The game was widely popular upon its release. On February 2, 2011, Capcom stated that over 2.2 million copies of the game had been sold worldwide. The game's popularity prompted a call for Dead Rising 3.
Dead Rising 2: Case Zero serves as a prologue to Dead Rising 2's story and was released in North America on the Xbox Live Arcade on August 31st, 2010. Dead Rising 2: Case West takes place after the events of Dead Rising 2, and was released to the Xbox Live Arcade on December 27th, 2010.
Five years after the events of Dead Rising, former motocross champion Chuck Greene is in the fictional casino town of Fortune City, Nevada, to take part in Terror is Reality, a controversial sports entertainment game show where contestants kill zombies for money. Chuck needs the prize money to buy Zombrex (a daily medication that suppresses the zombification process) for his daughter Katey, who was bitten by her zombified mother during a previous zombie outbreak in Las Vegas. When Fortune City falls victim to a zombie outbreak and Greene is framed for it, he has 72 hours before the military arrives to prove his innocence.
72 Hour Mode is the name given to the main game mode of Dead Rising 2 for simplicity reasons, as it is not directly referred to as 72 Hour Mode in the game like it is in Dead Rising.
The main game mode is actually around 96 hours storywise, as there is a full additional day in the game after the military arrives (provided certain requirements are fulfilled), before Overtime.
Following the case files, the mode will last about 8 and a half hours real-time in which the player(s) are allowed to follow the storyline or completely ignore it. Ignoring it, however, will cause the game to end upon the arrival of the military, making this route about 6 and a half hours long.
It is possible to get multiple endings to the story, one of which will unlock Overtime.
Aside from the more traditional four-player mode, the game features an online two-player co-op mode. Two players each control a different Chuck Greene, and can complete the cases or just lay waste to the zombies.
Leveling up is still an option, and levels will be saved for both players to transfer to subsequent playthroughs. If a player finds a Combo Card, both players will obtain it. Money is sometimes only gained by the player who earns it, but it can sometimes be acquired by both players regardless.
Both players can save their games, but only the host player will keep the story progress. Invited players must restart the story if they wish to play single player, but with the level and combo card collection they earned during co-op. Also, the zombie kill count is not saved, which is something to bear in mind if one is aiming for achievements/trophies which require a certain amount to be killed, such as the Zombie Genocide Master.
If a player's health gauge is depleted, they will not die immediately, but instead they can call out to the other player for help, who must revive the downed player using a restorative. This must be done before another life gauge depletes causing the player to die, ending the game for both. If the surviving player's health gauge is depleted before reviving the downed player, the game ends instantly.
When traveling between different areas (which require loading) both players must be within a close vicinity to each other. Interacting with the exit point without the second player nearby will cause Chuck to yell out to the other player to try and tell him to move.
Terror is Reality is a multiplayer mode in which four players compete in various challenges. These challenges include players killing zombies with certain weapons and techniques in order to accumulate the most points in a certain time to be declared the winner. There will be a total of 9 different game modes. The format of the Terror is Reality game show (multiple contestants racing against each other in ridiculous tasks) is similar to American Gladiators. Players can transfer the money collected from this mode to the main story for Chuck to use.
The game follows the same formula as the original Dead Rising, but with minor alterations to the gameplay.
Dead Rising 2 features an online co-op mode, including the competitive Terror is Reality.
The photography aspect is absent as Chuck is not a photographer, but he can combine weapons to create stronger ones (Combo Weapons).
The game camera is closer to Chuck, making the screen look more filled.
The firearm aiming controls in Dead Rising 2 have improved greatly, and Chuck is able to move and shoot simultaneously.
The HUD has been altered. The health bar now consists of one long row of squares, instead of two shorter ones.
In response to the criticism of the first game regarding the small text, Dead Rising 2 features much larger text.
The AI of survivors has improved, they are no longer as defenseless, and zombies will focus on Chuck instead if he is nearby, making escorts less tedious.
Vehicle mechanics are slightly improved, specifically motorcycles, to fit with Chuck's background as a former motocross champion.
Chuck's watch is digital.
Instead of repetitive calls from the transceiver regarding survivors/psychopaths, which were criticized in the first game for disrupting gameplay, only urgent calls relating to the story must be answered, while survivor/psychopath missions are instantly added to Chuck's watch display. Likewise, Chuck can skip through calls and text boxes, without being scolded for ignorance.
A money system has been implemented, allowing Chuck to purchase various items from pawn shops set up in Fortune City. He may also gamble in the casinos and take part in money themed minigames.
The save system has been improved to use three slots, instead of one like in the first game.
Exclusive to Europe, the Outbreak edition features a detailed 12″ zombie figurine complete with accessories (including a Servbot head), a download token for a bonus theme pack plus additional bonus content for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game.
Available in both North America and Europe, the Zombrex edition comes as a two-disc steelbook case and includes a Zombrex syringe pen, prescription notepad, prospectus sales brochure, safety card, and a 48-page hardback Dead Rising 2 art book. In addition to those items, the Xbox 360 Zombrex edition will include a DVD featuring a high-definition "Making of" featurette, along with the Zombrex: Dead Rising Sun movie, and the PlayStation 3 Zombrex edition will include a Blu-ray disc featuring the "Making of" featurette, as well as a voucher for a downloadable XMB theme. (European version of the Zombrex edition only contains the Pen & Making of DVD in the steel case regardless of console.)
The "High Stakes" edition includes a copy of the game, an in-game outfit, a poker set, a visitor map, and a DLC voucher. One special edition will have a special ticket that can be used to redeem a 6 foot tall zombie replica.
The stuffed toy bear from the first Dead Rising game was apparently going to be an in-game weapon again but was removed for unkown reasons (possibly replaced by the Robot Bear) as it is seen in one of the reveal trailers for DR2 and seen in the Fortune City Commercial trailer.
There is much speculation over which ending is the true one, Ending A or Ending S. Capcom stated at E3 2013 that Ending S is canon; however, Ending A leads to Dead Rising 2: Case West, which was also confirmed to be canon. It is a possibly that they are both canon, but it is never explained.