Dead Rising 3 was originally released as an Xbox One exclusive, but now the PC version has shipped.  I picked it up on pre-order MONTHS ago for a really good price and it finally shipped yesterday.  I never played the Xbox One version, nor did I play Dead Rising 2.  However, I really enjoyed the original Dead Rising on Xbox (at least until the timed missions started).

The game comes in at 25GB download – and is only available digitally.  I purchased a Steam code.   My plan was to play this streamed to my Nvidia Shield Tablet.

Note: All videos were taken by streaming the game to Twitch via NVidia’s Shield Tablet.

The Dark Side

Let’s start off with the bad stuff before we get to the fun – and don’t get me wrong … there is a LOT of fun here.  Normally I would save the issues for the end, but I want everyone to know what they are getting into.

The load times are a bit long (I don’t have room on my SSD for it – I will try at some point to make room and move it) but that’s almost the norm these days.

System requirements on this game are pretty damn heavy if you want to go “balls to the walls” with graphics and effects.  Nvidia’s GeForce Experience told me flat out, I don’t have the system specs to run this game in “Optimal” settings and the game has no “auto config” mode to help you out.  you’ll have to experiment to find out what plays best.

The game still has issues; I experienced three or four crashes within a four hour time frame.  While this might be understandable on a day-one-with-no-day-one-patch title these days, the save system is rather unforgiving; with only major points of the game auto-saving.  Players must save for themselves using designated safe-zone areas and porta-potties sparsely available on the world map.  I lost a good 35 minutes of game play with one crash.  (Note: Capcom says a 1.4GB patch is imminent.)

Bugs WITHIN the game seem pretty minimal.  I didn’t find myself getting stuck in a wall or have zombies unexplainably floating through the air.  If the game is going to glitch?  You’re going to get booted out.

Finally, the first couple of story missions are a bit slow and may turn a lot of bloodthirsty killers off during the early part of the game.  Once you pass the “intro levels” getting you to the city, life gets a lot more fun.

 Basics of Play

You never forget your first steamroller
You never forget your first steamroller

The basics?  Borderlands  + GTA + endless hordes of zombies  = Dead Rising 3.  No, that’s not a bad thing; both Borderlands and GTA are fun games and who doesn’t like killing thousands (5000 to be precise) of zombies?  Sometimes with a steamroller?

The open world environment is here – taking place in a large infected town that has been quarantined.  You and some other survivors are stuck inside.  Staying alive and getting out is the destination but the real fun of this game is the journey.

There is a “main” story line which takes you through the story, gets NPCs with you, offers the cut scenes, etc.  Like all good modern open world games, there are ALWAYS side missions to perform as well.  This game rewards exploration and completion.  Perfect for me.

Unlike Borderlands, you don’t get attached to your inventory in Dead Rising.  As you use items, they break and disappear meaning that you’re almost always discarding and grabbing new weapons.  Like the other games in the franchise, they offer up a lot of environmentals as weapons; barricades, 2x4s, pipes, etc.

This is not a game where you will be wanting for something to kill.  There are 5000 zombies in this town and even after 4 hours of play, I’d only dispatched about 1200 of them – and that is using mass-killing devices like steamrollers (which you are penalized for).

You gain PP for killing; more for killing in inventive and dangerous ways – less for using a car or a steamroller.  Capcom wants you getting your hands dirty.  As you level up from these PP, you’ll get Attribute points that let you advance your player – similar to many games with skill trees.  You can expand your inventory slots, get new moves, increase your max health and DOZENS more skills and attributes.  It pays to be greedy and reckless.

You’ll also have a wide assortment of costumes and accessories to make the game your own.  At one time, I had a kung fu outfit adorned with a military hat with work boots and shades.  Check out the video below.

Yeah, I’ll explain that weird winged Dragon Head thing in a minute.

That’s really the basics.  Kill.  Find stuff. Kill more.  Oh and finish your quests in between time.

There is co-op multiplayer with drop in/drop out – but I haven’t gotten to try that out yet.

Advanced Play

Yeah, I know – it already sounds fun, right?  Well there are some really cool things for you to do in pursuit of killing zombies.

They call them combos.  Taking two or more weapons/items/vehicles and combining them to make something kick ass and cool.  To make these combos, you need blueprints to unlock them and tell you what you need to combine.  Nicely, Capcom placed all the items you need to make the item nearby the blueprints when you find them – so you immediately get to try it out.

There is some crazy stuff in here.  If you combine a Dragon Head dressing with a parasol, you get that wild killer headpiece you saw at the beginning of the first video.  Take a cement saw and a pipe and make a polearm with a rotating blade at the end.  With one blueprint, you make a deadly jack in the box that pops out and Freddy Kruegers all nearby zombies with knives (the music draws them in).  Even something simple like combining a flashlight with a handgun makes a great night time distance weapon.

You can do it with vehicles too.  Combine a sedan with a steamroller – and you have a zombie killing rolling fortress.

There are tons of things for the explorer to find; from side quests to new Safe Zones to “Frank” trophies hidden around the ope world.

You would think you would get just tired of mass killing zombies after a mere fifteen minutes, but the game is so well laid out that they keep the mundane task of mass-slaughter fun, fresh and interesting.

Health can be restored by eating and drinking various finadables; food, water, beer, whiskey, meat – plenty to find and eat.  As a bonus, Capcom threw is some consequences for drinking too much booze (you’ll get drunk) and eating spoiled food (you’ll power vomit like that episode of Family Guy with the ipecac).  Neither food or weaponry are scarce; but you often have to club through a dozen zombies to get to it.

There are NPCs to be found (mostly via the story mode) that will fight by your side.  As with most NPCs, they are dumber than a box of rocks.  You’ll need to give them weapons.  You’ll need to feed them.  Main quest characters won’t die – so you can let them fend for themselves mostly, but you’ll want them well armed to help you out.  Side quest characters can and will join you – but they will die if you don’t care and feed them.

There are survivors to rescue that come in the form of an NPC trapped somewhere that you can liberate by killing all zombies in the immediate area.  They may join you, but most of the time they scamper off on their own.

Final Words

Oh yes … this game is a lot of fun once you get past the lackluster intro levels, the crashes (hopefully fixed by the time you read this) and tuning your machine to match the brutal requirements of the game.  I can only imagine how much MORE fun this game will be co-op; I’m waiting for a couple of friends to jump in and buy the game (I don’t like playing with strangers).

All my videos here are real play videos; so if I look like I’m having fun to you – then you’ll probably really enjoy the game.  No timed missions, no protection missions (at least not yet).  Freedom and killing is the name of the game.

Drop me a line if you’re playing – maybe we’ll kill together.

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

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