Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition has taken its sweet time to make its way to PC but it’s finally shambled over. The bottom line when it comes to Dead Rising 3 is that this is zombie-crushing on an unprecedented scale. It’s brainless arcade fun that will consistently have you gawping at your screen in wide-eyed wonder. The sheer ridiculous excessiveness of it all is refreshing. It’s good to have you back Dead Rising.
In Dead Rising 3 the city of Los Perdidos has gotten itself a bit of a zombie problem. Thousands upon thousands of decomposing folk have flooded every square each of the city, and it's basically down to you to decapitate, zap, V8-powered jet punch, and steamroller them into oblivion, using a combination of literally hundreds of items you can pick up and combine to your heart’s - slightly twisted - content.
Taking on the role of resident mechanic Nick Ramos, you find yourself trapped in the city of Los Perdidos with little evidence of a way out. You and a few other survivors littered about are tasked with finding a way out before the good ol’ US of A government deems it necessary to drop a nuclear bomb on your face. As with the previous Dead Rising titles there’s a time limit to make good your escape, but the five day limit is the most generous we’ve seen for the series yet, giving you ample time to take in the sights, sounds, and littered entrails of Los Perdidos.
Roaming the city is a joyful experience, not least because of the myriad toys and weapons at your disposal. Ranging from sledgehammers, to surgeon saws, teddy bears, and even bin bags, these base weapons can be combined to create some absolutely ludicrous tools of war. Combine a parasol with a dragon head and you’ve got yourself a Mecha Dragon. Grab a sledgehammer and a cement saw and you can piece together a brutal automatic sledge saw. They’re just the tip of the iceberg though, and some of the more absurd creations will have even the most miserable fart cracking a grin as they mow through swathes of the undead.
Nick’s a mechanic though, so if you want to ramp things up even further you can also combine vehicles to ridiculous effect. Forging a bulldozer and an ambulance together to create a ShockDozer. Or a Party Van and a Street Cleaner to make a Party Slapper. The kill count when these beauties are rolled out goes through the roof. To make things even better a friend can be brought in for online co-op play, where the potential for total and utter madness becomes absolute. Anyway, you get the gist of the insanity Dead Rising 3 offers, and if that sounds up your street then there’s enough fun to be messing around here to justify a purchase on its own.
The city of Los Perdidos is an open world and, while quite a bit smaller than many open worlds we’ve become used to, it’s certainly packed with a lot of content and actual interesting things to see and do, a rare thing indeed in a Ubisoft-dominated empty-sandbox world. Many of the buildings can be entered and there’s not a loading screen in sight, with many locations containing unique items and weaponry. While roaming it’s clear that Capcom has designed a game that is all about having pure, unadulterated, fun. Whether you’re gunning down zombies wearing a tutu and high heels or steamrollering zombies in a banana hammock, you’ll always be having fun.
Progress is all about completing the main story missions, although there’s a host of side missions which can unlock unique content and grants you experience. This can in turn be spent on upgrading Nick’s abilities, while books can be found for special effects and skills can be gained. The main storyline is itself pretty dark, as you'd expect from a zombie-filled adventure, but it's tonally a contrast to the actual gameplay. It's kind of amusing but some of the drama is lost after a friend is unceremoniously devoured, only for the camera to zoom out and reveal Nick wearing a shark outfit and holding a giant toy bear.
Dead Rising 3 is a straightforward idea with usually insane results. Thrust into one of the bloodiest and most chaotic toyboxes we've ever seen, everything here seems finely tuned to tunnel straight into what I call the 'fun zone', where the act of just messing around this open world is a whole lot more fun than the gamification behind it. The missions are a means to an end, and that end is zombie bashing in the extreme. Hours upon hours can be spent collecting and seeing everything there is to do which, combined with the additional included DLC campaigns, adds up to an absolutely mammoth and engrossing experience.
GD Machine 2014 Performance
Dead Rising 3 runs pretty solidly throughout on the GD Machine 2014, despite the absolutely mammoth system requirements. On high settings it rarely dips below 30 FPS with a GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB, an Intel i5 4670K, and 8GB of RAM. Capcom’s decision to cap Dead Rising 3 at 30 FPS seems a poor though, and looks like a bit of a cop out for any performance troubles people may have had. It would have been nice at least for an option in the menu to uncap the frame rate rather than the hassle of creating an ini file for custom settings.
One thing I do have to say is that the mouse and keyboard controls were awkward, and the mouse movement and acceleration in particular felt a little off. It didn’t take long for me to decide plugging in my DualShock 4 was the better option here; Capcom clearly designed Dead Rising 3 from the ground up for traditional gamepads.