The more things change, the more they stay the same. This is true for the Dead Rising series and the town of Willamette, Colorado — the setting for the first entry in the series, and the latest, which also sees the return of original protagonist Frank West.
In despite of the best efforts of all involved to avoid the sins of their past, the trio are somehow doomed to repeat them. In Willamette — the unluckiest town in America™ — despite an assortment of panic rooms and zombie-proof bunkers, still crumbles under the zombie assault. Frank West, the photojournalist lucky enough to survive the first attack and escape a zombie-filled life apart from the occasional appearance in downloadable content, is pulled out of his life as a discredited evening class photography instructor and back into the fray with the hope that this time, this time, he might finally snatch his Pulitzer. He’s leaner now; he’s got a new voice actor and with his chiselled lines you can almost forget the pudgy hero of the first outbreak.
Frank remains an almost master-level jackass, refusing to help transport wounded survivors because ‘he’s got things to do’, while clad in a ‘I survived Willamette 2006’ t-shirt, or perhaps the Street Fighter II Christmas jumper that I found in a Capcom fan-shop in game. Dead Rising is rarely taking itself seriously, and it’s those moments when the game shines brightest.It’s a funny game. It’s impossible to take the act of stomping through the hordes of zombies seriously, and in presenting a universe of sheer ridiculousness, it often succeeds in being compelling for as long as you can find that fun.