Ten years after the release of the first installment, we received a fourth adventure from Capcom Vancouver. The Canadian studio, in charge of the franchise since the second part, returns with an exclusive title for Xbox One and Windows 10. This time we take the role of Frank West, a mythical reporter who starred in the first installment and now, 16 years later, must return to Willamette to investigate a new zombie outbreak that arose during Black Friday. Under this premise and with a tremendously amusing formula, although far from surprising, is articulated an open world video game full of action, humor and indiscriminate killings, although the lack of content and many shortcomings are hard to ignore.
Dead Rising 4 offers a simple but very effective control, which allows us to handle Frank West fairly accurately within an environment saturated with objects and zombies. One of the main novelties is that they have incorporated three menus of selection of arms. One will be devoted to melee weapons, another to firearms and last for throwable objects. In this way, simply holding the crosshead in the indicated direction, we will open a selection wheel that will allow us to quickly choose our favorite weapon. To expedite this process, we can press in the indicated direction to see the available weapons without stopping the game. Undoubtedly, this new system, in addition to streamlining the selection process,
Another interesting section is that Dead Rising 4 incorporates a system of evolution that will allow us to improve the skills of Frank. In this way, as we kill zombies and complete quests, we will gain experience points that will allow us to level up and unlock abilities in four different categories: Fighting, Strength, Shooting and Survival. With more than 100 improvements available we can optimize the spaces in the inventories, the amount of health or resistance to Frank West or the critical damage that our weapons perform. The system of skills, although it can be something simple, allows modifying our character adapting it to our style of game.
Frankly, the title offers a simple combat system based on normal or strong attacks and incorporates a damage counter that will increase as we go on to chain deaths. By performing these combos, we can execute really devastating special attacks that will be linked to the weapons. Throwing rays equipped with the Blanka mask, creating ice walls with a sword or splitting into a zombie, will be just some of the brutal executions we will see in Dead Rising 4. To further enhance this section, the title offers a huge catalog of weapons.
The city of Willamette puts at our disposal a multitude of objects that we can use as weapons, some as simple as a dryer and others as original as a magic barite that transforms zombies into Christmas gifts. To use the most devastating weapons, we will have to find their construction plans. Once we have them, if, for example, we want to build an electrified Christmas wreath, we will need the crown and an electric type component. Thanks to this simple system, and with almost a hundred of available weapons, the armament section is one of the strengths of the title.
Something similar happens with the vehicles since in Dead Rising 4 we will be able to construct some crazy transports, like an electric car that throws rays or a small tank equipped with a machine gun. For this, as with weapons, we will need the building plans and the vehicles needed to create them. All of them, who will wear out with the attack of the zombies and the blows, will have unique weapons and abilities to clear the streets.
However, the great novelty of this fourth installment is extras. This new armor, which will give us unlimited strength and agility, will allow us to destroy the zombie plague and use heavy objects scattered across the stage that without the suit we could not catch. Giant axes, heavy machine guns, Christmas trees, parking meters or road signs, will be some of the weapons available. These extras, although they can be boosted with special armament, will always have a limited duration, reason why, although its limitation is given the advantage that they give, it leaves the sensation that they are a very amusing, but misused advantage.
Return to Willamette
Entering the main campaign, we find a story composed of seven cases that will be developed in the city of Willamette. Through the plot, we will know the advances of Frank West in his investigation to find the origin of the outbreak. On this occasion, although the approach continues to offer a “serious” approach to the plot, the narration will be loaded with a very casual and bizarre mood, which allows us to recover the brilliant essence of the first delivery.
The main campaign basically consists of research missions and action missions. The first ones will allow us to make use of the camera of photos that, besides being useful to obtain interesting rewards, will be fundamental to inspect the different locations in search of clues. For this we will have several modes of vision and, although the mechanics end up becoming repetitive, offers some variety. For their part, the missions of action consist basically in ending all types of enemies. The most common are the zombies that, as is common in the franchise, will not be very threatening, but the huge amount of these beings can put us in some trouble. Further, Have included much more aggressive evolved zombies and even some final bosses. However, the latter will be unusual, very predictable and will not offer a complicated challenge.
