I consider myself an optimistic guy, but when i first glimpsed the ho-hum screens of Dead Rising two coming in, when i gazed over the oh too similar features list, and when I discovered that Frank West wasn’t coming home (he’s covered wars, you know) I was more than ready to dismiss Capcom’s zombie follow-up straight to the bargain bin. Hell, the first game was, in hindsight, more of a long, poorly paced frustration in phone calls than a dawn of the dead simulator.
Luckily, Vancouver-based Blue Castle Games has not only given me hope for The upcoming Dead Rising 2, I’m actually quite hyped for the forthcoming sequel now. How? Through a demo, of course! A demo that happens to cost five dollars, and happens to be subtitled, “Case 0.” Of course, that isn’t quite true either, because Case 0 isn’t actually a demo, it’s… ok, it’s a demo, but there are a few things that I really must explain.
Case 0 isn’t just a part of Dead Rising 2 extracted from the main game to serve as a demo. Case 0 is actually a fully-featured, competent prologue to Dead Rising 2 that not only shows off the sequel’s many improvements and attractions, but does so for a measly five dollars. Ka-Ching! You’ve convinced me Capcom– my five dollars, plus another sixty when the sequel finally launches.
You see, Dead Rising: Case 0 does everything that the original Dead Rising so utterly failed at. There is no lonely Janitor trying to sabotage your missions. There are no more awkward cutscenes. Your hero doesn’t sound like a twelve-year old anymore. Shooting is no longer a motionless disaster. Your escorts are no longer suicidal. Your hero also doesn’t run like a creeping drunkard anymore, and, oh yeah, save slots.
Besides that, everything you actually liked about the original Dead Rising is present and better than ever. The Psychopaths (or psychopath, as there’s only one in Case 0) are still interesting and, well, psychotic. The undead has never been more fun to kill, partially due to the ability to hit downed zombies. The biggest attraction by far though, is the intensity of Dead Rising’s ever-ticking clock. You see, your hero, motocross pro Chuck Greene, is stranded in town with his infected daughter, and you’ve got to find motorcycle parts in order to assemble your escape. Unfortunately, your daughter needs medication every twelve hours to remain in the realm of the living. And guess What? Some jerk just drove off with the meds and now your baby’s going zombie if you can’t find some pronto. To top it all off, the Military is on the way and they’re more likely to lend you a bullet than a gun. In Case 0, you’ve got some serious deadlines to contend with. Chances are, you’ll be dead in twelve hours.
But it doesn’t have to end that way! As my day of frantic searching dwindled down to mere hours, I actually began sweating in my attempt to find the last remaining parts. In fact, at one point Case 0’s time limit proved so intense that I actually resorted to murdering my final quest-giver in order to get the final part on time. I Just took my spiked-bat and beat his head in. I was desperate. And in these final few intense hours the game really shines. Graphically, the game is far better than its predecessor, despite being overall average looking. It’s the little touches though, like the setting sunset and growing zombie horde that lend to the game’s biggest strength– the ticking clock. As the sun dips down under the horizon, you’ll be both wide-eyed and horrified at the beautiful site, that also happens to denote your utter failure to survive against the clock.
So there you have it folks. Dead Rising: Case 0 fixes nearly all the problems of the original, while remaining very familiar as well. I could tell you about the promising construction system, the improved escort missions and the rather wonky motorcycle section, but those little elements are better left for the upcoming Dead Rising 2 review. Bottom line? Dead Rising 2: Case 0 is one heck of a paid demo that not only satisfies its five-dollar price tag, but also radiates confidence in the upcoming full game. Zombicidal maniacs need apply.
Recommended: To the Dead Rising hopeful.
Austin is a Senior attending Clarkston High School located within Michigan’s Oakland county.
He currently focuses on Computer Sciences and the Literary Arts. He currently writes for, and runs, a media review website– GamesOpinion.com