There was a moment in my brief time with Dead Rising 4 where I found myself standing in a crowded intersection of Willamette, Colorado, dressed head-to-toe in a chicken costume, holding an electrified battleaxe, trying to take a selfie set against the backdrop of a hundred zombified Coloradoans.
At this moment, I thought to myself, “This is the most Dead Rising thing I’ve ever seen.”
And I sincerely mean that. From everything I saw and played, Capcom Vancouver has tapped the vein of what makes Dead Rising its own refreshingly unique take on the zombie game, and is poised to deliver another shot in the arm when the next chapter of the series launches “holiday 2016.”
It’s a playground full of lifeless cannon fodder whose sole purpose is to be there, roaming and groaning and slowly shuffling toward me when I A) figure out that I can stick dynamite in a crossbow, and B) want to see what happens when I pull the trigger. It’s a chaos simulator and this time around, from the 15 minutes I spent turning zombies into puddles, it’s been cranked way the hell up.
Duct-taping things together to create grin-inducing and exceedingly nasty combo weapons has returned with an especially mean streak — wait until you adhere liquid nitrogen to a broadsword — but this time around, Capcom is ramping up the power-fantasy tools at your disposal, and making the actual world your toolbox.
For example, in Dead Rising 4 you’ll get your hands on an exoskeleton, which is essentially power armor. Though it’s got a limited battery life, wearing power armor basically turns you into an unstoppable man-version of The Hulk. Your punches turn zombies into ropes of crimson gore and pink mist. You can pull parking meters and street signs out of the ground, swinging them wildly with devastating effects. You send cars flying with a punch, kick, or simply ramming them. And best of all, your added strength let’s you hoist mega-weapons like an oversized chain gun or flamethrower.