Dead Rising 4

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Dead Rising 4
Dead rising 4 cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Capcom Vancouver
Publisher(s)Microsoft Studios
Capcom (PC/PS4)
Director(s)Joe Nickolls[1]
Producer(s)Eduardo Agostini
David McAnerin
Peter Sobczak
Designer(s)Brent Arnst
Programmer(s)Dee Jay Randall
Artist(s)Geoff Coates
Writer(s)Jeffrey Campbell
Shannon Campbell
Composer(s)Oleksa Lozowchuk
SeriesDead Rising
  • Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
  • December 6, 2016
  • PlayStation 4
  • December 5, 2017
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Dead Rising 4 is an action-adventure video game developed by Capcom Vancouver and published by Microsoft Studios for Xbox One.[2] It is the fourth installment in the Dead Rising series. It was announced at Microsoft's E3 2016 press conference on June 13, 2016. It features the return of Frank West, and is set in a Christmas-themed Willamette, Colorado.

The game was released worldwide on December 6, 2016.[3]The game received mixed reviews from critics, praising the gameplay and the return of Frank West (in the case of the majority), however citing decline in quality and some technical problems. A Microsoft Windows version for Steam was released on March 2017, published by Capcom.[4] A PlayStation 4 version of the game, titled Dead Rising 4: Frank's Big Package, was released on December 5, 2017.[5]


Unlike its predecessors, the game does not feature a timer system[6] or story co-op gameplay.[7] As with the other games in the series, the game features an open world setting.[8][9][10]


In 2022 (a year after the zombie outbreak in Los Perdidos, California,) Frank West, a former photojournalist now working as a college professor, is approached by one of his students, Vicky "Vick" Chu, who convinces him to help her investigate a military compound, situated on the outskirts of Willamette, Colorado—the site of the first zombie outbreak. Once inside, they find out the place is being used for zombie research, but are discovered and forced to flee, with Frank labelled a fugitive after he is falsely accused by the government.

Four months later, after Christmas, Frank is found by Brad Park, an agent of the ZDC, who convinces him to help investigate a new zombie outbreak in Willamette during the Black Friday sales, in exchange for the means to clear his name and having exclusive rights to the story, revealing Vick has already left to investigate the matter herself.

Just as they arrive at Willamette, Frank and Brad's helicopter is hit by a missile, forcing them to make a crash landing in the middle of the shopping mall. Upon confronting the zombies, they are discovered to be infected with a new, more aggressive strain of the parasite that previous treatments like Zombrex are ineffective against. Frank eventually discovers an elusive organization called "Obscuris" is in the city looking for a monstrous creature called "Calder", and reunites with Vick on a few occasions, but their opposing views prevent them from working together.

Frank manages to approach an Obscuris truck carrying Calder, but it drives off, leaving him to confront an Obscuris lieutenant. Upon investigating the laboratory of Dr. Russell Barnaby, the main scientist behind the zombie outbreak in Santa Cabeza, Mexico, Frank learns that during his last days, Barnaby was developing ways to make zombies with their human intelligence intact. Calder was a human Obscuris soldier enhanced with a military exoskeleton transformed by accident into an intelligent but violently psychotic zombie-like mutant, who downloaded Barnaby's data on a disk he always carries on his person. Frank finds himself having to confront Calder in order to retrieve it.

Frank later invades the base of Obscuris and faces the leader of the organization, Fontana - and the one responsible for bringing down the helicopter carrying him and Brad. Fontana reveals their group was not responsible for the outbreak. Instead they were hired by an unknown client to obtain Calder's data, seeking to use the research on intelligent zombies to make cheap labor for factories and plantations in developing countries. Their confrontation is interrupted by Calder, who kills Fontana. After rescuing several survivors from a group of psychotic survivalists, Frank pursues Calder down to the sewers, where he steals the disk and transfers the data to his camera. Vick appears with a gun, forces Frank to give her his camera, and flees after destroying the disk. Frank runs after her all the way to the shopping mall where they are intercepted by Calder, who destroys the camera, and the two work together to kill him.

After the battle, Vick reveals to Frank she took the camera's SD card, containing all of the disk's data, and they reconcile, agreeing to share the credit for the story. Frank, Vick and Brad leave for the rooftop to be extracted via helicopter, but a massive horde of zombies pursue them on the way there. Brad and Vick make it to the helicopter, but Frank is grabbed as he is boarding and, unable to break free from their grip, sacrifices himself to them so Vick and Brad can escape.

