games / Reviews

Dead Rising 4: Frank’s Big Package (PS4) Review

December 22, 2017 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Dead Rising 4: Frank’s Big Package (PS4) Review  

I think I am at odds with most Dead Rising fans. A lot of the Dead Rising community seems to be nuts about the first game, and with each successive game, they like it less. The primary reason seems to be because each new Dead Rising game makes it easier, or simpler. Like, the removal of time limits, not having to babysit survivors, and not having a Byzantine-like save system. Dead Rising 4 is the most approachable game in the franchise, so take that for what it’s worth.

View post on

Dead Rising 4 places you back in the character that started it all, Frank West. Only, instead of a spunky photographer who covers war, he’s now a bitter, slightly over-the-hill guy looking for his last big break. You’re back in Willamette where, surprise surprise, zombies are back again. It’s up to the slightly less intrepid photojournalist as he tries to uncover the conspiracy of who unleased the zombie plague upon Willamette once again.

Aside from the obvious gameplay differences, which I’ll get into below, the biggest change in Dead Rising 4, compared to say, Dead Rising 1, is the fact that Willamette is actually explorable. In the first game, you only walked around a truly insanely sized (for the time) mall. With Dead Rising 2, and really Dead Rising 3, getting out of confined areas and opening up the sandbox aspect of the franchise. In Dead Rising 4, you get to explore a (slightly) smaller mall, but now there are different areas of Willamette you can root around, and fight zombies in.

View post on

The basic framework of Dead Rising remains the same in DR4. You still pick up items and use them against zombies, you eat health items to regain health, and photography makes a return, from Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. You collect a menagerie of weapons to fight zombies with, with both combo weapons (from Dead Rising 2) and combo vehicles (Dead Rising 3) being in the game, to let you be more creative in how you want to approach a situation.

To differentiate this game from past entries in the franchise, there are two additions to this game. The first is that you can use a special move after a certain number of combo hits. Basically, if you do 25 hits with a weapon (or Frank’s fists), Frank can unleash a super move, that will either one-hit kill a zombie instantly, or clear out a lot of zombies that surround you. This was in Dead Rising 3 also, but as a very weak move. In Dead Rising 4, it is somewhat game-breaking, depending on the weapon you are using. The other addition is the Exo Suit.

Exo Suits are meant to be a really powerful suit of armor that has weapons on it. It increases your core abilities, like giving you infinite stamina, and you can use more damaging, Exo Suit-only weapons, like a flamethrower, or just ripping a parking meter out from the concrete and using it as a mace. You can also upgrade the suits weapons from crates you occasionally find in the game world. This all sounds pretty great, right?

Well, yes and no. The Exo Suit has a neat idea behind it, but it’s brought down by two things. The first is that there is a fairly harsh time limit associated with the suit. You can only wear it for 2 minutes before it expires and automatically destroys itself. Note: you do get out of it before it breaks itself. Having two minutes isn’t nearly enough time to play around with it. There are a few story missions where you have one, and the timer is removed, but they aren’t plentiful. You can upgrade the time limit by unlocking skills in the tech tree, but it’s still not a very generous limit.

The second reason why the Exo Suit is lame is because it’s just not that much fun, I think. I want to be in a suit that is like Iron Man (without flying, I’ll be generous), or the powered armor from the movie Edge of Tomorrow. The suit should make you feel really superhuman, letting you just wreck zombies with ease. Instead, it just lets you run a little better and allow you to use some slightly more powerful weapons, for a few minutes, before dismantling itself when the timer runs out.

I think the right way to approach this game is from a complete sandbox mentality. The zombies are almost never a threat in the game, unless you are being really dumb. Even the hostile survivors and soldiers are not really an issue, even from the start of the game. Instead of the previous “Psychopath” bosses from yore, Dead Rising 4 has “Maniacs”. It’s the same principle though, a character goes loony and becomes a boss character you have to deal with. Some of these are annoying, like the “Sadistic Claws” one, but none of them are expressly difficult, and almost all of them are optional in the game.

View post on

There are further refinements or “simplifications” to Dead Rising 4, which reinforce the idea of it just being a big sandbox. For one, you no longer have to carry food items in your inventory. In fact, healing items just go into a separate inventory that you can expand with skills. Throwing weapons, ranged weapons and melee weapons each have their own inventories which are separate from one another and can be upgraded with points. This makes actually having a full arsenal with you, at all times, a lot easier, than in prior games.

