Dead Rising 2 off the Record review: Hands on preview

Can Capcom bring Dead Rising back from the dead?

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With Japanese uber producer, Keiji Inafune, taking a back seat for Dead Rising 2, no one thought it would reach the same giddy heights as zombie comedy horror, Dead Rising. Probably internally referred to as 101 ways to swing a zombie, Dead Rising was, quite literally, a zombie mash up with one addictive game play mechanic played out as homage to George Romero’s consumer satire, Dawn of the Dead. Fact.

Dead Rising 2 off the Record: Background

But Capcom’s in-house developer, Blue Castle games, was made up of most of the same staff on both titles – even though Inafune signed off as a hands off exec only. After releasing two downloadable titles for Xbox fanbois only, Capcom is going back to the original protagonist, Frank West, and a full multi-format release for Dead Rising 2: Off the Record. But this time, Capcom has added a much touted weapon combo mechanic, sandbox mode and a host of other goodies, including Frank’s camera so you can level up via prestige points after snapping the action. Say cheese.

T3 got our gore flecked mitts hands on the Beta review code and spent a few hours cathartically nursing a monster hangover by creatively dispatching zombies.

Dead Rising 2 off the Record: Plot

Off the Record revisits the setting of the Dead Rising 2 but instead of brining back Chuck Greene’s story, Capcom uses the setting as an obviously a contrived twist to bring back photojournalist Frank West but it doesn’t run over the same ground, instead reimagining the Fortune City outbreak through Frank’s eyes.

That’s a neat way to justify new enemies, even more insane weapon choice and places to visit, including the sci-fi themed Uranus Zone. There are many zombies in Uranus. The old ones are the best…

From what we saw, the team has the comedy horror balance in favour of playing it for laughs but prat-falling zombies are complemented by a nice wit- essayed through Frank and the great single player narrative.

Dead Rising 2 off the Record: Sandbox

As well as co op online and a continued narrative in single player mode, it was the new Sandbox that we enjoyed. Taking us off rails, we were allowed to run around Fortune City without time constraints and just follow challenges that can be picked up as you go.

Dead Rising 2 off the Record: Features

We were taking in to new safe spots where Frank can combo weapons as you would in any RPG. But the incessantly innovative fun keeps the gameplay fresh because there are so many ways to dole out zombie take-downs it just doesn’t get boring. As well as weapons update, psychos are back and there are new vehicles and items to pick up.

Dead Rising 2 off the Record: The rest

Our controls still had the same slick interplay but the camera can be a choker. That said, there is so much happening on any one time, it is forgivable and only happened on a few occasions. The engine has been tweaked slightly but is looking a little dated now. However, Capcom told us it will be optimised for faster loading and enhanced network performance.

Dead Rising 2 off the Record: First thoughts

Off the Record looks like it has maintained Capcom’s high-production levels, wit and undead voyeuristic debauchery of previous titles. If the play through we saw is indicative of the overall title, Capcom will be on to another winner

Dead Rising 2 off the Record availability: Out in Mid Oct on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Dead Rising 2 off the Record price: £24.99