Dead Rising 2
Like it or not, at some primal level you’re a sadist. It’s the reason the Romans loved gladiatorial combat in the Coliseum, why everyone tuned into Smash TV when it hit the arcades in the eighties and why people like us enjoyed The Running Man to the point of obsession, despite (or because of) it being shockingly kitsch, turning it into a cult classic. People have been known to watch others run the risk of hideous death and dismemberment in the name of a very base level of entertainment, for aeons. So it’s not entirely surprising that Capcom has turned the tongue-in-cheek, zombie bloodbath Dead Rising into a satirical game show. The shocker is that this sequel is being released for the first time on PC.
In the world of original protagonist Frank West’s post-zombie apocalypse, a television show known as “Terror is Reality” has captured the imagination of the nation. It’s a show that kills two birds with one stone: providing US citizens with a daily ration of essential inane entertainment (American Gladiators just doesn’t seem as edgy once you’ve faced the living dead), while helping to cull a burgeoning zombie population by pitching people against the zombie horde for big bucks.
This gig wasn’t to photo-journalist Frank’s taste apparently, because it’s the turn of Chuck Greene to tackle an army of nightmares that face him along the strip of America’s new entertainment capital, Fortune City. Chuck’s motivation for this is to protect his daughter, though the cash comes in handy and let’s face it, Chuck is probably as eager to wallow in wanton violence as you are… albeit from behind the safety of the fourth wall. What characterised the original Dead Rising returns in this sequel with deviant black gusto: weapons, lots of them and mostly mundane objects that you would only consider using in a pinch.
Fortune City’s strip is mostly devoid of conventional armaments, so you’ll usually have to make do with roulette wheels, croupier sticks and ostentatious stuffed marlins to tackle the shuffling corpses that make up for lack in motor skills with enormous numbers. There are a billion creative ways that a zombie can die with the new weapons combination system. Get some tape, two chainsaws and a paddle from the canoe shop to make the paddle saw, which puts the Japanese martial art of Bojutsu into an entirely new perspective.
The carnage that ensues is played out on a backdrop of a crass American game show, with action replays and a live audience that bays for blood.