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Dead Rising 2 preview Preview

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If one thing was apparent during Capcom’s Captivate 2010 media event in Hawai’i last week, it was that the company is listening to its fan base and delivering what communities have been asking for.

Take Dead Rising 2, for example. The game has all the silly costumes, the combo’d weaponry, hordes of zombies to kill, a storyline that drives the action nicely. But what about multiplayer? Well, Ok, it was asked for and it will be delivered. Cooperative gameplay is coming to the franchise and players can invite others into their games to help whack out zombies and work through the storyline. It is even possible to play the entire game in story mode.

The caveat, though, is that the player who hosts the multiplayer session is the one that will advance his or her story while the guest player will get to keep all the cash and PP (Prestige Points – used to level up) accrued during the session.

Blue Castle is the development studio of DR2, and Rob Barrett was on hand to chat about the game. He said that some of the elements of the first title are back, like the mission and scoop format, and the 72-hour clock. But he emphasized that the game is a full-on standalone product.

The game sports an in-game invite system that uses the protagonist’s (Chuck Green) transceiver to relay the request to others playing the game. Of course, they can accept or decline, and the system did have a few stall points during the demo/free game hands-on time. On a couple of occasions a request popped up just as a zombie had latched onto Chuck and by the time the decline was sent, it was too late for Chuck (aka, back to the last save point).

Dead Rising 2 certainly retains the humor and weird sense of humor of the first game. The costumes are outlandish (imagine Chuck running about in a pink straw hat, a halter top and denim short shorts, or in an Elvis jumpsuit with a Groucho Marks mustache, glasses and eyebrows and you get the idea). PP can be gained in a variety of ways, like using a Beer Hat to consume alcohol to the point of puking. But even emptying his stomach can prove useful because the zombies that keep coming and coming and coming will slip on the vomit.

“Our guy is badass, but he is pretty hilarious as well,” Barrett said.

Keiji Inafuni (Capcom’s R&D director and a producer on this title) stressed during his portion of the presentation just how pleased he has been with the collaboration with Blue Castle, and how they get the whole aspect of this being a Capcom game. Part of the initiative that Inafuni-san is bringing into the company is a global initiative, which includes working with more external western development team.

Dead Rising 2 may offer a lot of gratuitous violence, it may be silly, but this is a game that fans care about with the with advent of co-op gaming, the license is certainly not resting on the laurels of its past.

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Michael Lafferty
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