Dead Rising 4 is the latest zombie-bashing game on the block, and I’ve played a few hours of it on Xbox One (read the first point for why I played on that platform over the gloriousness of PC gaming) so I can let you know what to expect. Without further ado, here we go!
It’s not an Xbox Play Anywhere title
There’s a bit of misinformation online about Dead Rising 4 coming out day-and-date for Xbox One and PC. In my mind, when Microsoft announced its Play Anywhere program, it seemed like Dead Rising 4 was one of those games. Except it’s not. Assumedly because it’s being made by Capcom Vancouver and not a Microsoft-owned studio, it falls outside of the multiplatform Play Anywhere program. This also explains its absence on the Windows Store. In short, this means…
You’ll have to wait a while to play it on PC
Dead Rising 4 was revealed at the E3 2016 Microsoft press conference specifically for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. Given it’s not a Play Anywhere title (see above if you skipped to this point), it also means you may have to wait even longer to play it on an operating system that’s not Windows 10, if this tweet from Capcom Vancouver is to be believed . The Capcom Vancouver tweet reads, “You’ll be able to play it first on Xbox One and Windows 10.” As for when that might be, well, we have to rely on Twitter again for guidance. If this tweet from games journo Ryan Brown proves true, you won’t have to wait too long to play outside of Windows 10. Brown’s tweet reads, “Now confirmed that Dead Rising 4 is exclusive to Xbox One for 1 year, exclusive to Windows 10 for 90 Days.” Fingers crossed for a Steam (or your digital platform of choice) release after the 90-day exclusivity window ends.
There’s no campaign co-op
Dead Rising 3 had two-player campaign co-op, which was a blast. Dead Rising 4 has co-op, but not campaign co-op, which is a shame for those hanging out for that particular flavour of cooperative play. There’s a separate online cooperative mode in Dead Rising 4 that you access from the main menu, which has separate characters and progression. It’s basically a collection of challenges set inside the Willamette Mall, where you have to unlock subsequent episodes by completing the ones that come before. The positive is it supports up to four players.
There’s also no timer
One of the divisive features of the Dead Rising series is the inclusion of a time limit. On one hand, it adds a Hollywood-style countdown, which helps to escalate the action and keeps you moving forward in the story. On the other hand, it deters too much dillydallying when it comes to exploring the rather expansive game world. If you’re not the type of gamer who likes to replay games, you can see why a timer would get in the way. For those that hate that idea, it’ll be in the first round of DLC, and I’d even wager it’ll be an optional extra for the core game a year from now when it releases on other platforms.
The weapon system has been improved
As if limited inventory slots wasn’t painful enough, older Dead Rising games made you switch between all weapon types on a single weapon wheel. For Dead Rising 4, weapons are separated into ranged, thrown, and melee categories. This means there’s a separate firing button for each of those three weapon categories, and separate wheels, which means it’s a whole lot easier to switch between specific weapon types when the zombie brains hit the fan. It also creates more opportunities for creative destruction of zombie hordes, without struggling with control limitations, of which there are many in Dead Rising 4.
Crafting on the fly is fun
This might prove controversial with Dead Rising purists, but I’m all for it. Instead of having to hunt down fixed crafting table locations, in Dead Rising 4 you can craft on the fly. If you have the parts, you can bring up the respective weapon wheel and press another button to craft a bigger, better (and usually funnier) version of a weapon, provided you have the required blueprints. There’s also certain upgrades that let you use nearby items (as in, items that aren’t already in your limited inventory slots) to create combo weapons, which frees up inventory space for more destructive things.
It boasts twice the zombie (dismembered) head count
Dead Rising games have always had a lot of zombies, but Dead Rising 4 pushes that to the next level. It reportedly features twice as many zombies as Dead Rising 3, and given that Dead Rising 3 won a Guinness World Record for most on-screen enemies, that’s no small feat. I haven’t counted the undead hordes during my play time, but I can tell you that whenever you’re outside the stores, there tend to be hundreds—and, in larger areas, thousands—of zombies standing in your way. You can run around them, but that’s nowhere near as fun as gibbing them with a variety of death-dealing tools.
The new selfie-mode is hilarious
Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of selfies. When it comes to selfie sticks or the abundance of selfies on social media, I can quickly become a grumpy old man. But in Dead Rising 4, there’s something hilariously entertaining about selfie mode. Returning protagonist (from the first game) Frank West has always had the option to take whacky pictures, but spinning his camera around and throwing himself in the foreground with a dangerous/bloody/hilarious background has yet to get old for me. The fact you can pick Frank’s facial reaction adds to the hilarity.
That’s the list! If there’s something specific you’d like to know about Dead Rising 4, let me know in the comments below.