Released way back in 2006 on the Xbox 360, Dead Rising was an enjoyable zombie-packed romp. It packed potentially hundreds of zombies on screen at any one time, and you had the chance to obliterate them in any way you saw fit. Only an irritating save system stopped it from being a true classic.
Using the same game engine as Resident Evil 4, Dead Rising is back once again with this port to the Wii. Gameplay differences are few and far between, though visually things have taken quite a steep drop downwards with jaggy edges and fuzzy textures aplenty.
The game is essentially exactly the same. Once again you play as photojournalist Frank West (who now oddly can’t take pictures). And again you’re stuck inside a huge sprawling shopping centre, slaughtering zombies, rescuing survivors, and still dressing up in all kinds of ridiculous costumes you happen to stumble across.
The much despised save system has been ripped out, replaced by a standard set of post mission points where you can record your progress. Sadly, this also removes a large portion of the true sandbox feel of simply wandering around wherever you wish, with a more rigid structured experience packed into this Wii version.
Instead of mere zombie humans to contend with, Capcom have come to the decision to also involve dogs and, insanely, parrots. On the one hand, a little variety from slaying mere ambling monstrosities is a healthy addition. But, both are so small and fiddly to attack that chances are that just about every time you stumble across them you’ll find yourself a losing a chunk of your health bar before you can get a target on them.
In terms of additions, that’s your lot. Obviously the game controls in a slightly different manner thanks to the Wii’s still unusual input method, with a few opportunities to wave your Remote around as Frank’s chomped on by a group of zombies. But that’s it for new features.
What are much more blatant are the omissions. Most noticeably are the visuals. Gone are the sharp, “highly defined” edges offered by the Xbox 360 version, and in their place a fuzzy brand of eye candy that wouldn’t look too out of place a good half dozen years ago. Instead of spotting zombies a fair old distance away and approaching with caution, at points they’ll appear a few metres away, making a perceived safe haven a much more tricky prospect.
Equally, the number of weapons you can pick up are drastically reduced. Gone are all those wild and varied items you could nab from the various shops surrounding you, replaced by something that’s much more focused on gunplay. A real shame considering the chance to wave your Wii Remote around in the manner of a huge sword is quite an intriguing prospect.
You have to commend Capcom for not simply trying to shoehorn the same game onto the Wii. But, the differences simply aren’t enough to detract from all the items missing from the Xbox 360 original.
Too few weapons, irritating new enemies, and quite horrifically poor visuals leave this one stumbling around gormlessly in the box marked average.