The setting for Dead Rising 4 is in the fictional Colorado town of Willamette, which was also the scene of the original zombie outbreak in the original Dead Rising. Willamette has been rebuilt between then and now and has been given a festive makeover with a novelty Christmas theme. For some reason, this really got me into the Christmas spirit to the point I found myself singing along to the Christmas tunes.
As for gameplay, you'll find yourself largely doing the same things you were doing in the last game. Frank still has his camera, but this time around, it has been modified. Not only does it take normal photos, but you can also use it in two other modes which will help when investigating areas at certain parts of the game. You’ll even be able to turn the camera around and run around and take some selfies, if that’s something you’re into. Taking photos will also earn you additional XP, so it’s worth pulling your camera out and taking a photo of exciting or interesting moments.
In previous Dead Rising games, inventory space used to be at a premium, giving you limited room for food or weapons. This time around you now have separate slots for grenades, melee weapons, ranged weapons and healing items, each of which can be upgraded. And it wouldn’t be a Dead Rising game without the insane, over the top crafting system.
Now while it’s still present, the crafting system has been simplified. As you play through the story, you’ll come across “Blueprints” which allow you to craft random items together to make something crazy like an explosive sledgehammer by crafting together a sledgehammer and grenades or a crossbow that shoots fireworks, i’ll let you figure out what you need for that one. While some Blueprints are easy to come across, there are a lot that are very well hidden that most players will probably miss. These blueprints are the craziest one, so it’s worth looking exploring.
Something new to the series is the skill tree. As you play and level up, you’ll earn skill points. You can use these skill points to unlock items from the skill tree. These are pretty generic items, things like increased blunt weapon durability, increased overall health, increased damage with ranged weapons and so on.
Visually, Dead Rising 4 looks a lot like Dead Rising 3, with the amount of zombies on screen at any one time is also the same, which has always been pretty impressive. Now, while you’d think this would hinder the performance, to be honest, it seemed fine, nothing I noticed while playing. But as mentioned before, the music is the real star here. Those Christmas tunes felt fitting and really set the mood which made this game a lot of fun.
Something missing from Dead Rising 4 is story co-op. Though while this is missing this time around, there’s still an online multiplayer mode that puts you and 3 other friends in Dead Risings own version of horde mode. In this mode you’ll have safe rooms to buy items from, as well as challenges to complete.
I’ve always loved the Dead Rising series. I find myself having a lot of fun while playing, wanting to hunt down all those Blueprints to be able to craft that next crazy weapon to use and go on a zombie killing spree. Even if you’re new to the franchise, Dead Rising 4 is a perfect place to spend your Christmas taking out endless amounts of zombies.