Originally released for the Xbox 360 video game console on August 8, 2006, the game became a commercial success, leading it to being introduced as part of the Xbox 360 "Platinum Hits" lineup, while also spawning several sequels. A remake of the game was made for the Wii, entitled Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, and released in February 2009, with a mobile phone version also created. As part of its tenth anniversary, the game was re-released on September 13, 2016 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
The main objective of the game is to remain alive inside the zombie-infested mall for at least three days, after which help will arrive via chartered helicopter. In-game time runs approximately twelve times faster than real-time, i.e., one day in-game is exactly two hours in real time. Therefore, the game is automatically ended after six hours of gameplay, when the time runs out. The player can choose whether or not to pursue any of the game's objectives.
As Frank West, the player attempts to uncover the truth behind the zombie epidemic by completing "case files" that reveal the central game plot as the game progresses. "Case files" are unlocked either by completing specific tasks or by being "in the right place at the right time" in order to observe a cutscene which serves as the story's exposition. Frank also carries a camera. By taking pictures of different situations in gameplay the player can earn "Prestige Points", a form of experience points that allows the character to increase Frank's combat abilities. Pictures are automatically evaluated and assigned a genre: either erotica, horror, outtakes, drama, or brutality.
The setting of Dead Rising, the fictional Willamette Parkview Mall, is modeled after a stereotypical American mall with multiple floors and several themed sections. The mall includes a roller coaster, supermarket, a movie theater, a park, and an underground tunnel system. There are six main sections to the mall, each with a variety of shops. There are over 80 stores in the game, each filled with usable objects which can be used to improve Frank's health or as weapons.
Encounters with surviving human charactersEdit
"Scoops" serve as optional side quests for the game. These are assigned to the player by answering walkie-talkie calls from a janitor character watching the security cameras. Scoops will usually direct the player to a location in the mall to investigate a person who has not yet turned into a zombie. These people are either "survivors" or "psychopaths." Survivors are human characters who, like Frank, are trying to survive the zombie outbreak but need assistance to do so. There are 54 survivors that can be located via scoops or investigation of the mall's areas. Upon rescue, they will join the player's party and can be taken to the safety of the security room. The survivors mainly take shelter inside stores, but some have been split up or are being held hostage by a psychopath. Psychopaths are human characters that have been driven insane due to events of the zombie outbreak, or have used the havoc as a cover to accomplish their own evil ends. They serve as the game's boss battles.
Frank carries a notebook with him and records details about all human characters encountered, noting their status as either "Located", "Safe", "Dead", "Lost", or "Undead". Over the course of Dead Rising, some will request or give the player items, while others will revolt against the player and attempt mutiny. Most of these missions are optional.
The citizens of Willamette (where the game takes place) who were not initially killed by the zombie outbreak are referred to as "survivors." There are about 54 survivors (counting Frank himself) scattered across the mall, and their fate is dependent on Frank. Otis gives Frank a transmitter and a map of the mall, contacting him about events happening in the mall. Otis acts as the source of information for finding survivors. However, Otis will not notice all of the survivors and thus, some must be stumbled upon. Many survivors can be escorted safely to the security room, while others may be injured or too scared, requiring Frank to carry them to the exit point, rendering him unable to use his weapons. Others might require subduing, before they finally allow Frank to rescue them, either because they refuse to move or because they attack Frank. Successful rescues will earn points for the player. The player may also choose to leave the survivors to die, or kill them himself. Some survivors are also impossible to rescue, either because they die immediately when spotted, or commit suicide.
In addition to battling thousands of zombies, Frank West must also deal with psychopaths, humans who have either gone mad due to the zombie outbreak or are otherwise corrupt or evil, and who serve as the game's bosses. Examples include a clown who became insane after seeing his audience eaten, a manager of a food mart obsessed with keeping it clean and free of vandalism, a deranged butcher who thinks zombies are "spoiled meat" and humans are "fresh meat", and a Vietnam War veteran stuck in a war flashback after seeing his granddaughter eaten by zombies.