Another simplification is the complete removal of any time limit. Dead Rising 3 already pretty much did this, aside from a few story mode missions, but Dead Rising 4 does away with it altogether. If you intently want to just do the main story, you could probably knock it out in around 15 hours or less, but discovering the truth isn’t really the goal. The goal, at least for me, was to explore ever house or store I could in the town, find blueprints to gain new combo weapons, and find other collectibles in the game world.

View post on

Honestly, there are only two real problems with the main part of Dead Rising 4, one is technical, and the other is some of the game design.

When Dead Rising 4 is running, it’s mostly fine, but I had it crash about 4 or 5 times during my time playing it. I also had a particular instance where I managed to drive a car through a bus, which…isn’t supposed to happen. I basically clipped through the bus, and was then stuck inside of it, until I reset the game, as you can see here:

The game design problem with Dead Rising 4, is with Frank himself. In the earlier games, Frank was a bit of a lovable doofus, with his “I’ve covered wars, you know” line, and slightly smarmy attitude.

In Dead Rising 4, they re-cast the voice actor, which is fine, but the personality is way off. Instead of being a somewhat endearing character, Frank West in Dead Rising 4 is the biggest jackass this side of Duke Nukem or Matt Hazard. He is constantly trying to crack jokes which are unfunny or borderline idiotic. Even when you’re just going around the world, he never shuts the hell up about fighting zombies or what not. I won’t delve into the story too much, but your competitor “Vick” is completely in the right about any given situation, and it makes Frank one of the most unlikable characters in a recent video game.

This is all for the base game of Dead Rising 4. The “Big Package” part of this review, which is a seriously awful joke, is in regards to the DLC they packed in. Included is Frank Rising, an epilog to the main DR4 campaign, “Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf”, and “Capcom Heroes”. I won’t spoil the Frank Rising one, but the other two bear explaining.

View post on

Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf is a golfing mini-game within the confines of Dead Rising 4. You play a golfing game with an over-sized golf ball with a premade character, as you try to get power ups, kill zombies, and take a low number of shots. Frank and “Bob” (a zombie) serve as the commentators. This mode had the capacity to be interesting, but the ball physics are abysmal, the shot meter is laggy, and (as usual) Frank’s humor is lame. This Mini Golf thing really reminded me of the series Outlaw Golf, which isn’t something I needed remembering.

View post on

The Capcom Heroes pack is arguably the weirder but most interesting mode in this thing. It allows you to dress up and use moves of other famous Capcom characters. Ryu, Mega Man X, Dante, Arthur, Morrigan, Amaterasu, Viewtiful Joe, and more, are included in this mode, which has a costume for the character and a move set. The move sets include melee, ranged, thrown objects, and a super attack once you have the combo high enough. Each character has their own distinct move sets, the Ryu costume throws fireballs and uses a hurricane kick as his super, while Dante uses his sword and guns for regular attacks, while pulling a big gun out for his super.

View post on

You unlock new costumes either by finding red Capcom stars strewn about the game world or completing various tasks/story beats as you play the game. In the game world there are also arcade machines where you can change outfits. These are strewn about fairly liberally because, like with the Exo Suits, there is a stupid time limit on costumes. It’s a least a bit more than the 2 minutes you get in an Exo Suit, with a costume equipped you get a “generous” 5 whole minutes. Why aren’t the costumes just armor for you to wear, that when they run out of health, then they break off?

View post on

There are a few other oddities in this mode. For one, you can’t pick up weapons or items. Frank’s default costume just kind of pulls weapons out randomly, when you want to attack. There are also challenges for you to complete in the game world. The first challenge unlocks a melee finisher for the costume, while the second one unlocks a “Shadow” (evil) version of the costume.

If you really just want to mess around, then this mode might tide you over. But, the limited costume roster (at the start), bizarre gameplay restrictions and the fact you have to replay the story from the beginning, makes this mode a neat curio, but not something required.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Despite some of the dead weight (pardon the pun) of the DLC, and the anemic new addition of the Exo Suit, Dead Rising 4 is a perfectly approachable game if you just want to kill a bunch of zombies. It’s dropped almost all the weird, esoteric nonsense the series has been known for, which means it can actually be appreciated by normal people. If anything, the worst part of Dead Rising 4, besides some technical hiccups, is Frank West himself. Believe me, I was ready to let the zombies eat Frank by the time I was done with the game, due to his crass humor and personality.

article topics :

Dead Rising 4, Marc Morrison