Dead Rising 2: Case West Xbox 360 Review

Things in Dead Rising 2 didn’t really work out too well for Chuck Greene. Even with the best possible ending he’s still a wanted man, his daughter is still infected, and new found friends were gunned down in front of him. All is not lost though, at least not for us Xbox 360 owners, as Chuck Greene returns to get to the bottom of things, and this time he’s brought a friend with him. Yes people, Frank West, star of the original Dead Rising, is back to kick some zombie butt and help Chuck get to the bottom of things.

The story continues with Chuck and Frank teaming up and following one of Franks leads to a nearby Phenotrans facility. It turns out that the makers of Zombrex might be involved in the recent outbreaks in Las Vegas and Fortune City, and Frank wants that story. Chuck only cares about clearing his name though, but where else has he got to go, so with hopes of finding proof of Phenotrans involvement may prove his innocence he tags along for the ride. Before long they find themselves face to face with a bunch of zombies, which wouldn’t be too much of a problem for these two, if it weren’t for all the Phenotrans employees they have to fight too.

So, as to be expected we get a new location, new story, and some new bad guys to take down, but everything else is the same, right? Wrong, Dead Rising 2 may have had a co-op mode, but that was an optional extra, in Case West it’s all co-op, whether you like it or not. Well it had to be, didn’t it? They couldn’t bring back Frank West and then make him unplayable. Player one is always Chuck and player 2 is always Frank, so if you want to play as Frank you have to join someone else’s game. Sadly there is no local multiplayer though, which would have been nice, but it’s got to be better than just playing as an unexplained clone of Chuck.

You may want to play alone though, maybe you have no friends on Xbox Live, maybe your ISP has thrown a wobbly, or maybe you just can’t stand bratty Americans shouting in your ears. Never fear though, Frank is (still) here, yes, the computer takes over the job of controlling Mr West, and an admirable job it does of it too. He sticks pretty close to you at all times, and dishes out plenty of damage to any zombies or Phenotrans cronies who come near, but that’s not the best bit. The best bit is, that under computer control, Frank West is indestructible, so when you’re getting over run by a zombie horde and your health is running low and there’s no food to be seen you can just back off and let Frank take the worst of it.

Doesn’t that make things easier? Yes, of course it does, and there’s bugger all you can do about it, aside from find a really crap player on Xbox Live. Personally I liked it, it was good to have some back up, and although indestructible he isn’t unstoppable, so it doesn’t make it that much easier. Some people may not like this though, and if so then they aren’t going to like another alteration they’ve made either.

Ever find it annoying having to escort all those survivors back to the safe house? Well good news, now you don’t have to, the survivors in Case West are a lot more capable then their counterparts in previous games, just complete a little task for them and they’ll find their own way to safety. Again some people aren’t going to like this, have they dumbed the game down? Not really, these are good alterations in my opinion, although Case West is a little on the short side to be showcasing these changes.

Apart from the main story missions, of which there are only three, and the handful of survivors that need your help, there’s not a lot else to do apart from slaughter as many zombies and bad guys as you can. They really should have padded the game out a bit, thrown in some psychos, to give what survivors there are more of a mission to complete before they leave for safety; something to do other than just kill zombies. And with this shortcoming the price on it feels like a bit of a sting too. It’s twice the price of Case Zero, and gives you less to do, so it’s not great value for money either.

But if, like me, you adore all things Dead Rising then you can overlook this shortfall, and love it for what it is: a nice little extra that Capcom didn’t have to make, but did anyway, for the fans. Plus, it’s got Frank West, probably one of the manliest men ever in gaming, you can’t complain about that, and that extra little bit of story it gives you is priceless. I won’t spoil anything for anyone, but it feels to me like it’s all going a bit Resident Evil. Make of that what you will, but I think they’ve set the scene for Dead Rising 3 nicely.

8 out of 10