Connect with us
Advertisement

Features

The Wordcast: Whatever happened to Dead Rising?

The Wordcast. It’s like a podcast, but it’s written down, and you read it with your eyes. This week, Callum and Tom discuss the Dead Rising franchise.

Published

on

Whatever happened to Dead Rising
Capcom / Thumbsticks

The Wordcast. It’s like a podcast, but it’s written down, and you read it with your eyes. This week, Callum and Tom discuss the Dead Rising franchise.

Callum: Decided I’d play Dead Rising 2 recently, then kind of got back into the franchise. Then got super interested in why the series lost its way. I spent like a whole week doing loads of research on it.

Tom: OK, straight into it! And what conclusions did you draw on Dead Rising’s failings?

Callum: That it was a franchise that grew at a time when zombie games were both too self-serious and similar, by offering a light-hearted and surprisingly challenging alternative. Like the time mechanics are surprisingly deep and you can play it just messing around or trying to really engage with the story and side-quests.

Tom: Sure.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Callum: But then as the franchise got bigger, the studio misunderstood why it got so popular and opted for more zombies and less complexity, rather than trying to enhance the original formula. It ironically became the type of zombie game that it was trying not to be. It’s a pure example of why streamlining games isn’t always the best idea. As someone who actually loves the first two games (I don’t count that weird reskin of Dead Rising 2 where you play Frank instead of Chuck), the later games completely lost the heart of the franchise and opted for bigger rather than better.

But then I found out Capcom shifted the team around loads before Dead Rising 4, which is why that game was completely different. There seemed to be a lot of attempts to make it more accessible, which I actually commend, but it feels wrong for such a cult series.

Like, sure, crank the difficulty down, but why remove the timer, the survivor missions and eventually even the crazy bosses? You’re just changing the whole franchise at that point.

Sorry, it turns out I’m surprisingly passionate about Dead Rising!

Tom: I get what you’re saying about the timer, definitely. Like fine, offer a mode without a timer for people who don’t want the added stress, but that was what made it interesting in the first place

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

I really love the idea that you could just hide in a fucking cupboard for the entire game. That, to me, is brilliantly subversive in the world of video game power fantasies, because it’s exactly what we would all do in a real-life zombie outbreak.

Do you know what it reminds me of? Nic Cage movie The Rock. No matter what happens, those jets are coming to destroy Alcatraz at that specific time. If Cage defeats the baddies and prevents it all, then good for him, but also, if he just got in a rowing boat and pissed off to sea it still would’ve ended the same. See also: Indiana Jones not impacting the outcome of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Callum, laughing: That’s a great link to be fair. Everything’s getting bombed so do as much as you can and get out of there.

Then you just cut to people running around in their underwear with lightsabers and you realise there’s no hope for this world. I could see Nick Cage doing that in a movie these days, though.

Tom: Nic Cage as Frank West? I could see that.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Callum: He’s got that “I’ve covered wars” look.

Tom: Though in years gone by, it totally would’ve been Reservoir Dogs-era Michael Madsen.

Callum: Michael Madsen has the most iconic voice of all time, I would kill to see him as Frank. Wait, didn’t they make a terrible movie adaptation?

Tom: Oh god they did, didn’t they? With that kid from John Tucker Must Die, stereotypical high school quarterback in every role he ever played kid.

I’d completely forgotten that movie even existed!

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Shit, I just looked it up, they made more than one of them!

Callum: Yeah, the game’s director made an awful movie. And then America took their own swing at it.

They cast Frank as one of the least funny human beings in the world. As soon as you see the actor, you’ll know what I mean.

Tom: Oh, no way! It’s Rob Riggle! I had always assumed that what’s his name, quarterback kid, Jesse Metcalfe was just playing a weirdly young Frank?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Callum: I always assumed John Tucker was Frank, too, until I looked it up recently. What bad casting. Hasn’t it got a super cliche name too, like Watchtower or something similar?

Tom: IMDB tells me there’s two, Watchtower and Endgame. Both extremely generic titles. But hey, at least – based on the precis, I’ve not seen the movie – Watchtower retains the timer element somewhat:

“Chase and Jordan cover the government’s efforts to contain a virus that turns people into zombies. When a new drug fails to stop the spread of the disease, they team up with two survivors to escape the town before it is firebombed.”

More than we can say for the latter sequels.

Callum: It’s the full Dead Rising experience, except you have absolutely no control over the events. Still more authentic than Dead Rising 4, though.


More from Thumbsticks

This wasn't written by any one individual. This was written by the Thumbsticks hive mind. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. (Or, if you prefer, this article was written by or features contributions from multiple members of the team, not just one individual writer.)

Advertisement

Latest from Thumbsticks

Please, Touch the Artwork Please, Touch the Artwork
News6 hours ago

This Mondrian-inspired puzzle game wants you to Please, Touch the Artwork

Please, Touch the Artwork, a Mondrian-inspired painting poking puzzle game from Studio Waterzooi, looks like an abstract treat.

Respawn new Star Wars games Respawn new Star Wars games
News8 hours ago

EA: Working on 3 new Star Wars games, Respawn is

A strategy game, a first-person shooter, and a sequel to Jedi: Fallen Order are in the works at Respawn Entertainment.

Apex Legends logo Apex Legends logo
News13 hours ago

Apex Legends anniversary giveaways announced

To celebrate the third anniversary of Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment is giving away three characters next month.

Halo Infinite - Master Chief - Xbox Halo Infinite - Master Chief - Xbox
News1 day ago

Save up to 90% in five new Xbox digital game sales

This week's Xbox digital game discounts include Halo Infinite, Gears 5, and It Takes Two.

Nintendo Switch Online Nintendo Switch Online
Guides1 day ago

Which Switch games can you play online without a Nintendo Switch Online subscription?

Looking for some free fun on your Nintendo Switch, but don't want to subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online? We've got...

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Nintendo Switch Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Nintendo Switch
News2 days ago

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic gets cool cheat modes on Switch

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic on Nintendo Switch has received a much-needed patch and some fun cheat options.

New PlayStation Store releases - PS4 - PS5 New PlayStation Store releases - PS4 - PS5
News3 days ago

New PlayStation Store releases: January 24-28, 2022

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection headlines this week's lineup of new PlayStation Store releases.

New Nintendo Switch eShop releases New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
News4 days ago

New Nintendo Switch releases: January 24-29, 2022

Pokémon Legends Arceus and The Artful Escape are among this week’s new Nintendo Switch eShop releases.

Advertisement