When I think of the original Dead Rising it brings up allot of mixed feelings. While I enjoyed the mindless slaughter of zombies, most of the time I found myself incredibly frustrated at the games poor survivor AI, ridiculous time constraints and incredibly difficult psychopath encounters. I found myself constantly restarting the game until my character was powerful enough to charge through the games obstacles. So While I had fun with the game I definitely hoped for change in the series with Dead Rising 2.
Dead Rising 2 has you take the Role of Chuck Green a former Motocross Champion who lost his wife to a Zombie outbreak and has to deal with his daughters dependance on a drug that wards off the infection known as Zombrex. To make matters worse another outbreak has happened and your fingered for causing it. Throughout the course of the games 3 days your set with the task of clearing your name and finding the truth behind the outbreak. The story has so many twists you would think the game was written by M. Night Shyamalan but it stays interesting until the end.
The game has a very similar structure to that of the original. During the course of the game you can solve case files, save survivors, fight psychopaths and gain PP (Prestige Points) to level up and learn new abilities or just run around killing endless waves of zombies. The photography system in the first game has been replaced with an item crafting system where you take specific items and combine them to make deadly weapons that earn you PP for each kill. The game does a really good job of giving you plenty of maintenance rooms in the various areas; however, you will prob find yourself making the same things over and over as some crafting items are often hidden or just not worth the hassle to seek out.
Side missions are very well paced through the main game compared to the original game as well. I never found myself in a situation where I could not attempt a side mission in fear of missing a case file deadline. The psychopath fights range from hard to horribly frustrating but most of them are optional and after one encounter you can usually find a specific set of weapons to deal with them.
Combat has been improved greatly over the first game. Chuck can aim over the shoulder and move at the same time now while shooting which makes boss battles that require gunfire much less frustrating then the original. Survivor's are no longer helpless zombie fodder and can actually fend for themselves. This makes the game much less frustrating then the original as you donít have to be constantly watching out for them.
Dead Rising 2 also adds online multi-player content to the equation. You get co-op and a mini-game collection like online versus mode called Terror is Reality where players compete in various events where you murder and humiliate zombies for cash that you can bring into the single player game. The games themselves are fun diversions but get old fast. The co-op mode is fun to play but the joining player does not earn any story progress. Joining random games seems to be difficult as well as most people usually just donít allow you to join. I spent a good 15 min trying to join a random player match before I gave up and started pestering people on my friends list.
Final verdict: While some flaws of the original still remain if your willing to overlook them you will find yourself having a great time. Fans of the original should definitely pick it up.