Dead Rising 3 review: shuffling zombies and weird weapons

New character: It's mechanic Nick Ramos' turn to take on the zombie hordes.
New character: It’s mechanic Nick Ramos’ turn to take on the zombie hordes.

I bet Rick Grimes, from TV’s The Walking Dead, would have loved to have had a sledgehammer combined with a circular saw in his battle against the undead hordes like Nick Ramos of Capcom’s Dead Rising 3 does: It’s very good at clearing out a path through a crowd of slobbering, shuffling and moaning zombies.

The third in the Dead Rising series (I guess the 3 gives it away, huh?) and an Xbox One exclusive,  we now have a new protagonist Nick, a mechanic (rather than Frank West and Chuck Greene in the  other two games), and a city – Los Perdidos – under lock down after a zombie outbreak. Ramos has a few days to get out of the city before the government nuke it out of existence.  It’s nothing new when it comes to zombie conventions but part of the Dead Rising series’ charm has been the ability to craft weird and wacky weapons out of just about everything and use them against the undead.

All around the game world are potential weapons: Cinder blocks, scissors, chairs, wrenches, robotic teddy bears (combine it with a cardboard box and you have a neat distraction for zombies) … and you can also eventually combine vehicles to make awesome machines of death!)

Where Dead Rising 3 has changed for the better in terms of weapon crafting is that once Nick has discovered blueprints for weapon combinations, he can actually make them on the spot rather than having to find a work bench in maintenance rooms  like in DR2. It makes for much smoother gameplay and means you can make new weapons on the spot. Ramos can only carry four items in his inventory but if he clears out safe zones he can use lockers there to store unwanted weapons.

As well as the main story, there are other survivors to save (and they’ll decide whether to join you or try to make it on their own) and side missions to complete but much of the fun is guiding Nick – dressed just in a pair of blue underpants – into a vehicle – a steamroller is particularly good – and driving around the streets, running over zombies and earning experience points. And there are lots of zombies on the streets to run over: thousands, I’d say.

Dead Rising 3 isn’t re-writing the book when it comes to zombie games so if you’re expecting something completely new, you’re not going to see it here, but something that is a neat feature is that if you have the Smartglass app installed on a smart phone and activate it while you’re playing, you can receive phone calls from NPCs and access information using the app. It’s quite neat, actually.

Excuse me, coming through: You'll have zombies hanging from your vehicle as you make your way through the streets of Los Perididos.
Excuse me, coming through: You’ll have zombies hanging from your vehicle as you make your way through the streets of Los Perdidos.

Criticisms I could point at Dead Rising 3 are that I didn’t it looked particularly next-generation (current generation?), either, apart from the number of zombies on-screen, and sometimes I felt as if I was playing an Xbox 360 game.

All in all, though, Dead Rising 3 is an entertaining romp through a zombie-infested open-world that while not taking any real risks with the series it’s a solid entrant that will suit zombie-killers and those who like making weird and wonderful weapons out of everyday items.

Rick Grimes needs to play this to get some tips on creative ways of zombie slaying.

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