What to smash, what to blow up, what to kill?! Those are the questions you will find yourself asking when playing Dead Rising 4. Dead Rising 4 is an open-world zombie game centered on Frank West investigating another zombie outbreak in Willamette, Colorado where the first Dead Rising took place. The game starts the player in a mall and then opens up into the city surrounding the mall. When a player completes a case, a new area will open up, but the player can still go back and explore the previous area. Dead Rising 4‘s intention seems to be to cater to a wider audience and not just hardcore Dead Rising series fans. There are no longer time restrictions that force players to finish an objective in the time allotted and survivors no longer need an escort back to the safe house. This leaves a game where players can explore to their hearts content and try out different weapons and find new creative ways to kill the zombies.
Whether or not the game has replay value really depends on the player’s preferences. A player that likes to endlessly explore and find every hidden item or mow down hordes of zombies in a vehicle will find themselves going back to the game over and over again for hours without knowing it. On the other hand, a player seeking a very involved storyline or interesting side quests/objectives with an increased level of difficulty will not be going back to the campaign. HOWEVER! The latter player should not be discouraged because the multiplayer component does add a challenging aspect to the game. The multiplayer will give players tasks to accomplish in a given time to collect scraps and experience points to buy more items or unlock skills.
Gameplay for Dead Rising 4 is different from past versions. Players will rarely be hurting for resources or weapons. There will also be weapons for players to grab and use/combine to crush the zombies. Players have separate slots for health packs, weapons, and throw-able items. Additionally, players will also be able to wear different types of clothes that they find throughout the open world, but they serve no real competitive advantage aside from the occasional helmet that can shoot ice. Players accumulate kill streaks for killing multiple enemies in a row, which increases experience gained but also allows the player to perform special attacks.
Speaking of which, the game also has a photo taking feature to gain experience points, but there is no way for you to view the pictures you’ve taken. This is really unfortunate as I think it would be quite fun to be able to look at selfies I took with a zombie horde behind me. Also, the scoring system for the pictures doesn’t always reward creativity. The only other real feature of the camera is that it is required to use different camera modes to solve cases.
Dead Rising 4’s graphics are quite impressive. The explosions and appearance of the characters and zombies are well done. The environment has gloomy scenery when a more serious tone is to be taken and vibrant scenery when exploring shops in the mall. The game also has a Christmas theme to it and the decorations in the mall are very suited for this. A player can wear a Santa hat or equip a weapon that shoots explosive elves, among others.
The sounds of the game is quite interesting. When a player enters different environments in the area, there is usually a music tone change, but the most interesting part is definitely Frank West’s commentary. The random comments that Frank makes when running over zombies in a vehicle or slicing them up with a chainsaw keep the game interesting and hilarious! Frank will say some of the most ridiculous or absurd comments.