Dead Rising 2: Case 0’s burden is threefold. First, it needs to convince people that its new protagonist, Chuck Greene, is a worthy successor to photographer Frank West (he’s covered wars, you know). Second, it needs to convince the player that developer Blue Castle Games is just as capable of developing a Dead Rising title as the internal dev team over at Capcom. Third, it needs to convince you that it was worth the five bucks it cost to purchase it. How does it fare on these three tasks? Find out after the break!
More of a self-contained level than a traditional demo, Dead Rising 2: Case 0 finds new hero Chuck Greene in the lonely town of Still Creek, trying to find the anti-zombification drug Zombrex for his infected daughter and a way out of town. It’s business as usual for Dead Rising, with Chuck racing against the clock to find items, rescue fellow survivors, and using pretty much anything that isn’t nailed down to cut the zombie hordes down to size. However, there is a new item combining mechanic (replacing the PP-boosting photography of the first game), where Chuck can combine different items together to make more lethal weapons. The combinations range from the simple (a nail-spiked bat) to the sublimely ridiculous (a shotgun with a pitchfork bayonet), and it becomes a game within a game just trying to find what works.
Perhaps the best change to Dead Rising 2: Case 0 is Chuck himself.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Frank West, but Frank was a pretty shallow character, with little motivation outside of self-preservation and “the truth.” Chuck, on the other hand, is a terrified father trying desperately to save his daughter from something he has no control over. With the few short hours that we spend with him, we see some genuine tenderness between him and Katie, which makes him feel just a little more heroic than Frank.
As far as the 5 dollar cost, it’s worth every penny. The brief playtime, around 3 hours, is enhanced by necessary replays (you will miss something the first time through), unlockable Achievements for you Gamerscore junkies, and the ability to carry your leveled-up character over into the main game when it releases. It’s a bold maneuver on Capcom’s part, but it’s completely worth it for the player.
Dead Rising 2: Case 0 is available now on Xbox Live for 400 MS Points ($5)