Frank West is back for another zombie caper in Dead Rising 4 and IGN has released the first 33 minutes of the game, which reveals why the aging photojournalist is battling the undead once again.
Simply going by what Frank West has been though in the past, many would assume his days of exposing military secrets and eviscerating zombies while dressed as Mega Man were far behind him. We know that Dead Rising 4 brings Frank back to center stage as the game's main protagonist, but why would he return to this life? Find out in this short video released by IGN that highlights that very reason.
The short answer is that he has little choice. Without spoiling too much, we find that Frank West has indeed moved on, as any rational person would after what he's been through. He's teaching journalism and inspiring his students to be pretty much like him. This hubris comes to back to bite him in the tukhus when one of his students takes up the call to expose truths and wrangles Frank into infiltrating a government institution back in Willamette. For those who don't remember, or who have never played a Dead Rising game before, Willamette was the setting of the first game – the Willamette mall, to be exact. Needless to say, they find themselves in a bind that Frank gets the brunt of.
It's been revealed that Frank would be trekking back through the shops and food courts of the old Willamette mall for some time, but it wasn't clear how he got there or why he would want to return. The video makes it quite clear: he didn't have much of a choice.
The beginning of the video features a nice opening scene – which acts as a tutorial of sorts – that throws players right into the fray. Frank West is fighting off hordes of zombies while tracking down the ghost of his own ego. While the opening is eventually revealed to be a dream, it's a sufficient way a letting people know exactly what they're getting into: surreal, gratuitous mayhem.
The gameplay through the rest of the video shows off a few of the new features, as well as some updated mainstays from the series, such as photography; Frank's camera receives a few upgrades. One of the original mechanics, the time limit, has now been removed so players should feel less rushed. The MacGyver-esque weapons are still an important feature, of course. If you find some grenades and a sledgehammer, why not upgrade by combing them with duct tape? It makes perfect sense.
There will still be plenty of ridiculous getups for Frank to don. The game's season pass will include an infected Frank West getup, as well as some holiday-themed weapons – as the game takes place around Christmas – and a mini golf mode, which is inspired by a joke at the beginning of the game and is shown in the video above.
It should also be noted that it wasn't made clear whether the video was captured Xbox One or PC gameplay, but since the game is a timed-exclusive on those platforms it's easy to narrow the culprit down to one of them.
All in all, the game is still largely the same as it has always been. The goal is still to kill zombies en masse and with flair, while not taking anything that's happening too seriously. At its heart, Dead Rising 4 has always been more of a dark comedy than a serious zombie thriller. Those wanting to get a glimpse of what the forth entry into the series will offer should check out the video; it will give an adequate idea of what's in store. Anyone wanting to keep the game a surprise won't be spoiling anything significant with a gander.
Dead Rising 4 arrives on Xbox One and Windows PC on December 4, 2016.