Leveling systems and weaponsEdit
Dead Rising incorporates a system that allows Frank to learn new offensive attacks, increase the amount of damage he can take, throw weapons further, increased damage, carry more items, or improve his speed. Many attacks that Frank can learn are professional wrestling moves (e.g. facecrusher, suplex, knee drop). One new skill or ability is awarded randomly at each increase in level. Prestige Points act as experience points, and allow the player to increase his or her skills. They are gained by helping survivors, taking pictures, and killing zombies, among other things. Should the player start a new game, all experience progression made in previous games can be carried over to the new game.
Dead Rising is notable for the hundreds of weapons that the player can find in the mall and use against the zombies. There are over 250 items that can be used as weapons, including chainsaws, baseball bats, axes, katanas, sledgehammers, mall furniture, potted plants, frying pans, guitars, toy swords, and even water guns. Weapons will break down or run out of ammunition with use and be discarded, but certain weapons can be reused after breaking down. For example, a push broom can break in two, leaving the wooden staff to be used as a spear; or a mannequin, which breaks into five usable parts, such as the arms, legs, or torso. Others can be changed by the environment, such as the frying pan, which can be heated on a stove to both increase damage and gain access to a special move. The player can also lift larger items like benches or cash registers that can be used to smash foes or be thrown at them. These items are not considered part of the player's inventory, as the player cannot store the item and it will be dropped if the player selects a different weapon from his/her inventory.
Some strategic elements are also present in the game. Certain books from the mall's bookstores will increase the durability of a weapon or the effectiveness of a health item in the player's inventory. Certain foods can be cooked by various appliances found in the mall to increase their effectiveness, and players may also combine two food or food-related items in blenders found throughout the mall to produce one of seven different Juices, which provide temporary effects like invulnerability and boosts in speed.
There can be up to 800 zombies on the screen at once. During the day the zombies are more sluggish, but at night they become more active, gain red glowing eyes and increase in numbers.
Game Modes and save system=Edit
The gameplay, aside from the time-specific cases, is open-ended and offers few constraints on the player's progress. The storyline may simply be ignored, leaving the player free to just spend the entire three days in the mall sampling food, trying on clothes or killing zombies if they so desire; some of the game's 50 Achievements reward this method of play. Also, the player may choose to ignore the plot completely, and gain more Prestige Points to level up and use in a later game.
Dead Rising features three modes of play:
- 72 Hour Mode: Frank has three days to solve the mystery of the zombie outbreak. This is the main mode of play.
- Overtime Mode: An extra day that wraps up the events of 72 Hour mode. Unlocked by getting the best resolution, the 'A' ending in 72 hour mode.
- Infinity Mode: A sandbox mode where Frank must last as long as he can. The biggest difference is that Frank can now die of hunger, with the health bar dropping once every 100 seconds to represent this. Food is now limited and the transceiver, some watch functions and most importantly the save system, are disabled. Everyone, including survivors, are now enemies (which drop character-related supplies upon their deaths) and they all fight each other for the food they hold in order to survive. The game continues until Frank's inevitable demise, and is unlocked by finishing Overtime Mode.
In all three modes of gameplay time elapses at a rate of 12 game hours to every 1 real time hour.
Dead Rising has an unusual save system: only one game-in-progress can be saved per memory device per Xbox 360 profile. In these cases, Dead Rising allows players to save their current level and status and restart the game from the beginning as a more powerful player. The system is a deliberate game mechanic, borrowed from one of Capcom's RPGs Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter. The two games share some development team members.
Though the unusual saves are largely unpopular with gamers and likely caused Dead Rising to be scored lower on game ratings, Keiji Inafune said, in an interview with Electronic Gaming Monthly, that the saves were intentionally designed so that players would feel that there were some consequences for their actions and would be forced to make quick, tactical decisions.
- Lindsay Harris - was found on the first day in the Entrance Plaza, looking for her dog Madonna. She was killed when she allowed the zombies to break into the plaza.
- Cletus Samson - owner of the Huntin' Shack, Cletus at first distrusts Frank, going so far as to shoot at him with his shotgun. After a brief battle, he sells Frank weapons and weapon upgrades.
- Otis Washington - after safely sealing the door in the beginning, Otis provides Frank with locations of the survivors in the game.
- Steven Chapman - the deranged manager of the mall supermarket Seon's Food & Stuff. After kidnapping Isabela, he attacks Frank with a shopping cart with cleavers, pitchforks, and other sharp weapons sticking out of it.
