The Ninjabot

Dead Rising 3 Review: A Sea of Zombies

Posted on December 1, 2013 at 11:27 am by Stephen Wood


Dead Rising is a series that I have not embraced in the past and as a huge zombie nerd such as myself, that’s saying something. When Dead Rising 3 was announced at E3 2013, I wasn’t ready to give it a 3rd chance. However in the following months, Capcom Vancouver convinced me that this game might be different in all the right ways. Was this the Dead Rising game I have been waiting for? Was this the ultimate zombie game I have always wanted? Read my Dead Rising 3 review and find out!


Next-Gen Graphics?

On launch day of a brand new console, you plug it in and expect to be blown away by updated visuals that you didn’t think were possible in the previous generation. As I popped this game in, the very first on my hours old Xbox One, I expected just that but was ultimately disappointed. The game is by no means ugly but it simply didn’t live up to my expectations for a next-gen console. It looks like a really nice Xbox 360 game rather than an Xbox One game. The lighting sometimes looks pixelated and unnatural. The visual pop-ins are also a problem that is not only unsightly but can also affect gameplay. Nothing’s worse than trying to escape from a horde of zombies by car and suddenly crashing into thin air only to have a barrier pop-in a couple seconds later. There are some high points as well though. The character models look really good which brings a sense of realism to the game. The cutscenes are also worth mentioning because they are not only fun to watch but can truly showcase the graphical power of the Xbox One.


So Many Zombies!

Zombies are only dangerous in groups. The bigger the group of zombies, the worse your chances are of surviving and this game has more zombies than any game I’ve ever played before. Dead Rising 3 sets out to prove the Xbox One can support more on-screen NPCs than ever before and it delivers in a big way. Hordes of zombies are no longer limited to 50 or so on screen at a time. This game boasts hundreds without so much as a stutter in frame speed. It’s amazing to see and even better to play in. Fighting hundreds of zombies at once is extremely rewarding and surprisingly never gets old. There are so many zombies that even driving through them can bring your vehicle to a halt. The variety of zombie character models is also impressive as you never really feel like you are killing the same one over and over again.


Customization & Variety

Who doesn’t like a little variety? Tired of using a machete to slash zombies? Why not use a microwave or a keyboard. Basically, anything that isn’t bolted down can be used as a weapon. Still not satisfied? Combine some of those items for truly unique and fun weapons. You can build a lightsaber, flaming swords and so much more! All you need is the necessary parts and to find the blueprints scattered throughout the city. Weapons aren’t the only thing that can be customized. Combining vehicles is also a very effective way of plowing your way through the city. Combine a steam roller with a motorcycle and you get a roller hog that can kill hundreds of zombies in mere seconds! Finally you can customize your outfits with outlandish results. Nothing makes me laugh more than seeing the protagonist in a serious cutscene wearing a child’s superhero outfit and sporting an afro with a 70’s mustache.


Timed Affair

The story is very familiar to anyone who has ever played a zombie game or watched a zombie movie–get out of the infected city before the government blows it up. This is one of the most annoying features of the game. The story being unoriginal and boring isn’t really a problem because the game is so fun that I can get past it. The game being timed however is where I have an issue. I like to take my time when I play games as I am a die hard completionist; however I felt rushed and that took away from the overall experience. The side missions are all timed as the survivors that require your help can only hold on for so long before succumbing to the zombie threat. This makes sense but can be frustrating when you are asked to travel from one side of the map to the other which can be tricky thanks to inconvenient blockades all over the city. It almost guarantees that you won’t be able to complete all the missions the game has to offer, which is a shame because the side-missions are often better than the main story.

The optional boss fights based on the seven deadly sins are particularly awesome. On top of the timed side missions, the overall game is on a 7 day (in game) timer. That means, if you are in the last chapter and the timer falls to zero, you must start the entire game over! There is plenty of time to finish before the counter runs out, but only if you don’t stop too often to explore. Thankfully, your progress carries over in a new game but I believe this is a big blemish in an otherwise great game.

Final Thoughts

Overall, despite its issues, Dead Rising 3 is a game I would recommend to anyone. Fighting zombies has never been this much fun and there is more than enough to have your way with. Do it alone, go at it with a buddy over Xbox Live, and for optimal fun, play the game customizing in the most ridiculous way possible. You won’t be disappointed!

Presentation: 7.5

Gameplay: 9.5

Replay: 8.5


Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

This review is based on the retail copy of Dead Rising 3.

Follow Stephen-Alva on Twitter @StephenAlvaWood or add him as friend on PS Online or Xbox Live GT: Alvatar316

    • Stephen Janes

      I enjoyed Dead Rising 2 because it was easier to pick up than the first. Glad to see this is more like DR2 than the original Dead Rising.

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