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Dead Rising

Dead Rising

Dead Rising

Dead Rising is a survival horror video game set in an open world environment. It is developed and published by Capcom and produced by Keiji Inafune. It was released on August 8, 2006 exclusively for the Xbox 360 video game console.

Dead Rising's story centers on Frank West, a photojournalist who ends up trapped in a shopping mall in the fictional town of Willamette, Colorado, that is infested with zombies. Frank must defend himself from zombie attacks, rescue survivors, contend with crazed psychopaths, and stay alive while still attempting to uncover the truth behind the incident. The player controls Frank as he explores the mall, using any available object as a weapon. The player can complete several main and optional missions to earn Prestige Points and gain special abilities. The game is designed as a sandbox game and features several endings, depending on the decisions the player makes along the way.

The game was a commercial success and has been introduced into the Xbox 360 "Platinum Hits" lineup. A sequel, Dead Rising 2, was developed by Capcom Vancouver alongside many of the previous developers of Dead Rising, and was released in September 2010. A Wii remake was released in February 2009 titled Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, and a mobile phone version is also available.

Dead Rising Plot

Frank West is a photojournalist, who is snuck into the town of Willamette, Colorado in a chopper. He is investigating why the town has been sealed off by the National Guard. The helicopter lands on the roof of the city mall; Frank informs his pilot to return to the roof in exactly 72 hours. Inside, he finds survivors of a zombie outbreak barricading the mall entrance, which fails after a woman attempts to save her dog. Only four people escape to the mall security room, Frank, Department of Homeland Security agent Brad Garrison, his rookie partner Jessie McCarney, and janitor Otis Washington, who welds the door shut. Brad leaves via the air duct to continue investigating. Frank heads out to investigate himself. Before reentering the mall itself, Frank turns to attack something sneaking up behind him, which turns out to be Jessie, who falls and injures her ankle. She asks Frank to go help Brad, who is pinned down in a gunfight. Frank helps drive off the gunman, Carlito Keyes, and convinces Brad to tell him what is going on. The agent agrees, if Frank helps him track down Dr. Russell Barnaby, the man in a photo Frank took in the mall. Brad and Frank find Dr. Barnaby barricaded in a bookstore, but the Doctor refuses to leave without a secure escape route from the mall.

The next morning, Carlito is spotted on the monitors; he has captured Dr. Barnaby and has suspended him over a group of zombies. Brad and Frank drive Carlito away and rescue the doctor, although Brad is wounded in the fight. Frank goes to collect medicine from the supermarket pharmacy and rescues a woman he recognizes from the mall entrance, but she runs off. Frank returns to the security room and tracks her down via the monitors. After a fight, the woman identifies herself as Isabela Keyes, Carlito's sister. She agrees to set up a rendezvous between the two men so Frank can learn the reason behind the Willamette outbreak, but at the time of the meeting shows up alone and with a shoulder wound; her brother shot her in anger. Frank takes Isabela back to the security room, where she identifies Dr. Barnaby as the head of a United States research laboratory located in her hometown, Santa Cabeza in Central America. Dr. Barnaby, who is starting to succumb to the infection, explains that he was attempting to mass-produce cattle, but instead caused a local wasp species to mutate; the wasps inject eggs into victims by stinging them, the eggs hatch into parasitic larvae, and the host is killed and "zombiefied" when one of these matures in the brainstem. One of the wasp queens escaped into Santa Cabeza, and the U.S. government sent the Special Forces in to stop the outbreak and kill any witnesses. Outraged over the massacre, Carlito released the mutant wasps in Willamette for revenge, and blackmailed Dr. Barnaby into coming to the mall, to kill him via the zombies he had helped create. After the true nature of the infection is revealed, Dr. Barnaby becomes a zombie himself and bites Jessie, but is shot in the head by Brad before he can harm Frank.