- Adam MacIntyre - driven to insanity after he witnessed the gruesome deaths of his audience, Adam, the former fun-loving clown, goes on a psychotic rampage at the Space Rider roller coaster wielding dual chainsaws.
- Larry Chiang - a demented butcher who considered zombies as "spoiled meat" and people as "fresh meat." Larry is encountered, along with Carlito, in the Meat Processing Area.
- Jo Slade - a corrupt female police officer who had captured at least four young women in order to torture them. In Chop Till You Drop, Jo only appears as a moderately powerful zombie with no storyline.
- Kent Swanson - A jealous photographer who gets the idea of shooting the exact moment a person becomes zombified, and proceeds to try out his experiment on an unwilling participant. Kent only appears as a zombie in Chop Till You Drop.
- Cliff Hudson - was a veteran of the Vietnam War who had taken refuge inside Crislip's Home Saloon and took "prisoners of war", who were actually survivors of the zombie outbreak. Cliff only appears as a zombie in Chop Till You Drop.
- The Hall Family - Roger Hall and his two sons Jack and Thomas are three hunter psychopaths who shoot zombies and humans indiscriminately on the upper level of the Entrance plaza.
- Sean Keanan - The white-garbed sword-wielding leader of the True Eye Cult, Sean orders Frank gassed, stripped and locked up in a wooden crate at one point in the game. Members of the True Eye Cult have eerie green faces and wear bright yellow raincoats. Their base is Colby's Movieland.
- Freddie May - Survivor seen making barricade in Entrance Plaza.
- Alan Peterson - Man seen arguing with wife, Kathy during mall break in.
- Josh Manning - Man held captive by Cliff Hudson.
Frank West, a photojournalist, sneaks into the town of Willamette, Colorado, to investigate why it has been sealed off by the National Guard. Discovering it is suffering from a zombie outbreak Frank informs his helicopter's pilot, Ed Deluca, to bring him onto the rooftop helipad of the town's shopping mall, requesting he returns for him in exactly 72 hours.
Upon landing, Frank meets a mysterious man named Carlito Keyes who hints to the outbreak being far more than it seems. After witnessing a group of survivors fail to hold back zombies from entering via the mall's front entrance, Frank takes safety in the mall's security room with three other members of the group - Brad Garrison, a DHS agent, his rookie partner Jessie McCarney, and mall janitor Otis Washington, who welds the room's door shut. Seeking to continue his investigations, Brad leaves via an air duct. Following after him, Frank finds Jessie sneaking up behind him before he re-enters the mall, who after injuring her ankle, asks him to find Brad after he was spotted being pinned down in a gunfight. Although he agrees to help, Frank confronts Brad over what is going on after his attacker turns out to be Carlito. The DHS agent agrees to explain on the condition that Frank helps him to track down a scientist called Dr. Russell Barnaby, a man Frank had photographed before the barricade on the front entrance failed. Agreeing, the pair track down Dr. Barnaby to a barricaded bookstore, whereupon he refuses to leave without a secure escape route from the mall.
The next morning, Carlito captures Dr. Barnaby, and upon being spotted on the security room's monitors suspending him over a group of zombies, forces Brad and Frank to rescue the doctor, the former being wounded in the effort. While seeking medicine for Brad in from the supermarket pharmacy, Frank rescues a young woman from the store's crazed manager Steven Chapmen, who Frank is forced to kill in self-defense; afterwards, the woman runs off after Frank recognises her from earlier and attempts to question her. After tracking her down via the security room's monitors, the woman identifies herself as Isabella Keyes, Carlito's sister. Agreeing to arrange a meeting with Carlito, so Frank can learn the truth behind the outbreak, Isabella turns up at the rendezvous with a wounded shoulder, after her brother shot her out of anger. Taking her back to the security room, Isabella identifies Dr. Barnaby as the head of an American research laboratory in her hometown of Santa Cabeza, in Central America. Succumbing to the infection that caused the outbreak, Dr. Barnaby reveals that he was attempting to find the means to mass-produce cattle, but accidentally mutated a local wasp species, causing them to impregnate any victims of their stinging with parasitic larvae, killing their host and causing them to be "zombiefied" when one of these matured in the brainstem. A mutated wasp queen soon escaped the laboratory, turning the whole population of the town into zombies, effectively forcing the U.S. government to cover up the incident by sending in Special Forces to exterminate the zombies and any witnesses of their livestock research. Outraged upon learning about the massacre, Carlito released the mutant wasps in Willamette out of revenge, luring Dr. Barnaby to the mall via blackmail in order to kill him with the very zombies he had helped to create. After divulging the truth, the doctor soon becomes a zombie, biting Jessie before Brad kills him.
