game, including an over-the-shoulder camera approach and motion controls utilizing the Wii Remote.[4] However, the game lacks some of the features of the Xbox 360 version, such as the ability to show a large number of zombies on screen at one time and the photography system.[43][44][45]

Mobile phone versions[edit]

In 2008, Capcom Interactive Canada released a spin-off of the game for mobile phones. On October 4, 2010, an iOS version of the game was also announced.[46] This presents a new game mechanic that allows players to call upon their friends via Twitter and Facebook to help revive them. If they refuse, the player will appear as a zombie within their friend's game. Complex operations are performed through context-based buttons. Similar to Infinity Mode in the console version of Dead Rising, the game features a hunger meter. Frank West is now required to eat food within the mall in order to survive.[47] The game was praised for staying true to the sandbox design and plot of the Xbox 360 version, despite being pared down for the smaller screen and platform.

The mobile spin-off of Dead Rising was generally well received by reviewers, earning a B+ from 1UP.com[48] and a 7.3/10 from IGN.

Sequels[edit]

Main article: Dead Rising 2

A sequel to Dead Rising for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, was released on September 28, 2010. Dead Rising 2 is set about five years after Dead Rising, and follows former motocross champion Chuck Greene during an outbreak in the resort town of Fortune City, Nevada. The game follows the same basic setup as the original, with Chuck following Case Files to identify the cause of the zombie outbreak, but includes the additional task of finding daily doses of Zombrex (the commercially available version of Isabela's zombification suppressant) for Chuck's daughter, who was infected during an outbreak in Las Vegas.

Dead Rising 2 contains improvements to address some of the negative features of the first game, such as the small text size and how transceiver communications were handled. The photography system was removed because of the lack of relevance to Chuck's character, but a system of "Combo Cards" was introduced, where Chuck could combine two items to make a powerful weapon; the example depicted on the game's front cover shows chainsaws duct-taped to a kayak paddle. The sequel also includes two forms of online multiplayer: zombie-killing minigames based on a sports entertainment show Chuck participates in at the start of the game, and two-player cooperative play. Since release, two downloadable episodes have been released for Xbox 360 (the second of which includes Frank as a playable character), and a re-imagined game made in October 2011 where Frank replaces Chuck as the main character.

Main article: Dead Rising 3

A second sequel Dead Rising 3 was released on November 22, 2013 exclusively for the Xbox One. Dead Rising 3 takes place ten years after the events of the Fortune City outbreak from Dead Rising 2. The story follows a young mechanic named Nick Ramos and his attempt to survive a massive zombie outbreak in the fictional city of Los Perdidos, California. Dead Rising 3 is set in a vast, open world environment which is much larger than the worlds of Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2 combined. According to developers, the game can render three times as many zombies on-screen at once as its predecessor. Players will also be allowed to save their progress anywhere, as opposed to limiting saves to toilets. The game will include a "Nightmare Mode" for those who would prefer the traditional time limit and save options. The game does not have load times.

Dead Rising 3 also expands upon the crafting system introduced in Dead Rising 2. Players retain the ability to create "combo weapons", but without the need for a workbench, allowing them to craft weapons on the fly. Dead Rising 3 also allows players to create "combo vehicles", such as combining a motorcycle and steamroller to form a "RollerHawg". Each combo vehicle includes two seats and a secondary blue attack to support cooperative gameplay. According to Capcom Vancouver, driving vehicles will be "a critical part of exploration" as players navigate the city of Los Perdidos. Player 1 will be able to discover and unlock blueprints for new combo weapons and vehicles.

Dead Rising 3 offers two player cooperative gameplay. Co-op play is entered seamlessly in all game modes with the exception of an explicit single player mode. In all other modes (Casual, Completionist, Speed Run, Hardcore) players may be paired with a second player seamlessly at any time should a match be found. Alternatively, players can directly select to play Multiplayer. The primary player continues as Nick Ramos while the secondary player (who would have selected "Multiplayer" in the menus) assumes the role of Dick, a trucker who survives the outbreak. The two players can explore the entire map and complete side missions separately, but main story missions must be completed together. Any blueprints and collectibles found or completed challenges will count for both players.

References[edit]

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