But zombies are not our only enemies, in Willamette, we will also find already rebellious members of the army. These enemies, although they will have a somewhat more demanding AI and will use firearms, offer a very predictable and unrealistic behavior, so they will not be a real challenge. Besides, Dead Rising 4 offers moments of “stealth” in which we will have to infiltrate without being detected. However, we will quickly discover that mechanics do not work accurately and that human AI is too basic to provide a satisfying experience.
As for the secondary missions, some of the most interesting are the releases of the bunkers. These infected zombie sites will be scattered throughout the city and will allow us to quickly access the shopping center. In the bunkers, we will find food vendors, weapons, vehicles, and clothing, offering different options each. In order to acquire these products, we will need money, which we will get when fulfilling missions and kill zombies, and a certain level in each bunker, something that we will achieve when saving people in trouble.
The rest of secondary missions will revolve around the search for collectibles such as mobiles, newspapers or rooms of panic. All these additions, although they bring life to the different sites and some extra information about the plot, have no real interest and do not contribute anything relevant at the narrative level. Another weakness of Dead Rising 4 is that it does not have a menu of difficulty selection, so due to its little playable requirement and the enormous amount of healing objects, we find a proposal lacking challenges and that we can easily complete without dying Once. Undoubtedly, although the main campaign offers a good experience thanks to its funny script, frantic pace and variety of missions,
Killing with friends
To try to expand the gaming experience, and trying to overcome the lack of co – op campaign mode, Dead Rising 4 incorporates a multiplayer mode for four players online. In this mode, we will be able to complete four cases with their corresponding missions in different areas of the mall. In these missions we will have to kill a number of zombies, resist until a certain time or, for example, defeat final bosses. It is curious that the multiplayer mode offers a somewhat more demanding experience than the campaign, as it will be more complicated to find weapons and healing and the duration of the weapons will be less. However, the challenge remains very accessible, especially with four players, so we will not have problems in overcoming the missions.
In this online multiplayer mode, we will be able to select between four characters with different initial aspects and abilities. Each one will have a specialty (firearms, melee, healing or grenades) and you can share the experience when changing characters. In this way, just like in the campaign, we will obtain points of experience and money that we can use to improve the skills or to buy objects in the shelter. That is why, although the money is shared with the campaign, we will have to re-unlock the different skill trees. Undoubtedly, although online multiplayer is an interesting addition and can offer some extra hours of fun with friends,
Improved but troubled
At the visual level, the title offers a superior finish that we could see in its previous delivery, but without being a remarkable section. Again we are going to find thousands of zombies on screen simultaneously without this repercussion in lowering frames, which corroborates the great work done by Capcom Vancouver. Also, the city has a large extension, and throughout the stage, we will find a multitude of objects, vehicles and open houses that we can investigate. All of this is joined by a remarkable artistic section that, with that saturated touch and something cartoon that characterizes the franchise, manages to transmit that decrepit Christmas atmosphere.
Despite this technical deployment, the game presents problems with the physics of zombies (something understandable given a large number of objects on the screen) and vehicles and constructions, but that is not so understandable if we consider that sometimes affects To the gameplay. That is why it will not be rare to see zombies go through the walls; cars bounce like rubber or Frank West having problems with the environment. In spite of everything, and even with the presence of some bugs, the experience is very satisfactory.
Closing the visual section, the city offers a great motor of illumination both interior and exterior and very good finishes day/night, which manages to convey accurately the setting of the title. In this sense, a good job has also been done with the particle system, textures, and animations. Finally, within the sound section, the title has a great voice distribution that knows how to emphasize the good lines of the title script. The soundtrack, there are plenty of Christmas music, although it ends up being something repetitive, gets a perfect immersion with history.
Dead Rising 4 offers a fun and hilarious experience and, although it may seem like it’s back on a formula that has already been exploited, the playable sensations are really addictive. Some of the main motives are the funny narrative, the charisma of Frank West and a very well designed playable scheme. However, despite all these benefits, the title offers an experience too short, lacking in challenges and with very good ideas but have been wasted. Limited extras, little-used areas, no difficulty, simplified skills system and secondary missions focused basically on the collection of collectibles are some of the reasons that considerably limit the final experience.
It is a shame that we do not have a more rounded product because they had all the tools to do it and although some users will criticize the absence of the countdown or want a change for the franchise, the truth is that Dead Rising 4, despite their multiple Defects, it is an addictive product, fun and recommended for fans of the franchise and for anyone looking for thieving action and no complications.