Isabella soon reveals that Carlito plans to cause a nationwide zombie pandemic, by setting off several charges of explosives in the maintenance tunnels beneath the mall, the resulting detonation propelling immature queen larvae into the stratosphere and across the United States. Frank quickly recovers the bombs and brings them outside into the open, where they explode harmlessly, while Brad pursues Carlito, injuring him in a fight, but unable to stop him escaping while succumbing to further injuries and eventually transforming into a zombie. Visiting Carlito's hideout, Frank and Isabella attempt to shut down a jamming device being used within his laptop, only to find they need the password for it. Finding Carlito being dragged away by the mall's now deranged butcher Larry Chiang, whom Frank defeats. Too gravely injured, Carlito passes on a locket to Frank for his sister, leading him to promise to expose the Santa Cabeza massacre to the world. After learning of her brother's death, Isabella figures out the password to Carlito's laptop through her locket, and shuts down the jammer. Jessie soon calls for help, only to learn that Special Forces are being sent in to cleanse the town. Frank soon catches up with her, finding she had succumbed to the infection and killed two guards sent to capture her, promptly killing her as a result, while finding a note from Otis stating that he hijacked a military helicopter and flew to safety with the survivors that had managed to be saved. After hiding out in Carlito's hideout, Isabella opts to remain at the mall, forcing Frank to head for his rendezvous with his extraction. As Ed arrives on time, a stowaway zombie attacks him, causing him to crash into the mall's central park. Slumping to his knees in defeat, Frank finds himself unable to do anything, as a group of zombies slowly approach him from behind.
Isabella comes to his rescue, saving him at the last moment. Passing out, he soon comes to in Carlito's hideout, whereupon Isabella tells him that he had been infected and has 24 hours before he becomes a zombie. Believing she may be able to manufacture a cure, Frank finds himself scavenging for the items she needs from the mall, in order to assemble a symptomatic treatment that can temporarily halt the development of the parasites. Before he leaves, the pair access Carlito's laptop and discover documents indicating that he has placed 50 similarly treated, larvae-infected children with foster parents across the country. While developing the treatment, the hideout's generator fails, forcing Frank to go to the clock tower in the mall's park to retrieve another one. While there, he discovers an underground tunnel filled with zombies and reports about this to Isabella, as she synthesizes an anti-zombie pheromone from the treatment's leftover ingredients. The two quickly make their escape from the mall, but find the other end of the tunnel guarded by the military. Overpowering the guards and stealing their jeep, the pair soon find themselves pursued by a tank, which Frank manages to disable using the jeep's mounted machine gun. Brock Mason, the leader of the Special Forces, soon emerges from the tank, and reveals that he led the original cleanup operation in Santa Cabeza. Just before he can aim the cannon towards the pair, the tank's auto-targeting mechanics activate and direct it towards an incoming horde of zombies, distracting Brock and allowing Frank to close in and defeat him in hand-to-hand combat.
An epilogue reveals that Frank and Isabella managed to escape Willamette, with Frank reporting on the incident, forcing the U.S. government to admit partial responsibility for the livestock research program and the Santa Cabeza incident, but blaming the Willamette outbreak on terrorists, while leaving Carlito's infected orphan plan to remain neither confirmed nor debunked.
Although completing all Case Files and Overtime Mode leads to the game's canonical ending, in terms of the game's lore, the player may encounter different endings in Dead Rising, depending on certain actions that they perform, as listed below.