Isabela reveals that the zombie outbreak in Willamette is only the start. Carlito hid several explosive charges in the maintenance tunnels beneath the mall, the detonation of which would propel immature queen larvae into the stratosphere, potentially triggering a nationwide zombie pandemic. Frank is able to gather the bombs and carry them outside, where they explode harmlessly. Brad pursues Carlito, but while both are injured in the following fight, Carlito escapes, while Brad becomes a zombie. Isabela and Frank go to Carlito's hideout to find his laptop, which is controlling a jamming device and preventing contact with the outside world. Carlito is spotted on the security monitors, captured by the butcher for meat. Frank goes to rescue him, and defeats the butcher, but Carlito is close to death. He gives Frank his locket to pass onto Isabela, and Frank promises to break the story of the Santa Cabeza massacre. Frank returns to Isabela with the locket and news of her brother's death; the locket prompts Isabela to the laptop's password, and she is able to shut down the jammer. Jessie calls for help, but is told that Special Forces are being sent in to cleanse Willamette instead. She is captured, but becomes a zombie from Dr. Barnaby's bite shortly after and kills her two guards, then is killed by Frank. A note from Otis reveals that he hijacked a military helicopter and flew to safety, along with any other survivors the player rescued in the mall during the game. Frank and Isabela hide from the soldiers in Carlito's hideout, but when Frank goes to meet his helicopter, Isabela opts to stay behind. The helicopter arrives on time, but a stowaway zombie attacks Ed, causing him to crash into the mall's central park. Frank slumps to his knees in defeat, unaware that a group of zombies are approaching him from behind.

Overtime mode

Frank is saved by Isabela, who shoots a zombie just as it is about to bite him. Frank passes out; he comes to in Carlito's hideout, where Isabela tells him that he may be infected, giving Frank 24 hours before he becomes a zombie. Isabela believes she may be able to manufacture a cure, and sends Frank to scavenge items from the mall. Isabela can only assemble a symptomatic treatment from the available resources, which temporarily halts the development of the parasites. While accessing Carlito's laptop they discover documents indicating that he has placed 50 similarly treated, larvae-infected children with foster parents across the country.

While developing the treatment, the generator powering the hideout fails, and Frank goes to the clock tower in the mall's park to retrieve another one. On arrival, Frank finds an underground tunnel filled with zombies. He reports back to Isabela, who synthesizes an anti-zombie pheromone from the treatment's leftover ingredients. The two escape, but find the other end of the tunnel guarded by the military. Frank and Isabela overpower the guards and steal their jeep, but are pursued by a tank, which Frank manages to disable using the jeep's mounted machine gun. The Special Forces leader, Brock Mason, emerges from the tank and points its cannon at Frank, revealing that he was the one who led the original cleanup operation in Santa Cabeza. However, the tank's auto-targeting mechanics activate and point the cannon to an incoming horde of zombies from behind, distracting Brock and allowing Frank to close for hand-to-hand combat. Brock is defeated, and Frank stands on the tank, screaming at the sky.

The epilogue states that Frank managed to escape Willamette and reported on the incident, forcing the government to admit partial responsibility for the livestock research program and the Santa Cabeza incident. However, the Willamette outbreak is blamed on terrorists, which is technically true, and Carlito's infected orphan plan is neither confirmed nor proven false.

Dead Rising Gameplay

The player character is Frank West, a photojournalist who sneaks into the fictional town of Willamette, Colorado, which has been quarantined by the military. The main objective of the game is to investigate the Willamette Parkview Mall and complete "Case Files", missions that advance the storyline and reveal the cause of the zombie outbreak. The player has three days to do this, at which point a helicopter will arrive to retrieve him. Time passes twelve times faster in-game (i.e. one day in-game is two hours in real time); therefore, the game automatically concludes after six hours of gameplay. If a player fails a mission, it does not end the game, but different actions result in different endings at the end of the 72-hour period. In addition to the Case Files, the player is offered the opportunity to rescue other survivors of the zombie outbreak, either from the zombies themselves, or from "psychopaths", boss characters who have either been driven insane by the zombie attacks, or are using the outbreak as cover for their own purposes. Alternately, the player can ignore all missions and play as a sandbox game; wandering though the mall (modeled on stereotypical American shopping malls), trying outfits and food, and killing zombies with a variety of objects.

A counter at the bottom right corner of the screen helps the player keep track of how many zombies have been killed. Electronic Gaming Monthly reported that there can be up to 800 zombies on screen at once. During the day, the zombies are sluggish and weak, but at night they become more active, tougher, and more numerous.

