- "We're just giddy with excitement, what can we do next?"
- —Alex Jones from Capcom, stated while talking about the future of the Dead Rising series.
Dead Rising 4 is the eighth installment in the Dead Rising series, released on December 6, 2016. The game features the return of Frank West, the protagonist of Dead Rising, Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record.
Dead Rising 4 returns to Willamette, the setting of the original game, during the Christmas season. The game is a sequel set in 2022, sixteen years after the events of the first game, and one year after the events of Dead Rising 3, though it also acts as a soft reboot of the series. Dead Rising 4 also does away with the restrictive time limit, much like the Wii port of the original; Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop.
A year after the zombie outbreak in Los Perdidos, California, Frank West, a former photojournalist now working as a college teacher, is approached by one of his student, Vicky "Vick" Chu, who convinces him to help her investigate a military compound, situated on the outskirts of Willamette, Colorado - the site of the first zombie outbreak. Once inside, they discover that the place is being used for zombie research, but are discovered and forced to flee, with Frank labelled a fugitive after he is falsely accused of terrorism by the government. A few months later, near Christmas, Frank is found by Brad Park, an agent of the ZDC, who convinces him to help investigate a new zombie outbreak that started in Willamette during the Black Friday sales, in exchange for the means to clear his name and having exclusive rights to the story, revealing that Vick has already left for there to investigate the matter herself.
Just as they arrive at Willamette, Frank and Brad's helicopter is hit by a missile, forcing them to make a crash land in the middle of a shopping mall. Upon confronting the zombies, they discover that they are infected with a new, more aggressive strain of the virus that previous treatments like Zombrex are ineffective against. Frank eventually discovers that an elusive organization called "Obscuris" is in the city looking for a monstrous creature called "Calder" and reunites with Vick on a few occasions, but their opposing views prevent them from working together. Frank manages to approach an Obscuris truck carrying Calder, but it soon drives off, leaving him to confront an Obscuris lieutenant. Upon investigating the laboratory of Dr. Russell Barnaby, the main scientist behind the zombie outbreak in Santa Cabeza, Mexico, Frank learns that during his last days, Barnaby was developing ways to make zombies with their human intelligence intact, and that Calder was a human soldier enhanced with a military exoskeleton, who was transformed by accident, but not before downloading Barnaby's data on a hard disk that he always carries with himself. Frank finds himself having to confront him in order to retrieve it.
Frank later invades the base of Obscuris and faces, Fontana, the leader of the organization and the one responsible for bringing down the helicopter carrying him and Brad. Fontana reveals that their group was not responsible for the outbreak, but was hired by an unknown client to obtain Calder's data, seeking to use the research on intelligent zombies to make cheap labor for factories and plantations in developing countries. Their confrontation is interrupted by Calder, who kills Fontana. After rescuing several survivors from a group of psychotic survivalists, Frank pursues Calder down to the sewers where he steals the hard disk and transfers the data to his camera, but Vick appears with a gun, forces Frank to give her his camera, and flees after destroying the disk. Frank runs after her all the way to the shopping mall where they are intercepted by Calder, who destroys the camera, and the two work together to kill him. After the battle, Vick reveals to Frank that she salvaged the camera's SD card containing the disk's data and they reconcile, agreeing to share the credits for the story. Frank, Vick and Brad soon leave for the rooftop to be extracted via helicopter, but a massive horde of zombies pursue them on the way there. Unable to escape the zombies, Frank sacrifices himself, ensuring that Vick and Brad make it safely out of the area.
Capcom announced interest in developing a fourth entry in the series sometime after the release of Dead Rising 3. The third numbered game's director, Michael Jones, said he was not satisfied with the third game, mentioning that we wanted to make Dead Rising more interactive through the Xbox Kinect and Smartglass, such as when the player must escape zombie grapples . He also stated that due to the success of the multiplayer system in Dead Rising 3, the next installment could possibly include a four player multiplayer option. The development team further elaborated that such a feat would also be much more difficult than the typical two player co-op the series has been known for since Dead Rising 2, stating that "nothing is set in stone".
