Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One)

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Sunday, January 26, 2014

I was pretty excited when I finally made the decision to purchase a Day One edition of the Xbox One. After mulling over what game(s) I would end up getting with it, I settled on Dead Rising 3 as my first choice (as well as Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome). I remembered playing Dead Rising 1 (I honestly can’t remember if I ever played 2) on the Xbox 360, but I was never really sold on it. Running around a big world indiscriminately killing everything is certainly fun, but there was always something that felt lacking to me. So, despite how great Dead Rising 3 looked, I felt very reserved on buying it.

After sitting down with it for a few days, I could safely say I enjoyed it, but wasn’t blown away by it. It wasn’t until about a week ago, when I convinced my friend who had just purchased an Xbox One to make Dead Rising 3 his first purchase, that I really realized just how fun Dead Rising 3 could be.

Before putting the game down a few days after launch, I’d leveled my character up to about 17 (of 50), so jumping back into the world of Los Perdidos, California wasn’t too difficult. After playing for a few hours, getting reacquainted with the controls and story, it was time to truly delve into the world Capcom had created Dead Rising 3.

Dead Rising 3 is set ten years after the events of Fortune City in Dead Rising 2. Soon you’re introduced to your character – Nick Ramos – a young mechanic with a mysterious “12” tattoo on the side of his neck. You’re very unsure of yourself and tend to be obnoxiously eager to please anyone who asks you for a favor. After the zombie outbreak takes over Los Perdidos, you’re tasked with trying to escape the city by any means necessary.


In 2017 the government starts requiring all infected citizens to have Zombrex chips implanted. This chip would work as both a medicine dispenser as well as GPS tracker. Naturally, because of the GPS requirement most people refused to get them. After a few zombies manage to break containment, Los Perdidos becomes overwhelmed. As Nick and his merry band of misfits attempt to escape the city, they discover the government had bombed all entrances and exits, trapping them within the confines of the city. The government also plans to firebomb the entire city in roughly six days time, so it’s imperative that they’re able to find a way to leave the city before it’s completely leveled.

Like the other two Dead Rising games, the game does run on an internal clock. All missions have a time limit and if you fail to pass them before the time limit expires you’re forced to re-play the chapter at a later date to complete them. For the most part you’re given more than enough time to complete them and it really only becomes frustrating when finding collectables, as some of the collectables are in buildings that are only accessible while completing a side-quest.

While the story for Dead Rising 3 isn’t anything too exceptional, what really makes DR3 so special is its content depth. You can pick up pretty much any item in the world of Los Perdidos (which can fit the worlds of DR1 and DR2 inside it with some room to spare) and use it as a weapon. As you explore the world, the amount of depth to the world is a bit staggering. Pretty much every building is open for exploration and filled with new items that you can hoard and combine into new weapons and perks. You can walk into a clothing store, change your outfit and then pick up the cash register and bash a few zombies’ brains in before picking up a mannequin and doing the same thing.


Throughout the world you’ll find over one hundred weapons blue prints that give you tons of unique and crazy weapons to use in your zombie killing missions. You’ll find everything from grenade launchers to fire swords, acid rain guns, axe throwing devices, dildo-shooting machines and crossbows with exploding darts. The possibilities are nearly endless.

By combining items to make these fantastic combo weapons, you’ll also be doing yourself a favor in terms of leveling up quickly, which in turn makes the game drastically easier. Like most games, upgrades come in the same general categories: health, weapon skills, XP % gain, melee. Dead Rising 3 fits that mold pretty easily, with each skill tree requiring a rising number of attribute points to fill. For example, to gain perk one of the health skill tree you’re required to use one upgrade point; for perk 2: two attribute points; 3 for three and so on. The final upgradable spot in each category is reserved until you hit level 50. Luckily for you at various level intervals the number of attribute points you acquire from leveling up are increased to 2, 3 and 4. While your level may be capped at 50, you’re still able to gain more attribute points once you’ve maxed out your character. These upgrades can be applied to various skill points that allow for a good portion of your combo weapons to be made from generic, easy to find items out in the world.


While the graphics are decent (Dead Rising 3 runs at an upscaled 720p resolution), what will have you truly feel amazed by what next generation games will have to offer is looking down a crowded street of hundreds of rendered zombies, moving uniquely and with tons of different looks and movements all going simultaneously. At the time of writing this review, my zombie kill counter has been paused at something like 63,500. Despite the carnage, I never felt I was killing the exact same zombie that many times. Thanks to all of the crazy ways you’re able to de-zombify the town, it should continue to feel fresh. The majority of the zombies are pretty easy to kill, even when in big groups, but you’ll learn quick that you can in fact be over run. Football player zombies will tackle and hit you, firefighters will hit you with axes and cops and military personnel will shoot you. If you’re looking for even more fun (and hilarious) challenges, each chapter has a “Psycho” boss side mission that you can compete. Whether you’re fighting an old martial artist, a fat woman in a roller scooter at a buffet or a buff yoga instructor (and several others), these Psycho bosses add a fun and challenging change of pace from the typical zombie slaying you’ll be doing.

I’d be remised in my review to not include some of the cars you’re able to drive while slaying the undead. While the cars that are found scattered around the map are pretty generic (mostly vans, motorcycles and sedans), what they can be combined to create are amazing. My favorite – the roller hawg – features a steam roller combined with a motorcycle. The result is just fantastic. Quickly accelerate up and down the streets with easy, crushing all zombies in your path. If that’s not quite enticing enough, the Roller Hawg also comes equipped with duel-flame throwers at the end (pictured below).


While I maxed out my character pretty early on in the story, players who didn’t will be happy to know that your character carries over to all play throughs of the game, except for the new episodic DLC. All of my collectables kills etc are readily available to me whether I’m playing single player story, co-op, online or Nightmare mode (New Game+).

One of the best things about Dead Rising 3 is that it’s not trying to take itself too seriously. I mean, it’s always great to see my character trying to be overly dramatic during a cut scene while he’s wearing a tuxedo and a shark head from a mascot costume. Capcom knows what their fans wanted and delivered a fantastic game and one I will be playing for many more weeks. If you’re into killing zombies, having a blast playing a game co-op with your friends then I can’t recommend Dead Rising 3 enough. Capcom did a fantastic job with creating an engaging world filled with multiple days worth of content to keep your play throughs fun, fresh and bloody.


The Good

+ Zombie killing has never been more fun.

+ Hundreds of zombies rendered on screen at once is fantastic.

+ Weapon variations are incredible.

+ Co-op is an absolute blast.

+ No in-game loading screens required.

+ Forgiving combo counter.

+ Great graphics.

The Bad

- Occasional game crashes.

- The real-world clock can be obnoxious.

- Why can't we free roam once we've beaten the game?

- Lack of frequent auto-saving.

- SmartGlass integration doesn't really add much to the experience.


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