Dead Rising 2: Case West brings together, for the first time the main characters from both of the Dead Rising Games. With Frank West and Chuck Green working together the zombies hardly have a chance, but as with all great zombie stories the zombies themselves are only an inconvenience which pushes the story forward as humans, and in this case evil corporations are the real enemy and far more dangerous than the zombies themselves.
Gameplay (4 out of 5)
The primary difference between the game play of Case West and Dead Rising 2 is that you are fighting alongside someone who can take care of himself. This allows for it to be played either as Co-op or a single player game. This also allows the photography element of the first game to be combined with the weapon combining elements and upgrades of Dead Rising 2. This is an addition I appreciated because I enjoyed the ability to photographs in the first game. Beyond these additions though the game play remains largely the same as in Dead Rising 2, though there are more armed and dangerous humans from the beginning of this game.
The missions of this game are generally not all that difficult and you can likely sit down and play through all the missions of this game in less than three hours if all you are doing is rushing through, but like with other Dead Rising games exploring is part of the fun.
Graphics (4 out of 5)
The graphics of this game are very similar to that of Dead Rising 2. They are still gore covered and certainly not for children. Where it does differ is in the location you are exploring in this game. Rather than in the glitz and glamour of a Nevada gambling city you are in a industrial area. This changes the general feel of the graphics considerably and makes it a lot more restrained, but there is still plenty to look at and the bright red that is often flashing around the screen keeps it from being to dreary and in many ways the feeling in this expansion is more real than those in the main game.
Sound and Voice Acting (5 out of 5)
The sound of Dead Rising 2: Case West is vital to the feel of the game. From the way that a baseball bat sounds when it hits a zombie to the simple mood that is set by the sound it is difficult to find any real flaws in this.
Even better than the sound effects is the voice acting. There are not a lot of cut scenes, but the two actors play very well off each other with Frank taking the lead through much of this story, and without a lot of good acting this story, which is a bit over the top, would be very difficult to actually believe but the voice actors really sell it.
Controls (4 out of 5)
These controls also remain the same as in Dead Rising 2 and are generally very good. In fact the only place that you are likely to notice anything really different is as you try to avoid hitting the person with you. Since they tend to be in the middle of the action more than the people that you rescue you will almost certainly find yourself hitting them more often. This is mostly overcome by using weapons that cover a bit more ground or simply spreading out a bit more, but it can be frustrating at times.
Co-op Multiplayer (4 out of 5)
Since both Frank and Chuck play largely the same the Co-Op generally works very well. Trading weapons back and forth is easy enough to make it worthwhile and the difficulty of the game has generally been bumped up enough that the second person doesn’t make it feel too easy. This is also a game that is fun to play through multiple times so there is no real worry in playing it through with anyone who wants to play. On the other hand it could be more cooperative rather than simply killing things near people.
Story (5 out of 5)
The story takes place after both of the games and as such there are spoilers in the first cut scene from both games. This means that if you haven’t completed the main story of Dead Rising 2 you may want to do so before you play this expansion. This explores a facility of the company which makes Zombrex, the only thing that stops people who have been bite from becoming zombies and shows you far more about the conspiracies of the Dead Rising world. In addition it seems to set up either more downloadable content with these characters or Dead Rising 3.
Weapons (3 out of 5)
There are seven new combo weapons in Case West. In this expansion there are seven new weapons combos. These include: laser gun, zap N’ Shine, impact blaster, shocker, lightning gun, reaper and the sterilizer. Each of these can be created combining weapons at the workbenches, the most notable being the laser gun which is created by using weapons that you have to create at the workbench. This weapons are generally a lot of fun to use and add a fair amount to the game but the basic weapons are largely the same.
Overall Value (4 out of 5)
If you love Dead Rising 2 then you largely know what you are getting with this game and should not be disappointed. The only real major weakness is that this is a short expansion with far less area to explore than the main Dead Rising 2 game, so don’t expect this expansion to give you anywhere near as many hours of entertainment as the main game, but instead, think of it as a few bonus missions and chance to play Co-op.
- Author's own experience
- Images, courtesy of Dead Rising Wiki