Game Review: Dead Rising 2: Case 0
Release: August 31, 2010
Genre: Survival Horror, Action
Developer: Blue Castle Games, Capcom
Available Platforms: Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Website: Case 0 Xbox LIVE Marketplace
Capcom is really stepping up their game — no pun intended — with Dead Rising 2: Case 0. What, at first glance, appears to be nothing more than a $5 demo of the upcoming Dead Rising 2, turns out to be so much more. In fact, Case 0 is pretty shocking when you consider how much is crammed into this $5 downloadable game — not demo — game.
Case 0, for those who are unaware, is a prequel to Dead Rising 2. Just like the upcoming sequel, it stars Chuck Greene. So why isn’t this just a paid demo? Well, for one, it has its own mini story-arc — one that lasts around two or three hours. Secondly, although it shares characters, gameplay mechanics, etc., it takes place in an area completely removed from the sequel. In other words, the only way to see the small town of Still Creek is to play Case 0.
The game starts off with Chuck and his young daughter, Katey, arriving in the “abandoned” town of Still Creek. Within minutes of arriving, someone jacks Chuck’s truck and, more importantly, his supply of Zombrex, the medicine that staves off the zombification process in those bitten — in this instance, “those bitten” refers to none other than the pint-sized Katey. Stuck without transportation or the much-needed medicine, Chuck has 12 hours to navigate the zombie-infested streets, find more Zombrex, and escape.
Dead Rising 2: Case 0 plays much like the original Dead Rising. Players will still gain PP, allowing Chuck to level up, providing him with more health, inventory, speed, etc. Weapons are abundant and varied, and they will still break after continued use.
Still, many players were turned off by the original game. Controls felt clunky, the save system was atrocious, and the ever-oppressive time limit…the list goes on. Case 0, and, by extension, Dead Rising 2, are going to be hit and miss. The save system is a little more forgiving, allowing for a grand total of three save slots; the controls, while refined — and, thus, significantly better — still have the occasional hiccup; and the time limit…well, you can’t win ’em all.
The greatest addition to both Case 0 and Dead Rising 2 is the new combo weapons. Ingeniously, Capcom has given players a way to build satisfyingly gruesome weapons that also contribute in more meaningful way: using a regular baseball bat will knock zombies back, but using a nail-encrusted baseball bat will knock them back, kill them more readily, and generate additional PP. Oh yeah, and any levels/PP you earn in Case 0 can be carried over to Dead Rising 2.
All-in-all, Dead Rising 2: Case 0 is a fantastic game and a great way to generate additional interest in the upcoming Dead Rising 2. If you were completely turned off by the original Dead Rising, you may want to steer clear, but then again, it’s only $5 — if nothing else, you spend an hour or two of your time and earn a few achievement points in the process. For everyone who either A) thought Dead Rising was OK but missed the mark or B) loved Dead Rising, what are you waiting for? Did I mention it was only $5?!