- Ending B: "Be at the helipad when time expires, but don't complete all Case Files" - Franks returns for his pickup by Ed, and convinces him to airlift the survivors he rescued out of the mall (Ed's dialogue will vary depending on how many survivors the player has rescued). An epilogue reveals that the cause of the outbreak remained unknown, and that other outbreaks shortly occurred within other cities in the United States.
- Ending C: "Complete all Case Files, but do not talk to Isabella at 10am on the third day" - Frank fails to appear on the rooftop helipad, much to Ed's disappointment. Ed, watching from another rooftop through binoculars, is killed by a zombie. An epilogue reveals that Willamette was quarantined because of an unspecified disease, though with no one able to contradict this with the true story.
- Ending D: "Be captured by the Special Forces, and don't escape when time expires" - Frank is taken away in a military helicopter by Special Forces. An epilogue reveals that the military's presence was later revealed in a cover-up story, which cited they were there to clean up a series of incidents in Willamette, though no disclosure is given to what these were.
- Ending E: "Fail to complete all the Case Files and don't be on the helipad when time expires" - Ed lands to await for Frank's arrival, but is about to leave when he fails to show up, only to spot Otis open the roof access door and step out alongside Jessie, and any survivors who Frank had rescued, leading Ed to transporting them to safety. An epilogue reveals the survivors credited Frank for saving them, but that his whereabouts remain unknown.
- Ending F: "Fail to gather all of Carlito's bombs in time" - A bomb's timer counts down to zero before a white-out follows, and a photo is shown of an explosion occurring within the mall. An epilogue reveals that Carlito's plan with the explosives was successful, effectively leading the United States to suffer under a widespread zombie pandemic a few days later.
- Fail to complete Overtime Mode before time expires - Frank eventually succumbs to his infection and transforms into a zombie. An epilogue states that his undead condition brought about a "humane" end to his hopeless situation.
Much of the game's inspiration came from the zombie films of the 1960s and 1970s, especially from those by George A. Romero, though despite the similarities to the film, Dawn of the Dead, Capcom asserted that the concept of "humans battling zombies in a shopping mall" is a "wholly unprotectible idea" under the present copyright laws. While the company wanted to have the game follow on from its other zombie-centered game series, its development team opted to design the game with a more comical view of zombies in the horror genre, particularly in the way that players interacted with the zombies in the game, allowing them to be able to do anything against them in terms of what weapons they could use against them, while they also based the mall upon the stereotypical design of American shopping malls. One particular area that was keenly worked on by the team was the number of zombies that could appear onscreen during the game in order to give the feel that it was a major outbreak; when Electronic Gaming Monthly reviewed the game, they reported that up to 800 zombies could appear on screen at once. As the development team consisted of members who had worked on Capcom's role-playing video game Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, it helped greatly in incorporating one of the game's elements borrowed from it, towards the developing the mechanics structure of Dead Rising - the ability to roll over anything earned in terms of experience, levels and abilities, towards making a new playthrough, was implemented so that players would have a sense of responsibility for their decisions and actions.
A little-known fact is that Dead Rising was originally planned to be a sequel to Shadow of Rome. When sales for Shadow of Rome did not go over as well as anticipated in America, Inafune had the gladiators replaced with zombies at the mall.
Dead Rising Original Soundtrack was released in Japan on March 30, 2007 in a 2,000-copy limited edition, bundled with a T-shirt. It was packaged with a T-shirt that showcased Frank, Isabella, and an outline of the mall. A non-limited edition of the same soundtrack was released on June 20, 2007.
Soon after Dead Rising was released in the United States, Capcom released nine downloadable "keys" to Xbox Live Marketplace that would unlock different lockers in the Security Room, providing the player with nine new outfit options, adding three more keys for players to download and use on May 31, 2007.
