Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Early Impressions of Dead Rising

Putting a photographer into a zombie-infested mall and having him both fight his way out and take photographs is genius.

Gloria asked me if I wanted her to cook dinner tonight. "Not tonight," I said. "I'll be killing zombies at the mall."

"You still need to eat," she said.

"Okay, let me try this again," I said. "Zombies. Mall. I'm at a mall killing zombies. This is a dinner play-through."

Good grief, this game is freaking fun.

I'm still working with the save system to see if I can tactically make it less of a pain in the ass. It's definitely funky--you can only save in the security offices or restrooms. A funny idea, conceptually, but there's no way to quick-save if you want to quit the game, and there's only one save, period, that gets overwritten each time.

Counterbalancing that is kind of an interesting choice you make after you're killed. You can either restore to the save, which costs you all the experience you've earned between the save and your death, or you can keep the experience but restart the game from the beginning. That sounds like a horrible idea, but at least during the beginning of the game, it works pretty well (surprisingly). You restart the game with a stronger character, in essence, because you're keeping all your experience.

A few notes:
--if you do restart the game, don't forget that you can redo escort missions, and those are worth big points. Those will help you level your character up quickly.
--find the horse's mask in the toy store and use it on a zombie.
--the boomerang (also from the toy store) is just fantastic. It's not the most effective weapon, but it's totally fun to watch.
--you can give weapons and health to people you're escorting. That makes them much more likely to survive.

This game is getting around an average of 8.5 in reviews, and I can understand the dings (the save system, primarily), but it's incredibly fun to play, and it is going to be absolutely huge. Huge. And people will play this game over and over again, because there is an unbelievable amount of detail to explore.

If those sound like totally scattered impressions, they are. I had to tear myself away from the game long enough to write them. More tomorrow.

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