Microsoft was out in full force at Comic-Con 2013 with a large show floor demo area, a special Xbox-dedicated gamer lounge, and hands-on and hands-off demos for the press. We had a chance to watch a behind-closed-doors demo of Dead Rising 3 which, despite being the exact same demo from E3 2013, revealed some interesting things about the game.
While a lot of the proper gameplay elements (combining weapons, leveling the character, some basic story and world elements) were covered in our first preview of the game, there were a few details that slipped through the cracks. Not because they weren’t important, but because it was better to give readers a solid sense of Capcom‘s new direction for this game, rather than talk about a few finer details.
For example, we are happy to report that the absurd humor of Dead Rising is well represented in this third iteration. Yes, the Xbox One on-stage demo established a much more serious tone, which the high fidelity graphics help reinforce, this is still a Dead Rising game through and through.
Two of the better examples that fans of the first two games will involve goofy costumes and cone heads (in the literal sense). Players can still mix and match any variety of costumes in the game, from the more practical hazmat suit to the ultra goofy shark mascot outfit. Nothing, at least to me, hinted that Dead Rising 3 is still the Dead Rising that fans know and love more than watching new protagonist blow up zombies wearing an exaggerated shark outfit.
As well, the Dead Rising 3 demo also included a moment where Nick grabbed a cone (one of many items strewn about the game’s open world) and slammed it onto the top of a zombie’s head. It was a very simple action, but one that speaks to the game’s sense of humor.
At the same time, the developers demoing the game wanted to make it clear that the game can be played either as a very serious zombie survival title, or as a tongue-in-cheek satire/parody. Ultimately, it will be the players who determine what type of Dead Rising experience they want to craft for themselves, but Capcom has provided tools for either approach.
Capcom wouldn’t speak about the story or cut scenes, so we can’t say whether the tone of the narrative will reflect a serious or a humorous tone. An easy indicator of that tone would be the psychos, which Capcom has hinted are in the game, but this first demo was focused on the open world gameplay, the improved graphics engine, and weapon customization.
Weapon customization has been the bread and butter of the Dead Rising franchise and that doesn’t change with Dead Rising 3. Players will be able to create some very powerful weapons over the course of the game’s campaign, including a shotgun that shoots grenades and a flaming sword.
What makes the weapon customization in Dead Rising 3 unique is that players can craft anywhere. Anytime Nick picks up an item, he can instantly craft it onto another weapon and object in the traditional Dead Rising fashion. The only difference this time around is that players must first find blueprints of the weapon, then collect the required items before they can craft the weapon.
Overall, what was on display at Comic-Con, while basically the same demo as the one at E3 2013, was enough to bring Dead Rising 3 back to a firm middle ground, if nothing else. The game still has a decidedly more mature look and combat style, but there are some elements that are sure to make fans happy. We’ll have to wait until the game’s launch — day and date with the Xbox One — to find out how gamers will respond to it.
What did you make of Dead Rising 3 after the E3 demo? Do you think the sense of humor and silly mechanics are as integral to the franchise as zombies?
Dead Rising 3 launches alongside the Xbox One this November.
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