Dead Rising is notable for the hundreds of weapons that the player can find in the mall and use against the zombies. There are over 250 items that can be used as weapons, ranging from powerful to near-useless. Weapons will break down or run out of ammunition with use, and will break or be discarded (some of which break into usable pieces). Others can be changed by the environment, such as frying pans, which can be heated on a stove to both increase damage and gain access to a special move. Large items, such as benches or cash registers, can be used, but are not stored in the player's inventory and are dropped if they pick up or switch to another item. Many of the more useless weapons exist purely for humorous effect, such as a toy Megabuster, from Capcom's Mega Man, that shoots tennis balls, or a glowing light sword toy. Other comical weapons, such as traffic cones and Servbot novelty masks, can be placed on zombies' heads, causing them to stumble about blindly.

Certain books from the mall's bookstores will provide bonuses to the player, such as increasing weapons' durability or granting increased experience for certain actions. Food and drink items can be consumed to restore health, and can be cooked to increase their effectiveness, or blended to make different "Juices", which provide temporary effects to the player.

Dead Rising incorporates an experience system based on "Prestige Points", or "PP". Completing Case Files, rescuing survivors, defeating Psychopaths, and killing large numbers of zombies all earn Frank PP. In addition, Frank can take photographs of the zombies and the mall, with photos automatically scored based on the presence of one or more of five "genres": horror (zombies and graphic gore), outtakes (humorous events or scenes), erotica (photos of female survivors or zombies, particularly those focusing on the breasts and crotch), drama (dramatic events, such as the survivors' reactions while in the security room), or brutality (deaths of zombies and other characters).

PP causes Frank to level up, with upgrades to attack power, running speed, throw distance, health, and the number of items Frank can carry in his inventory. New moves can also be unlocked, which boost Franks effectiveness with hand-to-hand combat. Should the player start a new game, all experience progression the player has already made can be carried over to the new game.

The game features three modes of play:

72 Hour Mode: Frank has three days to solve the mystery of the zombie outbreak. This is the main mode of play.

Overtime Mode: This mode starts on the third day at 12:00 PM, which is only unlocked once the player completes 72 Hour Mode with all Case Files completed (Ending A). This gives another 24 hours of in-game time, and reveals the game's true ending.

∞ (Infinity) Mode: A sandbox mode unlocked by completing Overtime Mode, where Frank must survive as long as he can. Frank's health bar drops every 100 seconds, and the player must eat to prevent dying from hunger. Food items are limited, and the save system is disabled until the player's death. All characters (including survivors) are enemies, and will drop weapons and food items when killed.

The save system in Dead Rising allows only one game-in-progress save to be made per memory device and player profile. When Frank is killed, in addition to reloading from the last save, the player has the option to restart from the beginning. Any experience, levels, and unlocked moves are carried over to the new game. This is a deliberate game mechanic, borrowed from the Capcom role-playing video game Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (the two games share some development team members), and was implemented to give players a sense of responsibility for their decisions and actions.

Reception
Dead Rising earned generally positive reviews upon release. All the reviewers commended the game's "sandbox" style mall to explore and the sheer amount of ways to kill the thousands of zombies. Most reviewers also agreed the save system, as well as the survivors' AI, detracted from the game's overall quality.

IGN stated the game needed "a better save system, more intelligent NPCs, a more forgiving story progression, and tighter controls," but still called Dead Rising "one of the more unique and entertaining titles on the Xbox 360." GameSpot said, "It's zombie action for people who want zombie action, and it's simply a great piece of entertainment." A point of contention was the operation of the game's transceiver, specifically how persistent it is when ringing, and how vulnerable Frank is while answering any calls on it. While using the transceiver, Frank is unable to jump, attack, switch weapons, or pick up or use any item. Furthermore, if the telephone call is somehow interrupted (such as being attacked), the call will end abruptly, only for the transceiver to ring a few seconds later. If Frank answers, Otis will scold the player for being rude, then start the previous call over from the very beginning. Numerous gamer-oriented webcomics and blogs parodied the use of the transceiver within Dead Rising. The Australian video game talk show Good Game's two reviewers gave the game a 6/10 and 7/10.


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