Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
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|Dead Rising 2: Off the Record|
|Designer(s)||Brent Arnst, Hayato Tsuru|
|Release date(s)||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
September 13, 2016
|Genre(s)||Survival horror, Beat 'em up|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is an open world survival horror beat 'em up video game. It is 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 featuring Frank West, the protagonist of the original Dead Rising video game, 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 as well as take on several optional challenges.
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 zombie outbreak that occurred in Willamette (though now infected), freelance photojournalist Frank West quickly became a celebrity for exposing the truth behind the outbreak. However, his heroic fame soon vanished due to frequent scandals and controversies. In hopes to regain a place in the spotlight, he accepts an offer from Tyrone "TK" King to appear as a special guest on the controversial pay-per-view zombie-killing show Terror is Reality, taking place in Fortune City, Nevada.
At the beginning of the event, Frank wears a wrestling outfit and is lifted via platform into a wrestling ring and made to kill zombies. After the event is finished, a humiliated Frank takes his winnings and leaves. As he is leaving, he overhears TK talking with someone and goes to investigate. With his camera, Frank manages to take some pictures of TK handing money and a strange item to a young man, though a few of TK's thugs attack him when he tries to escape. Frank then calls the elevator to leave, but a loud tremor knocks him out. When Frank wakes up, he finds that the zombies have gotten loose and are now infesting Fortune City, where he fights through the undead hordes to the emergency shelter. Security chief Raymond Sullivan initially refuses Frank due to his infection, but Frank bluffs his way in with an empty box of the anti-zombification drug Zombrex. He then meets Stacey Forsythe, who leads her branch of the protest group CURE (Citizens for Undead Rights and Equality) and had been in Fortune City to protest Terror is Reality's zombie-exploitation when the outbreak began. After helping Frank find a dose of Zombrex, Stacey monitors Fortune City from the Safe House and informs him of any new developments or signs of survivors. In three days, the military will arrive to rescue them all.
A news report appears on the Safe House television, and reporter Rebecca Chang runs footage of TK's accomplice placing a bomb on the zombie holding pens. Stacey recognizes him as Brandon Whittaker, a member of CURE, and her group is blamed for starting the outbreak. Frank goes out to meet Rebecca and the two of them search a security room in the Arena, which has been sabotaged and destroyed. Back in the Safe House, Stacey spots Brandon hiding in a bathroom in Uranus Zone and Frank goes to confront him about his involvement in the outbreak; he finds that Brandon has gone violently insane and is killed by Frank during the fight between them. Frank confronts Stacey about how Brandon was part of CURE and how he started the outbreak, and she 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. Moving through the underground tunnels and fighting off guards, Frank confronts TK and the game-show host admits that he is indeed behind the outbreak before escaping. TK's men then begin robbing Fortune City's casinos, though Frank stops the attempted heist.
Rebecca invites Frank to come with her and meet her source. Frank arrives, but finds nothing except a transceiver. TK talks to Frank on the other line, demanding that he bring $1,000,000 to the Shoal Nightclub or Rebecca dies. Frank arrives with the money and is confronted by her "source" Amber and Crystal, TK's twin girlfriends and bodyguards. He manages to kill one of them, and the latter commits suicide out of grief. Rebecca and Frank chase TK to the roof of the hotel, where he is preparing to escape Fortune City on helicopter. Frank foils the escape and captures TK, who is held prisoner at the Safe House.
By this time, the military has arrived in Fortune City to begin the cleanup and rescue. At first, the soldiers have little trouble with the zombies, but soon a green gas begins rising from the vents in the ground; this causes some of the zombies to mutate into gas zombies, becoming faster, stronger, and seemingly unkillable. Due to this, the military team is nearly wiped out. Sergeant Dwight Boykin, in charge of the team, escapes the zombies and Rebecca follows. Frank heads to the underground, and finds that Sergeant Boykin has gone completely insane and is holding Rebecca hostage. After defeating the sergeant, Frank gets Rebecca back to the Safe House. TK refuses to say anything about the gas. When asked why he framed CURE, he says that Brandon was just the name "they" gave him. The Safe House doors are suddenly breached, allowing zombies to flood inside. Frank manages to hotwire the inner doors to close, but he realizes that the breach wasn't an accident, Nearby, TK tries to escape but is knocked over by a zombie and bitten. Enjoying the irony but needing him alive for his story, Frank contemplates on whether he should give TK a dose of Zombrex. He ultimately does so despite TK's ungrateful insults.