Frank Rising[edit]

In this downloadable content, after falling from the helicopter, Frank is half eaten by the zombies but suddenly after all the zombies have gone away, the experimental wasps infect Frank, converting him into an evo zombie. This gives him new abilities like acid spit, pouncing, and roaring. After gaining all these new abilities, Frank begin eating humans. In the Willamette Mall, Frank is shot and taken to Barnaby's lab where he is given control of his body back, but loses all of his powers. Dr. Blackburne, the Obscuris scientist who treats Frank, tells him the military plans to firebomb Willamette. The only way to survive is to get on the evacuation helicopter which would arrive shortly.

Blackburne also tells Frank he could regain all his powers by absorbing the wasps present in evo zombies. Frank asks about a cure, which Blackburne agrees to help him with if he gathers supplies for her. Blackburne later double crosses Frank, but he threatens her into continuing to cooperate. Blackburne explains she needs to get into Barnaby's lab but can't due to high levels of radiation. Frank is eventually successfully cured back to a human and is able to escape with Blackburne in the evacuation helicopter.

If Frank does not collect all special wasps during the game, Frank escapes alone with Blackburne and retires from journalism, spending the rest of life in fear of becoming a zombie again. If he does, Hammond and her team escape with them and Frank becomes famous again, writing a book about his experience as a zombie that becomes a bestseller, and exposes the government's involvement with Obscuris with Vick's help. Running out of time during The Cases results in a failed rescue due to bombardment commanded by the United States Government to prevent the zombie outbreak from spreading throughout the state.


In January 2016, Capcom Vancouver announced it was working on two new open world projects.[11] The game was announced at the 2016 Microsoft E3 conference with a trailer and 12 minutes of gameplay.

Terence J. Rotolo did not return to voice Frank West, who was instead portrayed by Ty Olsson (credited in-game as Victor Nosslo). Dead Rising asset manager Trant Lee-Aimes stated, "We wanted to work with someone to provide a more grizzled, older take on Frank at this stage."[12] This change proved controversial among some fans, leading them to petition the developer to restore Rotolo as West.[13]


On January 30, 2017 a free downloadable update was released introducing two harder difficulty modes, Hard and Blackest Friday (in which enemies do more damage, weapons break faster, and food heals less), and five in-game Street Fighter costumes, featuring the attires of Guile, M. Bison, Zangief, Cammy, and T. Hawk. On January 31, a timed demo released on Xbox One allowing players to experience both the single-player and multiplayer of Dead Rising 4 for one hour, and enables players to carry across their progress to the full game.[14][15] An update released on December 5 adding a new game mode called Capcom Heroes, which allows Frank to don 17 new outfits based on Capcom's video game franchises, each with their own moveset.[16][17][18]


The game was released worldwide on December 6, 2016.[19] Microsoft also confirmed the game is a timed-exclusive on Windows 10 for 90 days and a year on Xbox One.[8] On February 22, 2017, Capcom announced Dead Rising 4 will release for Steam on March 14.[4] The PlayStation 4 version was released on December 5, 2017.


Aggregate score
Metacritic(PC) 74/100[20]
(PS4) 72/100[21]
(XONE) 72/100[22]
Review scores
Game Informer8.75/10[25]
Game Revolution2.5/5 stars[26]
GamesRadar+4/5 stars[28]
The Jimquisition8/10[30]

Dead Rising 4 received "mixed or average" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[20][21][22]

IGN's Brandin Tyrrel liked the new Frank West and the game's take on Christmas consumerism, as well as the "detailed presentation and careful consideration that went into both the world and the story." Tyrrel felt Capcom had balanced the absurdity of the gameplay with intelligence and feeling, but specifically found the safehouses too simple and underwhelming, writing he "would’ve loved to see some sort of shelter defense system come into play."[29] Game Informer's Jeff Cork similarly praised the gameplay, writing that Capcom Vancouver "infused the series with fresh ideas and some of the best action that it’s had in a decade." Cork felt the storyline was a little rote, and was disappointed with the new maniacs (which serve as the game's bosses and replace the previous games' psychopaths) and lack of campaign co-op, but praised the new gameplay features such as the camera enhancements and the exo-suit, as well as the improvements to the map compared to Dead Rising 3's map.[25] Conversely, GamesRadar+'s Sam Prell wrote the "majority of Willamette is a sleepy, uninspiring blur", and felt the story lacked a satisfying villain and too many objectives were repetitive. He acknowledged some players might not like the changes to Frank West's appearance and voice but wrote "he has the same smartass-with-a-heart-of-gold personality he's always had" and "is still worth cheering on." Prell felt the removal of the timer present in previous games was a "fantastic improvement" and wrote that together with the simplification of the game's bosses and save points, Dead Rising 4 was a "more casual, easygoing entry than its older siblings", but ultimately believed it succeeds more than it fails.[28]

