The leaks were true; Dead Rising 4 is real and coming to Xbox One and PC this holiday. From that one announcement trailer and from information that has been provided to us, Dead Rising 4 has the potential to be the best game in the series yet. One of the reasons that this is the case is because the newest Dead Rising takes the best features from every game in the series.
One of the most important things about Dead Rising 4 that is evident from the get go is the inclusion of Frank West. Frank West was the original Dead Rising protagonist and really injected the most personality into the game, with his sarcastic comments not being typical of a hero. Frank’s return is even the focus of the trailer with the hashtag #frankisback being spawned from the trailer and even gaining some Twitter traction from excited fans. Frank was so popular that he even spawned a spin off of Dead Rising 2, proving his popularity as the true star of Dead Rising.
Another thing taken from the original Dead Rising is the location; Willamette. Even with all of the sequels, the original setting is still the most interesting with the colossal mall being filled with shops and interesting locations. This version of the mall is different to the original as it adds new areas and looks completely different. It even has influences from Dead Rising 3 by including a city area outside of the mall and focusing more on urban exploration. Unlike Dead Rising 3, this entry has plenty of colour in its cheeks. Whilst it had remained tongue in cheek, the last entry in the series was decidedly grittier whilst Dead Rising 4 swaps that out for sheer fun and personality. A welcome return to form.
The latest entry also takes from Dead Rising 2 as well with the welcome return of combo weapons and vehicles. Frank can be seen creating weapons on the fly which is more akin to Dead Rising 3 but the feature originates from the second entry in the franchise. The colour and lights of the game can also be attributed to Fortune City over Los Perdidos and the original Willamette. Dead Rising 2 is really where the franchise came into its own, providing the original gameplay improvements that the series desperately needed.
In general, Dead Rising 4 mostly resembles Dead Rising 3 in terms of gameplay. Being the most recent game in the series, Dead Rising 4 is clearly going to follow this style of play over the first or second entry. Frank can create combo weapons on the fly without the need of a work bench and can also create combo vehicles both features that were introduced in Dead Rising 3. This tells us that the new game, whilst featuring characters and places from the old game, will mostly play and resemble the newer titles.
One of the strengths of the newest game is actually the features that have been introduced in this game. The Christmas time story allows for new festive combo weapons and an injection of colour into what would usually be a bleak situation. The EXO suit feature is also unique to this game, allowing Frank to perform brand new moves and carry heavy weapons; he’s now strong enough to push cars! Finally, a story synopsis has revealed that this game takes place 16 years after the original and as such will presumably be a continuation of the current storyline rather than the previously rumoured remake. As much as this game takes from the rest of the series, it also innovates in a way entirely its own.
Dead Rising 4 is sure to be one of the best games in the franchise so far. Capcom Vancouver have taken the best and most unique features from each of the games and compiled them into one love letter to the fans. It also manages to innovate in its own way and introduce brand new features to the series and ensure that this doesn’t feel like a rehash. Frank is back baby; and so is Dead Rising.