Why must a zombie game be mindless? Sure, it’s fun to go around decapitating zombies left and right, but it’s really nothing more than masturbation. Apparently Capcom feels the same way, because if you sit around beating off in Dead Rising you’re never going to get anywhere.
Instead of opting for a traditional open ended experience where players are free to play around before starting missions, in Dead Rising everything runs by the clock. Be in the wrong place at the wrong time to start a mission, and you’ll miss it. Take too long completing other missions and you won’t have time to finish the rest. It forces you to keep moving, and while it may seem a little complicated and will cut into your random zombie bashing time, it actually makes the game very frantic and keeps things interesting. There is a chance however, that it may cause you some grief if you aren’t careful with your save points.
The game only gives you one save slot to work with, so you’ll have to be extra careful about when you save. Save with too little health and you’re going to have a hard time getting anywhere. Save with too little time and you may have to start the game over. At first this may sound like a bad design and certainly a little rough, but it actually works to provoking an emotional response in the player because you get to a point where you know you can save and you must survive.
Some gamers have criticized the system because they had to restart the game after they saved without enough time left to complete a mission; however this is not the fault of the developers but rather the fault of gamers who failed to pay attention to the game’s core element, time. Capcom was even nice enough to allow gamers who make such a mistake to carry all the skills and experience they had earned so they have a much easier time getting back to where they started.