Writing a less positive review, Destructoid's Chris Carter wrote that while he liked the game's comic book-like animations and campy tone, it felt like there "was a concerted amount of effort put into it". He disliked the new Frank West, who reminded him of a less-interesting Ash Williams, and he "straight up [did] not like that the timer is gone in the main mode". He felt the lack of story co-op and specific save points were understandable, but the removal of the timer system removed the tension, and felt it was "a sleazy move" that Capcom Vancouver were going to bring back the timer in the upcoming Dead Rising 4: Frank Rising paid DLC.[23] Writing for GameSpot, Scott Butterworth felt that "[f]or a game that's all about mindless zombie murder, the storytelling is remarkably adept", and Frank and Vick's relationship was nuanced and believable. Butterworth believed "Dead Rising's juxtaposition of slaughter and silliness makes for a memorable world", and summarized his review by writing that despite the series' zombie-slaughtering formula wearing a bit thin after all these years, the "surprisingly well-crafted story, [...] new combo weapons, and expansive open world elements [...] turn Dead Rising 4 into an over-the-top piece of popcorn entertainment that captures the series' best elements."[27] Jim Sterling favorably compared the goofiness of the gameplay to the Saints Row series. He recognized and sympathized with long-time Dead Rising players who were put off by the changes Dead Rising 4 made, such as the removal of the timer system, the replacement of Frank West's voice actor and his new appearance, and the more comedic tone of the game, but couldn't help but find it "a damn fine, damn fun, damn funny game though."[30]

As of April 2017, the game has sold under a million copies, short of Capcom's expectation of two million.[31]

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation ranked both the game and Frank's Big Package third on his list of the Five Worst Games of 2017, calling them "a stripped-down, tarted-up holiday special of a Dead Rising game with none of what makes Dead Rising good."[32]


Year Award Category Result Ref
2017 2017 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards Song Collection Nominated [33]
15th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards Best Original Vocal Song - Pop ("Oh Willamette") Nominated [34]
Golden Joystick Awards 2017 Xbox Game of the Year Nominated [35]
2018 2018 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards Sound Effects (Frank's Big Package) Nominated [36][37]


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  2. ^ Rad, Chloi (June 13, 2016). "E3 2016: Dead Rising 4 Announced". IGN. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  3. ^ Sirani, Jordan. "E3 2016: DEAD RISING 4 RELEASE DATE LISTED ON XBOX STORE". IGN. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Simpson, Jeffrey. "Dead Rising 4 swarms to Steam on March 14th". Capcom-Unity. Capcom U.S.A., Inc. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  5. ^ Simpson, Jeffery (September 1, 2017). "Dead Rising 4: Frank's Big Package Coming to PS4 December 5". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
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  7. ^ Glagowski, Peter (November 16, 2016). "Dead Rising 4 will not feature story co-op". Destructoid. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Paget, Mat (June 16, 2016). "Dead Rising 4 Is a Timed-Exclusive for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC". GameSpot. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  9. ^ O'Connor, Alice (June 13, 2016). "Grrg Argg Gurg: Dead Rising 4 Announced For Win 10". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  10. ^ Purcell, David (June 14, 2016). "E3 2016: Dead Rising 4 is on Xbox Store with release date details". GameZone. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  11. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (January 19, 2016). "Dead Rising Dev Working On Unannounced Projects". GameSpot. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  12. ^ Glagowski, Peter (September 22, 2016). "Capcom explains different actor for Frank in Dead Rising 4". Destructoid. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  13. ^ Phillips, Tom (September 6, 2016). "Some of Dead Rising's most hardcore fans are upset Frank West has a new voice". Eurogamer. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  14. ^ Simpson, Jeffery; Cochrane, Bryce (January 27, 2017). "New Difficulty Modes, Customization, Free Trial Coming to Dead Rising 4". Capcom. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  15. ^ Glagowski, Peter (January 27, 2017). "Dead Rising 4 update adds new difficulty modes and Street Fighter costume DLC". Destructoid. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
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  32. ^ Escapist (January 10, 2018). "Best, worst, and blandest games of 2017 (Zero Punctuation)". YouTube. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
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  34. ^ "2017 Awards". Game Audio Network Guild. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
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