Dead Rising 2: Case West Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Prior Experience NOT Needed, New Game Elements
Bad: New weapons and combos add little, Enemies, Playtime
User Score
7.6
(8 votes)
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After the success of Dead Rising 2, Capcom released a new digital Xbox exclusive entitled “Case West.” The game follows the events of Dead Rising 2 with Chuck’s battle to find proof he was framed.

With the assistance of Frank West, will it be enough to clear his name or will it blow up in smoke?

HOT

Prior Experience NOT Needed
Like with Dead Rising 2, the story is mostly independent from the main game so anyone can enjoy a solid and fun experience without any prior Dead Rising gameplay experience. Most of the story has throwbacks to the original, like Zombie TK (DR 2) attacks you at the start, but these events are infrequent and can easily be overlooked as random and unimportant. Not only is it a new-ish story, there are also some very pleasing updates!

New Game Elements
With the addition of Frank West and a new setting, we also have a host of new features. The first and most appealing is the survivor system! Unlike in the earlier iterations of of Dead Rising, the people you save know their way around. What this means is if you complete their objective, which is usually simple like get X a gun, or get Y some item… They will run off and count as saved; you don’t need to drag them to safety or even worry about them! Not only is the survivor system a lot more user friendly, Katie is no longer tagging along, so you don’t need to find Zombrex/Dose her/Worry about it. Don’t worry though, she’s still alive.

Another new feature is how Frank works. The game flat-out tells you he has covered wars and can handle himself and boy they were not kidding! Frank plays exactly like a main character. While this has its obvious disadvantages like his weapons break/guns run out of ammo but he makes up for it by saving you and obtaining his own weapons. Best of all if you play solo, one of the most tedious features from the others I.E. waiting for the survivors to catch up to you is NOT a problem with Frank. If you want to go to the next area and he’s somewhere else, when you move he will go with you.

NOT

New weapons and combos add little
One of the most fun features in Dead Rising 2 has been the combo system, where you take hold of two seemingly random items and making them an uber killing machine I.E. PaddleSaw. Unfortunately, Case West features a very small assortment of weapons, but makes up for it by adding 6 new combos in its place (3 per character). The only problem is that they feel more like re-skins than new combo. Many of the combos use new weapons to add a new element but it’s not really “That New” like lightning balls over ice and two different bladed weapons over another.

Not only are the combos different but also new weapons have been added. Most replace one item for another one, which works very similarly. While I understand it’s difficult to come up with vastly different ideas, the advertised feature can easily disappoint loyal fans of the series. Sadly some of the other changes are unwelcomed too.

Enemies
The biggest change was the move from zombies to security. This change was not from left field, mind you, you’re breaking into a building after all. But, all that ever happened was getting shot from this and that end, forcing me to always have at least one gun, and some food. Combined with the flash bangs they use, you will find yourself being more objective than roaming fun. Thankfully these events don’t last long.

Playtime
Case West takes place in about one day; this can already tell you it’s not very long. Most of the game is going to and from for story, you will find most of the time was devoted to cut scenes. Also since survivors don’t pop up, you have to make an effort to find them. Thus, you really have only a little bit of time between story cases you have to wonder around looking for them. You will find yourself waiting for the next story mission long before its time to do it. Thankfully, however, you shouldn’t be playing for more than three hours so you don’t really notice the free time gaps.

VERDICT

There is a lot in this release for hardcore fans of Dead Rising: the story picks up where 2 left off and adds closure. Not only does it iron out the loose ends, the ending is more of a “teaser” for a possible 3rdrd title. If you don’t mind limited updates and some minor replayablity over other versions, then you can get your money’s worth out of it. If you want more however, you will want to look elsewhere.

[Editor’s Note: Dead Rising 2: Case West is reviewed on the Xbox 360 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]

Dead Rising 2: Case West Review, 7.6 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
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