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Dead Rising 2: Case West

If you havenít gotten enough zombie killing in with the recently released Dead Rising 2 and its prequel Dead Rising: Case Zero, Capcom has another downloadable add-on for you that picks up at the conclusion of Ending A of Dead Rising 2 (the most likely ending for those diligent enough to get there). Those that experience any other ending will likely be confused though. No specific spoilers here, but obviously Frank West rolls onto the scene to help Chuck and they take off to investigate a Phenotrans facility (the company that engineers Zombrex) to discover evidence to clear Chuckís name. The presentation quality is identical to Dead Rising 2 and fans of both the original as well as the sequel will get a kick out of watching Frank and Chuck banter back and forth.

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This also opens up the game to the co-op experience, allowing two players to take control of Chuck Greene and Frank West. This can be done online or the A.I. takes over for Frank if you want to play by yourself. The difficulty is significantly easier when playing alone as Frank becomes a Terminator of sorts, basically invincible and an excellent boss distraction. The formula for the gameplay is the same. You have a limited amount of time to solve three cases and there are plenty of survivors around the facility to distract you from your work. The majority only ask for an item to help them escape though, much easier than leading them to safety. There are not, however, pychopaths in the game, thus you donít have to worry about boss fights until the final sequences.

The weaponry, including the combo weapons, are more focused on ranged weapons than melee weapons, likely because the facility is littered with security guards with guns. One of the cooler combos is the Lightning gun which can be created from a frequency gun and a stun rod that you strip from zombie handlers. Guns are easier to use in single player as Frank is an excellent diversion while Chuck fires on the slow moving brain munchers. You can also do the same with the co-op partner, but you will need to revive them if they fall to zombies. Co-op players have to stay in the same area as each other, but thereís plenty of room to operate. Similar to Dead Rising 2, you will find plenty of food / drink / blenders to make healing mixes as well as bathrooms to save your progress.

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The achievements are fairly straightforward, nothing overly creative in the bunch. There are kill count tasks like taking out 1000 zombies, 20 security guards, 10 Zombie handlers, 5 hazard units, etcÖ There collection tasks like saving all the survivors in a single playthrough, taking photographs of all the PP stickers or creating all the combo weapons. There are also achievements for playing through the game in co-op with a friend completely and achieving level 50. Itís definitely an achievement set that rewards multiple playthroughs. You also canít cheat the achievements. For instance, you cannot import a DR2 save file with a level 50 ranking as you start at level 40.


If you played through Dead Rising 2, you will immediately notice the graphical style as it uses the same in-game engine. The only oddity is that Frank Westís looks completely different from the first game. His forehead has grown substantially and heís got more hair product in his hair than some of the Vegas psychopaths. Opposite from Vegas or even the shopping mall in the original, the Phenotrans facility is incredibly repetitive and tends to blend together. It doesnít encourage exploration at all and you can get lost in the similar looking rooms if you donít pay attention to the signs on the wall. However, there are plenty of silly costumes to try on through the facility and the framerate is rock solid.

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The voice work in the game is definitely just as good as the previous games, especially Chuck and Frank. The sound effects are all identical to Dead Rising 2, but the musical numbers are original. Be sure to watch for something funny during the final credits, plus the song is excellent as well.


Thereís a moderately satisfying amount of entertainment to be found in Dead Rising 2: Case West, but the $10 cost seems high for the 2.5 hour play time. Itís also double the cost of Case Zero, the first downloadable content pack for the franchise. The narrative (on Ending A) also leaves you with bit of a cliffhanger, obviously ramping up for Dead Rising 3. Iím disappointed that photography wasnít used as proficiently at in Dead Rising and having to join a co-op game to play as Frank is a bit of a pain. But thereís still plenty of zombie killing fun to be had in Case West and thereís a ton of work to do to save all the survivors, likely not completed on the first playthrough. Download Case West if you are a Dead Rising fanatic or you simply want more storyline after completing Dead Rising 2.

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