Dead Rising 2: Case West

Dead Rising 2: Case West is a sucker punch to the gut and a spit in the face to Dead Rising fans.

By CallMeLuke, Posted 02 Jan 2011

Dead Rising 2 arrives in an era that benefits it more than its predecessor. Now that downloadable content is all the rage, Capcom can further expound on their games' stories by releasing DLC for them. They released a prologue to Dead Rising 2 titled Case Zero that gave gamers a taste of what's to come. They've followed the release of Dead Rising 2 with Case West, an epilogue that unfortunately will only leave a bad taste in gamers' mouths.

Case West takes off immediately after one of Dead Rising 2's multiple endings. Protagonist Chuck Green is in trouble and is rescued by Frank West, the hero of the earlier Dead Rising. Immediately, they both are wary of one another. Frank still believes that Chuck was responsible for the outbreak at Fortune City, but offers him to come along to investigate a Phenotrans facility in search of evidence that might clear his name. Chuck thinks Frank is only after a scoop, but Frank tells there's a lot more to it than that. Both Frank and Chuck will need to work together to further uncover the truth about the massive conspiracy behind the infection.

Dead Rising 2 Case West Review

Dead Rising 2: Case West begins to disappoint almost immediately. The setting is to blame for this. Instead of taking place somewhere open like a mall, or the small town of Still Creek in Case Zero, Case West is set in an enclosed facility. Gone are the novelty shops, colorful displays, and pretty much any fun and lively decor. The warehouses are boring and the research labs are sterile, making the game take itself a bit too seriously.

Gamers who have played through Dead Rising 2 should already be used to armed guards, but it's a bit discouraging to encounter them already at the very beginning of the game. Having pot shots taken at you while you're trying to cut a swath through a horde of zombies is annoying, and it's just not a good way to start out the game. There's also two other kinds of human enemies: the electric prod wielding zombie handlers, and the brutish hazard units that take just as much of a severe pounding as they dish out. Although Case Zero only had one psychopath to speak of, Case West doesn't even have any. The end boss is completely devoid of character and ridiculously overpowered, making for a frustrating and drawn out battle.

Even the zombie slaying isn't as satisfying as the main game of Dead Rising 2. There are a few new weapons and seven new combo weapons to make in Cast West, but many of the earlier combinations haven't returned. For instance, the nails that made the Spiked Bat and the fire axe that combined with the sledge hammer to make the Defiler have been removed. You may get a kick out of killing zombies with your new fangled Laser Gun or watching them die slowly from your Syringe Gun, but you'll eventually start pining for your old combo weapons again.

At least you don't have to worry about protecting Frank West. He's impervious to damage, meaning you can leave him fighting in the middle of a crowd of zombies, throw a propane tank in the middle of the melee and blow them up, leaving Frank covered in blood but unharmed. You can give him weapons to use, and he's pretty competent about defending himself, and he'll even come to your aid when fighting human enemies. He's also imperative in the game's only boss fight by keeping him occupied while you attack. The only thing about Frank West is his cheesy glasses simply don't fit his personality, having him try too hard to be a bad ass.

Dead Rising 2 Case West Review

If you hated escorting survivors back to safe houses, even though it was much easier to do in Case Zero and Dead Rising 2, you'll be happy to know that you don't escort them at all in Case West. When you come across one (you won't be notified of them needing help, so you'll have to search for them all), all you have to do is talk to them and fulfill any requests they need, and they take off on their own. All of the survivors are lab coat wearing clones all blurring together, making every survivor mission completely forgettable.

Case West continues to use the previous games' timed mission structure, but you won't have to worry about any distractions like trying to find Zombrex. The game also interestingly starts you at level 40. Many of the special moves are already locked, but your health and inventory slots will need to be reacquired as you level up to the game's level 50 cap. Unfortunately, Capcom chose not to use Dead Rising 2 save files, so you won't get a jump start like you did if you started Dead Rising 2 with a Case Zero save file.

Graphically, it still uses Dead Rising 2's outdated graphics engine. It's not an ugly game by any means, but it just doesn't have that high level of polish 360 games have seen in the past couple of years. The character models are decent, but not perfect, and the textures are pretty much the same quality. The special effects are still pretty cool, with nice explosions and of course wonderful gore. Blood splattering, dismemberments and decapitations are something that the Dead Rising franchise does rather well, and now you can get Frank covered in blood just as much as Chuck. Unfortunately, Case West shares the occasional frame dips like Dead Rising 2 did.

Dead Rising 2 Case West Review

Case West sounds exactly like Dead Rising 2. Every sound effect is the same from the bashing of wrenches into zombies' skulls to saws tearing zombies in two. The game still has that unnerving feel of zombies moaning and snarling at you as you're running past them. The soundtrack for the most part is also the same as the previous games. The voice acting performances of Chuck Greene and Frank West are both pretty good, but Chuck manages to be a little better. Unfortunately, the real gems of Dead Rising voice acting come from the psychopaths, and since there are none to speak of in Case West, you won't be able to enjoy any of those.

Dead Rising 2: Case West is a letdown an all fronts. A lot of the fun has been sapped from the game thanks to the elimination of many key elements that made the previous two games so enjoyable. Case West is also the same two and a half hours in length as Case Zero, but it costs twice as much and robs you of an escape sequence. The story is also told very poorly, telling you very little that you didn't already know. There is co-op, so if you want to play through it again with a friend, you might find more value in the game, but single player gamers will definitely feel burned paying the full 10 bucks for a shallow epilogue. Case West is a 360 exclusive, but PS3 owners definitely aren't missing anything.

Lucas Stephens, Noobfeed

comments powered by Disqus

  • You make plenty of good points!! :) Great Job!

    Posted Jan 13, 2011

  • Sounds like a dissapointing sequal.

    Posted Jan 18, 2011
  • Sadface.
    Posted Jan 31, 2011


General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360
Publisher(s): Capcom
Developer(s): Blue Castle Games
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Horror
Release Date: 2010-12-27

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