The game formally announced and showcased at E3 in 2016. The trailer confirmed the rumors that Frank West would be returning as the main character. The trailer showed Frank returning to Willamette and revealed the setting for the game to be set during Christmas period. The game takes place 16 years after the first game (which means it takes place a year after Dead Rising 3), and a new outbreak has resulted in the Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall being overrun by zombies, history repeats itself as Frank has to discover the cause of this new outbreak.
Dead Rising 4 retains the bigger open world from Dead Rising 3, as Frank can now travel outside the mall and explore the town of Willamette. The game also introduces several new combo weapons to the series.
The game does not feature a time limit of any kind due to negative player feedback with previous games. The exception is the online co-op mode, where players complete objectives with a given time limit. The mode is inspired by the Infinity Mode of the original game. The backstories of the four characters is detailed within the mode. It starts in a safehouse, where weapons can be purchased before the doors unlock. A safehouse must be reached by the end of the day to survive.
It was later announced that Dead Rising 4, unlike the third entry, will be a timed exclusive for Microsoft Windows 10 and the Xbox One for a one-year duration, after which the game is expected to appear on the PlayStation 4 in the fourth quarter of 2017 (and probably on the Nintendo Switch too), as hinted by the recent announcement that Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2 along with its spinoff Dead Rising 2: Off the Record will be re-released on the PlayStation 4 as well as the Xbox One with improved resolutions and a frame rate locked at 60 FPS.
You can get these bonuses via pre-ordering the game:
- Candy Cane Crossbow (Best Buy)
- X-Fists (Microsoft Store)
- Steampunk Snowman Head (GameStop)
- Slicecycle (Amazon)
Since the release of the first trailer, there has been some backlash from the Dead Rising community against Capcom Vancouver's decision to change the voice actor of Frank West, as well as significantly changing his appearance. Fans felt that Frank hadn't returned to his "true form" without the return of his long-time voice actor TJ Rotolo.
Significant criticism of the humor and unbalanced tone of the game amongst critics and fans has also been noted, with many saying the game lacks the campy/parody tone of other games in the series and is often unfunny. Frank's changed characterization has also been the subject of criticism, with many finding him irritating and a radical departure from older games.
Many critics and fans have expressed frustration over the removal of the timer system, replacement of psychopaths with maniacs, and a lack of multiple endings. The removal of psychopaths has been harshly criticized, due to many seeing the maniacs as a disappointment.
Some people also noted and criticized lack of zombie variety in terms of appearance, as well as criticizing the lack of enemy variety as a whole (The game basically has 5 enemies).
The game's ending has encountered flak from many fans and critics alike. Frank West's death was what many felt to be unnecessary, and reinforced a growing mindset that Capcom brought him back just to kill him off.
- The maximum character level have been doubled from 50 to 100. However, the player also levels up faster.
- The time limit has been completely removed from the main game, although a few select missions have time limits.
- Scrap can be collected as currency.
- Frank can crouch to avoid being detected.
- The camera is utilized for more than just taking pictures of the surroundings. It is used as a sort of detective type tool -- taking photos of clues for the story investigation.
- To elaborate, Frank can (on top taking picture) use a Spectral Analyzer to scan various things (usually locks, hiding places, or password panels). There's also the Night vision mode, which gives Frank the ability to see in dark places and interact with things around him.
- Instead of using yellow blocks to track health like in the previous games, a more traditional green health bar with your hitpoints displayed on it is used.
- Psychopaths are now called Maniacs, most will be optional encounters. Despite lacking cutscenes, they do maintain some personality and do have unique dialog as the fight goes on.
- Zombies no longer become more active at night.
- Saving is no longer done in bathrooms but the game frequently autosaves.
- In IGN's "33 Minutes of Gameplay" video, several characters from the first game are mentioned or showcased as easter eggs, or only appear as voices through Frank's nightmare.
- True Eye makes a return in this game with a new look.
- ↑ http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/13/11914660/dead-rising-4-announced-xbox-one-windows-10-e3-2016
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/articles/why-dead-rising-4s-campaign-ditches-the-series-mos/1100-6442760/
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/articles/dead-rising-4s-campaign-wont-feature-cooperative-m/1100-6445483/
- ↑ https://www.change.org/p/capcom-fix-frank-west-s-face-and-his-voice-dead-rising-4