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Swiftly Bearded avatar 5:37 PM on 11.30.2013  (server time)
Swiftly Reviews: Dead Rising 3

Prior to its release DR3 had a bit of controversy around it regarding framerate, its darker tone, and visual fidelity.  As it turned out, none of these things were actual problems but rather served to further add cars to the hype train.  Dead Rising 3 is funny, dark, gritty, violent, and fills your screen with massive amounts of zombies ripe for the slaughter.  Most importantly, DR3 is a hell of a lot of fun.

For as much discussion as there was about how good or bad the game looks, it comes down to saying that Dead Rising 3 is a good looking game.  There are moments when it looks great then there are moments where you can tell that it's a launch title.  Sometimes you might catch a few muddy textures but you'd have to be actively looking for it as you'll be too busy running for your life or fighting off a horde.  Speaking of which, the sheer amount of zombies on screen at one time is astounding.  While it's true that you'll often see quite a few that looks just alike, it doesn't stop the amount of joy you'll get by coming up with creative ways to carve your way through them.  DR3 isn't a graphical powerhouse but it isn't bad either.

Humor is something subjective by nature and doubly so for Dead Rising 3.  You'll not find humor here on purpose as its trying hard to be a more serious story but when you enter a cutscene wearing a S&M outfit, it becomes very funny.  I caught myself laughing often because here my character was being so dire about the situation while he looks like a disco dancer, or a sex slave, or dressed in any other assortment of whacky outfits.  The weapons add another level of comedy.  While some are serious instruments of death, others are just plain stupid.  A gun that fires pink dildos, a face hugging suicide bomb teddy bear, or a doll with an acid bomb sticking out of its ass.  They're all here along side more serious instruments of doom.

It is this wide variety of weaponry and costumes that keeps the gameplay of Dead Rising 3 from becoming boring.  Every zombie is taken out by beating on it, some more than others.  Psychos can largely just be beaten down by wailing on them with the help of your team of survivors and bosses all have patterns that are easily learned.  I never really felt challenged during my normal mode playthrough.  The game controls fine, no standard enemies require any sort of special effort, and only the final boss put me down to dangerously low health.  Even the side missions you can complete begin to repeat themselves in nature and only fall into a few types.  In this sense the wackiness is both DR3's greatest asset and its worst feature as you realize that without it, you'd be left with solid but mundane gameplay.  Even upgrading your character isn't much of a challenge.  You progressively gain more attribute points to spend as you raise in level and you continue to earn them after the max level of 50.

The issues that I have with DR3 are fairly minor.  Voice commands, while an interesting concept, aren't implemented very well.  You'll end up repeating "You're crazy" and other not so colorful commands quite a lot during your playthrough just to expose an enemy weakness.  Thrusting your controller forward to shake off a zombie that's grabbed you works well until it doesn't because at one point during my game the motion control stopped responding.  That lead to repeated deaths until I figured out I could turn it off in the options.  The biggest complaint I have is in regards to the AI of the survivors you can recruit.  They're, well, they're quite useless.  It doesn't matter what weapon you give them, they'll spend more time trying to run through a horde than fighting them off.  They also don't seem to know how to board a vehicle until you're swarmed with zombies.  I was having to throw zombies off my window before my "team" even bothered with opening a door.  You're almost better off not even bringing them along.

If it sounds like I was unhappy with my time spent playing Dead Rising 3, I'm not.  Just the opposite, in fact.  Despite any issues I may have with the game, it still manages to be a very good game.  A testament, perhaps, to how fun the developers made it to slaughter horde upon horde of mindless zombies.  Dead Rising 3 doesn't do anything spectacular, with the exception to how many zombies they managed to fit on the screen, but it does entertain and will do so for hours on end.  Exactly what you need for a launch title until bigger and better things come about.

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