Thursday, August 20, 2015

xBox One: Dead Rising 3

So, I have already exhausted the key games I wanted to play in this system -- well, at least the ones that are not still at full price.  Dead Rising 3 was the last game I played, the first game I saw on the system and the quickest played.

The rather repetitive element of pondering that I bring up in video games, the rather lackadaisical approach to violence games have, doesn't accurately apply here. Sure, there is an immense amount, a rather ludicrous abundance of violent destruction of your enemies here in this game. But they are zombies, so it doesn't matter, right? They are already dead so you are not killing anyone. OK right? Not really, but more on that later.

The Dead Rising series is an open world, sandbox type of third person game set during zombie outbreaks. The first was set in a mall, because Dawn of the Dead made that the perfect place to run around beating on zombies and dressing up in stolen clothes. The second takes place in the downtown of a Las Vegas analog. I have the game on PC but never completed it. You see, all the games have a timer counting down concept, with the first two being very tight to the clock. Its hard to be entirely immersed in a world when you are forever rushing to beat one clock or another, and often failing, and then picking up again from a save.  The third game sort of removed that, allowing for many more hours of just running around smooshing zombies for the fun of it.

Yeah, the fun of it. This is really a beat em up game, a game where you punch, shoot, chop and explode mass amounts of zombies. You take damage but can quickly heal, eating snacks and downing smart drinks. The game is really about the rush of being overrun by a crowd of dozens or hundreds of zombies and fighting your way out. It takes the horror premise, the one that has always left zombie fiction seeping into my nightmares, and flips it on it side, allowing you to always get out. And in the most dramatic ways possible. There is nothing like feeling you get taking down 200+ zombies with a sledge hammer that has grenades attached to its head.

That. How you kill the zombies is as much the fun. In all the games, you construct weird, wonderful and bizarre weapons out of random junk. Combine the head of a dragon costume with some prop katanas and a car battery to make an outfit that shoots lightning while slicing & dicing z's. Add a chainsaw to  the end of a broom for a nasty polearm. Fireworks, machine guns, teddy bears, umbrellas, shopping carts, video game consoles, etc all combine to make dozens and dozens of fantastical and not at all serious items. This game also did it with vehicles, but entirely too tamely.

I am not sure  how many zombies I had destroyed after I got the 10,000 Achievement. They are not alive, so there is none of that back of the brain nagging about how sociopathic you are, but they were alive. These were people so there is still that creeping horror when you see thousands of zombies milling about in the parking lot of a mall, that the world has lost all these people. Must have been the same feeling soldiers go when they peeked out from a foxhole after a particularly brutal artillery barrage, to look upon a field of the fallen. Yes, I occasionally got introspective about smashing zombies with meat cleavers. Then I went back to it, because, by Tooten, I had a city to save.

I don't need to mention much about the story. You are Nick, an automechanic, trapped in the LA analog, who has to help his friends escape the city before the government nukes it to deal with the latest outbreak. Along the way there are government conspiracies and betrayals. But who cares, I got me some zombies to take down.