#FrankIsBack indeed. Microsoft officially revealed Dead Rising 4 Monday with a hilarious trailer during their E3 2016 press conference.
And yes, the trailer is every bit as insane as it makes the game out to be.
With 10 minutes to spare in the demo I played at Capcom’s E3 booth, I was given one simple objective: kill as many zombies as I could with insane weapons.
Within a minute of the demo, I could tell Dead Rising 4 isn’t much different from its predecessors, especially Dead Rising 3, but it’s far from a bad thing. You will spend much of your time clearing scores of zombies with the most ludicrous arsenal. I mainly used a crossbow with projectiles that shot firework rounds, which would then explode with a sizable blast radius, but I had other items such as a huge ax with electrifying results — literally — and a traditional Molotov cocktail.
Switching weapons is now a breezier process. Instead of having a limited inventory space and switching through each weapon one at a time, there are now three categories of weaponry used via three buttons: melee, shooting and throwing items. Pressing X will swing whichever melee weapon you have equipped; right trigger will shoot projectiles such as rifles, or the bow I used — though the left trigger can still be used to bring up a targeting reticle and shoot the traditional way; and throw-able items like a plunger with explosives strapped around it are tossed into crowds with the left bumper.
Each weapon type can host up to eight objects, meaning Frank’s maximum inventory can reach up to 24 items once the player has leveled up enough. While I never found switching weapons to be a nuisance in Dead Rising, this implementation certainly makes things more streamlined in combat.
I drove one vehicle, a dune buggy of sorts with, basically, military weaponry mounted on the top. It had machine guns and missile launchers that easily destroyed clusters of zombies. The most interesting component of this over-the-top vehicle was the machine gun that fired its rounds while spinning 360 degrees.
I also discovered the exo suit — clearly used by yet another new pernicious military branch — featured in the trailer, and while I couldn’t find abilities other than punching zombies, it was still a knockout item. While it is powerful, it can only be used for a limited time. The lights on the suit indicate its power level, and mine started running low within a mere few minutes, though I’m positive it can be upgraded to some capacity in the final game.
The photography elements found in the original game also make a return. Using Frank’s camera, players can attempt to capture insane pictures to gain extra experience points, or PP.
Outside the demo, an Xbox representative shared further details about the game. The story takes place 16 years after the events from the first game. Like Dead Rising 3’s aptly named Super Ultra Dead Rising 3′ Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX + α content, Dead Rising 4 will feature four-player co-op, but it will also feature a separate story from the single-player component. The rep couldn’t comment on whether or not the co-op would be lengthier than solo play, but it’s nice to see it will be available from the start rather than via extra content.
Dead Rising 4 is exactly what I expected: the kind of dumb fun and zaniness you would find in a B-movie. Fans of the series will feel right at home at Willamette Mall and beyond when the game releases on Dec. 6, and those looking for a simply entertaining title — despite it being 42, 176th zombie game on the market — need to look no further than Dead Rising 4.
Robbie Key is the Nintendo editor for Analog Addiction, assistant news editor at The Daily Sentinel and former editor-in-chief of The Pine Log at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he is now an alumnus. Follow his “completely relevant” Twitter updates and view his LinkedIn profile.