Released: Dec 6, 2016
Today lets take a look at Dead Rising 4: Franks's Big Package. The graphics are phenomenal and the gameplay is the best in the series by far! The story takes place in Willamette sixteen years after the first outbreak in Dead Rising 1. You play as Frank West as he uncovers a new and improved zombie virus and finds out what happened to his former photojournalist student gone rogue. Instead of being limited to just a mall this time around, you now can now navigate around the rebuilt Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall and surrounding City, with about 70% of the buildings being open for you to walk into. The first thing you will notice if you have played the previous Dead Rising games is that the timer, counting down to the doomsday nuking of the city, is gone. Yes that might be a let down for some and some might be relieved by it, but the good news is 2 of the other game modes include a timer for the older fans of the series! The second difference you will notice from past games is the reworking of the item bar. Instead of having 10 or more items you can scroll through like the Minecraft games, you now have 3 different categories of items with a quick menu scroll wheel being brought up if you hold down up, left, or right on the D-Pad and holding down drops your current weapon. The 3 categories are throwing, melee, and ranged weapons. While some might be upset with this change, its actually more fluid and lets you carry more eventually. After you unlock them all you will be able to hold 8 of each category, bringing the total to 24 items you can carry! The old way of mixing food in the blender to make healing items with different effects is gone unfortunately and now anything from medkits to fruit, to pizza are now counted as healing items. Healing items are now stored on a medkit icon on the bottom left of the screen under the experience bar and can be used by simply pressing down on the D-Pad. You start out with 1 or 2 slots and eventually work your way up to 7 after upgrades. Although the game doesn't show you or allow to sort through them, healing does vary between items and the most healing received comes from medkits. Vehicles have way better physics nowadays including braking, acceleration, and the overall feel especially with how fast you're going impacting how you will be able to move through hordes of zombies. There are 55 new combos to be used in crafting once you find them scattered throughout the city. Some allow you to make some dangerous vehicles, add different elements to grenades, make crazy ridiculous looking melee weapons with all sorts of effect, or to make really overpowered ranged weapons such as the Ion Cannon that looks more at home in a Fallout game! As with every past Dead Rising, you can completely customize your clothes. This includes shoes, hats, glasses, shirts, jackets, pants, tattoos, and whole outfits. Nothing is funnier than wearing the funniest combination of clothes like a horse head and suit of armor and walking into a cutscene with it. The skill tree is huge this time around and lets you improve all aspects of gameplay including gun damage, ammo capacity, or the effectiveness and durability of your melee weapons. There are 107 different skills with 4 different categories such as Brawling, Fortitude, Shooting, and Survival.
There are a variety of game modes available, besides the main story game, that adds to the fun factor of this game! Multiplayer lets you go online and play 4 different episodes, which are about 30 mins each, with 3 other people and try to survive. You have a skill tree just like the story mode, with an added multiplayer category for you to put points into, and you can choose between 4 different characters each with their own specialty. Some areas or events in multiplayer have a time limit, such as getting to a place to stay the night and so on. Another mode called Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Gulf lets you play golf with 4 different characters wearing Exo-Suits that allow them to hit the ball very hard. This mode offers 7 zombie-plagued courses and lets you switch between 3 different golf clubs for different types of effects. Mini golf allows you to play in either Online Multiplayer, Local Multiplayer, or just yourself in Singleplayer. It is a fun minigame to kill some time or get away from the main game, but you might get bored after an hour or so. Frank Rising is a game mode where it lets you play as a Zombie and kill humans and zombies in a short side story game. I won't talk about this in detail as it will spoil the game for you. You play as a slightly more advanced Evo Zombie and can shoot venom, pounce on enemies, slash, and bite enemies to regain some health. A timer is included in this game mode as well as a skill tree to get different upgrades. Capcom Heroes is a mode that lets you play the main story while switching between numerous Capcom character costumes all with different powers and abilities. You still need food to survive like the normal story and you can't pick up or craft weapons to use, but you can find arcade machines throughout the game that lets you swap costumes. The costumes do eventually expire, leaving you as plain old Frank with just a pistol and randomly generated melee and thrown weapons, but you can put them back on an unlimited amount of times from the arcades. You can unlock new costumes or get hidden abilities for them by doing some of the side minigames located around the game. There are a total of 34 costumes you can find throughout the game all with their own powers and abilities such as Mega Man with his trusty blaster and fast dashing or Ryu from Street Fighter with his powerful kicks and his famous Hadouken fireball. This mode is this game's icing on the cake and one of the most fun things to do once you beat the main story once or even twice!
Whether you just like bashing zombie's brains in with DR4's multitude of weapons and getting the kill counter high enough to perform special combos for each weapon for hours or like searching every nook and cranny for every possible collectible, this game offers all kinds of content to keep you happy. PS4 users even got lucky enough to get all the DLC content for this game, built right into it and it didn't cost extra! If a co-op option for the Main Story mode was added like some of the previous games, this would have added to more fun gameplay. One complaint I did have though, that was kind of game breaking for me, was the number of crashes I have been getting. It seems to happen non-stop ever since I beat Frank Rising, regardless of the mode I play and what I was doing it. This will hopefully get addressed soon and will not affect my review of the game because this game is still a great game. Given all that, I urge you to pick up this game and give it a try and you can be the judge.