Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is the second sequel of Dead Rising. The first sequel, titled Dead Rising 2, was released in September 2010. It’s a bit confusing to have these two Dead Rising 2 titles, in addition to the additional downloadable games, Case Zero and Case West, available on the first Dead Rising 2. Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is a retelling of the events in Dead Rising 2. While Dead Rising 2 revolves around hero and zombie fighter Chuck Greene, Off the Record brings back Dead Rising zombie killer extraordinaire Frank West. Like Green, West finds himself in the gambling town of Fortune City killing zombies, tracking down survivors, and uncovering corruption.
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record can be played in either Story mode or Sandbox mode. The Sandbox mode allows players to roam freely throughout fortune city completing various challenges. The Story mode follows the complete story of Frank West’s mission. There is a brief opening telling the events of West’s rise and fall as a zombie killing hero. After his turn uncovering the zombie outbreak at the Willamette mall in Dead Rising West he became a hero. However, after a scandal, West lost his TV show, and had faded into disgraceful obscurity. Now a few years later West seeks his comeback by participating in the Fortune City reality show “Terror is Reality.” This is where game play opens. Frank must kill as many zombies as possible in a wrestling type ring in front of hundreds of spectators. After the filming is done Frank stumbles on a mysterious conspiracy on the part of the show producer, and he finds himself in the midst of another deadly zombie outbreak.
It seems in the world of Dead Rising 2, zombies are a normal part of life. There is even a zombie rights group called C.U.R.E. who fights for the fair treatment of the infected. The zombies are usually contained, but they escape and soon Fortune City is overrun by the flesh eaters. West finds his way to a safe house. From there his main objectives are to find survivors, uncover the truth behind the outbreak, and find Zombrex. Zombrex is a drug that holds off the effects of the zombie infection for twenty-four hours. West has been infected and must find a dose every twenty-four hours or become a zombie himself.
The game is well detailed. There are tons of zombies, the mall, and surrounding areas are filled with items to pick up, weapons, and realistic backgrounds. It’s not overly gory, but there is enough blood to find bashing a zombie in the head satisfying. The controls are easy to use, and there are little hints throughout making it easy to jump in and start playing. The movements are a little clunky at times, particularly when West is running. The most frustrating part of the game is shuffling through West’s inventory. Food and weapons are stored in the same line up and you must shuffle through both to get what you want. Food adds health, so it is a necessity to carry. However, you have to drop a weapon to hold on the food and you have to drop your food to get a weapon. It’s very aggravating to mistakenly have the wrong one in hand when you need the other.
Frank is a photographer, but it is very difficult to stop and take pictures when a hoard of zombies is closing in. I found that I rarely took the time to take pictures, though they do add to the PP (Prestige Points). One cool thing Frank can do is create combo weapons. Items are scattered all over the place that can be used as weapons, and some can be combined to create an even more powerful weapon. The combo weapons kill more zombies, and give extra PP. While rescuing survivors and researching the outbreak conspiracy, West encounters dangerous looters and psychopaths. The looters roam around stealing what they can and spraying spray paint in your face. The psychopaths are kind of like bosses and they can be very difficult to kill.
Overall Deal Rising 2: Off the Record is a pretty fun game. Having not played the first Dead Rising or the first sequel, I found the game to very entertaining. Those who have played the first Dead Rising 2, Off the Record might seem a little redundant. The locations are basically the same, and the story has the same basic elements. However, if you are looking for a fun zombie killing game with a decent story, this fits the bill. I liked the story and found that the ideas of C.U.R.E. and the reality show added a little extra depth to the game.
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, Blood and Gore, Use of Alcohol, Intense Violence, Language. This game can also be found on: PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.