You’re in the Williamette Parkview Mall. Outside the barricaded entrances is a sea of zombies. Some might say you’re in a scene from a George A. Romero movie.
You play as Frank West, an on-the-scene-photojournalist who has just stumbled upon the story of a lifetime. Williamette, Colorado has just had an outbreak of the undead and it is up to you to get to the bottom of this incredible scoop.
The main campaign is based on an in-game time clock where you’ll have to be at a certain location at a certain time to move the storyline forward, if you so choose. While playing through the game you’ll run across secondary objectives in the form of survivors who need saving and a few too many psychopaths who need killing which adds a nice diversion to the story. You can also level up along the way by taking down zombies and putting Frank’s career skills to use via taking photographs with his trusty camera. Each level grants you an increase in inventory capacity, health, and speed as well as a list of possible fighting skills to put to use. The game uses a sandbox style presentation allowing you to run about the mall at your leisure. Between timed cut scenes its open season for all zed-heads. Visit the restrooms for a quick save respite, and you can also visit many of the shops and eateries and browse their goods.
Did I mention that almost any item you find along the way is a weapon??
You’re in the ladies boutique. Look around you. You see a cash register, an ass-load of hangers, some purses, a mannequin, jewelry, and the list goes on. The point? All those items. They’re weapons! Grab that cash register and lob that mother at Zed’s face. I mean, who grabs the jewelry or purse? Okay. Maybe I did the first time I saw them just to see what they would do… but it was just a phase. I must say though that it did look great with that little flower print dress I yoinked from the mannequin just before sent it careening at a moaning mall cop.
Depending on the store you’re in you’ll obviously find area specific items that you can use to either fight, eat (to heal), and even wear. Some of which will end with humorous results.
There are a couple kinks in the game like illegible text, especially with lower standard television sets, and the time system is somewhat restricting. Although if you complete the game once you can come back for “Overtime Mode” which adds some extra fluff to the story or “72 Hour” mode where you can really let lose some aggression on the zombie folk in a no-story, no-holds-barred, battle royal. Neither of these issues are incredibly hampering nor zombie-killing-fun ruining factors to the overall experience I had in playing this gem from the makes of Resident Evil.
All in all, if you’ve got the gaming system and some extra expenditure capabilities I suggest giving Dead Rising a whirl. Speaking of whirl, I suggest checking out the linked video at time stamp 1:44.