The television news reports that since no survivors were found in Fortune City, the military will commence a firebombing to wipe out all the zombies. Realizing that TK could not plant such false news, Frank heads to the underground tunnels to find the source of the gas. He finds a secret base of scientists and soldiers harvesting zombies for Queens, the bee-like parasites responsible for the zombie infection, and grabs a laptop containing classified information from the pharmaceutical corporation Phenotrans, which also produces Zombrex. After studying the information, Rebecca concludes that Phenotrans started the outbreak and created the gas zombies to both produce and drive up demand for Zombrex. She also attempts to call her news station to send helicopters for the survivors.
Rebecca is suddenly shot and Frank turns to see Stacey as the killer. Sullivan stops her from killing Frank, but he is shot dead and Stacey escapes. Frank chases her into Fortune Park, where Phenotrans soldiers are continuing to harvest Queens from the zombies and storing them in giant machines. After destroying the harvesters, Frank goes to Uranus Zone to confront Stacey, who is actually a Phenotrans agent codenamed "Agent S". Stacey boasts that Phenotrans didn't start the outbreak for money, but to save lives. She explains that they need Queens to make Zombrex and therefore need to make more zombies to produce them. Stacey calls it "a necessary sacrifice for our country", but 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 and Stacey is killed when the robot collapses on her. Frank then uses her phone to call Rebecca's news station and demand helicopters for the survivors.
The station sends a convoy of news helicopters to evacuate the Safe House, and Frank helps the survivors board. Before the last helicopter leaves, Frank leaves to get TK, but finds that he has vanished from the Safe House along with Rebecca (who is still alive but badly wounded). TK calls Frank on his transceiver and tells him to prepare for "Overtime". Frank is made to travel through Fortune City and gather various items for TK. When he arrives at the Arena to deliver the items, TK knocks Frank out with a taser. Frank wakes up and finds himself in the zombie wrestling ring again, and he fights them off as TK taunts him from the rafters. Rebecca manages to crawl to a switch and lower a winch for Frank to climb, where he confronts TK and eventually throws the evil host down to the ground below. Frank takes Rebecca and carries her out of the Arena, and a zombie jumps out for one final scare.
There are five possible endings for Dead Rising 2: Off The Record, depending on the player's actions during the game. The ending listed above is considered "Ending S". Other endings are decided based on Frank's actions and current location.
- Ending B (Complete all Case Files, but don't give TK a dose of Zombrex)
- Frank helps load the survivors into the news helicopters. As the last one prepares to leave, Frank goes to get TK. A pack of zombies led by the now-turned TK ambush him in the elevator. The helicopter is forced to leave Frank as zombies threaten to grab onto it. It is mentioned that Frank's fate is unknown and Phenotrans's profit shares continue to rise in spite of the events.
- Ending C (Run out of time during The Facts)
- Stacey boards a helicopter and escapes Fortune City, leaving Frank to get firebombed with the rest of the zombies. Jets are seen flying over the city as their payloads are dropped. No one is rescued.
- Ending D (Be in the Safe House when the military arrives during Case 7-1: Help Arrives)
- With the military in Fortune City, Frank anticipates his rescue and grabs some coffee. Gunshots are suddenly heard, and Frank is stunned when he sees the attacker, remarking "You...", just before being shot and killed. The military is reported as being wiped out and no one is rescued.
- Ending E (Be anywhere other than the Safe House or the Royal Flush Plaza's roof when the military arrives during Case 7-1:Help Arrives)
- Frank is grabbed by the soldiers and thrown in one of their vehicles. The two soldiers confront Frank, but the vehicle stops and gunfire is heard. The doors open and the green gas envelops them. The scene cuts to black, implying that the gas zombies killed Frank and all the soldiers. No one is rescued.
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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