TGS Replay: Dead Rising
We also took time to revisit Sensible World of Soccerand look back at some of the video gaming highlights of 2004.
I’d had several aborted attempts at playing Dead Rising before, as I picked it up a few years ago when I bought my first 360. Each time I was thwarted by what I thought was a pretty daft save system.
I kept on re-rolling my character and trying again but each attempt followed the same pattern. I’d get to a point pretty early on in the story where I’d either die helping Brad fight the boss in the food court or I’d complete that section and then die before I got back to a save point. The convicts riding round in their machine gun equipped jeep were responsible for an annoying amount of deaths.
It’s only after revisiting the game for Replay that it’s finally clicked with me. The feature of being able to salvage the experience from my aborted playthrough and roll it back into a new character helped ease me back into the game, as did just focussing on following the main story path, at first, rather than wandering off to follow every scoop I was presented with.
But the main thing that helped me enjoy the game was chilling out and not trying to do everything perfectly; treating the playthrough as an experience and going with the flow, rather than constantly reloading and doing each section again and again, trying to nail it spot on.
It was only then that I realised how great the save system actually is. When your health is critically low and you’re escorting a group of survivors it really makes you make the hard choices. Do you stop and try and help out the survivor that’s been swamped by zombies, risking all of your progress since you last saved, or do you leg it to the nearest save point and save your own skin? Do you desperately try and save every one of a group of survivors, or are you satisfied with a loss or two along the way as long as the majority make it out alive?
If you could save whenever you wanted then you just wouldn’t experience these choices, or the situations certainly wouldn’t be as tense. The save system doesn’t add anything to the story missions (which still should’ve included some decent check-pointing) but it does add an awful lot to the experience of surviving in the mall.
I’m glad I managed to learn to like the game. Although I messed up the story, in my Replay playthrough, I still made it to the end of the game and I’m looking forward to revisiting the title in the future to try and improve on my performance.