Dead Rising received "generally positive" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic, with most reviewers commending the "sandbox"-style of gameplay, the amount to explore within the mall, and the sheer number of ways to kill the thousands of zombies, with GameSpot stating it was "a great piece of entertainment", while two reviewers on Australian video game talk show Good Game gave the title a 6-7/10 score. However, general consensus amongst reviews was towards criticising the game's save system mechanic and the AI of the survivors; while IGN considered the game to be "one of the more unique and entertaining titles on the Xbox 360", its review notably indicated that improvements were needed with both the save system and NPCs, along with offering "a more forgiving story progression, and tighter controls". One point of contention in reviews was the operation of the game's transceiver, specifically on how persistent it is when ringing, how vulnerable Frank is while answering any calls on it, and how if the telephone call is somehow interrupted (such as being attacked), it would end abruptly and be repeated again when the player answers the transceiver a few seconds later and hears Frank being scolded by Otis for being rude; the use of the transceiver in the game led to numerous gamer-oriented webcomics and blogs parodying the use of it. Despite this, Capcom reported around 500,000 copies had been shipped out in the first month after its release, and one million copies worldwide by the end of 2006. It received a "Gold" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
One notable complaint that Dead Rising received, was from players who ran the game through either a standard-definition or small high-definition set, only to find themselves having difficulty reading the on-screen text, an issue caused due to Capcom deciding to develop the game exclusively for high-definition televisions, particularly as it had been touted as one of the first truly "next generation" titles available for the Xbox 360. In response to the complaints about the issue, a representative of the company posted the following on Xbox.com: "Dear Everyone, I have heard your concerns and passed them to every source within Capcom possible. I feel your pain as I, myself, have a large SDTV and am having trouble reading the mission objectives, item names, etc. Unfortunately it does take time to resolve any issue and we would want to fix the issue appropriately as any changes to any game can create additional problems from the result of change; that's just how game programming works and that's why games go through extensive game testing programs and approvals."
A week later, Capcom released a statement saying they would not be fixing the problem, and suggested some DIY solutions to resolve the issue.
Versions and legacyEdit
A remake of Dead Rising was released for the Wii in February 2009, titled Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, and was developed by Capcom and published by THQ in Australia. Built upon the same engine used for the Wii version of Resident Evil 4, which had been positively received by reviewers, the remake incorporated additional features to that of the Xbox 360 original, including the use of an over-the-shoulder camera approach and utilising the motion control system of the Wii Remote, yet lacked some of the features of the original, including showing large number of zombies on screen and the photography system. The Wii version ultimately earned mixed reviews, though was praised for having an improved aiming system to that of the original.
In 2008, Capcom Interactive Canada released a hand-held spin-off of the game for mobile phone, announcing on 4 October 2010 that an iOS version of the game was also announced. In this version, players have access to a new game mechanic in which they can call upon their friends via Twitter and Facebook to help revive them, with their refusal causing them to appear as a zombie within their friend's game, while complex operations in the game are performed through context-based buttons. Similar to Infinity Mode in the console version, the game features a hunger meter, with Frank now required to eat food within the mall in order to survive. The hand-held spin-off was generally well received by reviewers, earning a B+ from 1UP.com, and a 7.3/10 from IGN, with praise given for staying true to the sandbox design and plot of the Xbox 360 version, despite being pared down for the smaller screen and platform.
On 18 July 2016, Capcom announced that work was underway for a remastered version of the original Dead Rising, alongside its sequel Dead Rising 2 and its spin-off title, aiming for these to be released for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, prior to the release of the fourth game in the series. These were released on 13 September that year, both separately and in a bundle pack, with the developers improving the game's graphics to high-definition and increasing the frame-rate.
Following the game's commercial success, plans were made to create a sequel, with it aimed to operate on multiple platforms. On 28 September 2010, Dead Rising 2 was released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows, and while it followed the basic setup of gameplay mechanics as the original, it featured a new character, a currency system, a weapon creation system that involved finding "Combo Cards" to know what to make, and online multiplayer modes, including zombie-killing minigames and two-player cooperative play, whilst also featuring improvements to address some of the negative feedback that Dead Rising received. Since its release, two downloadable episodes were released for the game - one a prologue set before the main story of Dead Rising 2, the other taking place after it and featuring Frank West, who is also controllable in it - and a re-imagined version was released in October 2011, with a new story and Frank West being the main protagonist.
The game eventually spawned two more sequels, developed by Capcom's Canadian branch, Capcom Vancouver - Dead Rising 3 was released on 22 November 2013 for Xbox One and on 5 September 2014 for Microsoft Windows, while Dead Rising 4 was released on 6 December 2016.
- Steven Chapman appeared as a card in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3's Heroes & Heralds mode.
Box Art Edit
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