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Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is a reinterpretation of Dead Rising 2 with a new Protagonist, small changes to the original story plus a new area in the city to explore and kill zombies. The story is pretty decent. You play as Frank West, a journalist caught in the middle of a zombie outbreak. The entire city is filled with zombies and a few survivors. It’s your duty to save those survivors as you try to find a solution for the zombie outbreak and try to solve the mystery behind it. The voice acting is done pretty well. While Chuck Greene was a more serious protagonist in Dead Rising 2, Frank West makes this game even more fun with his humour. The cut-scenes are also very well done to keep you engaged till the end of the story.

 

         

The main gameplay change from Dead Rising 2 is the ability to take photos. Prestige Points (PP) are awarded for the photos you take. Photos are classified as Horror, Drama, Brutal, Erotic, etc. The better your photo, the more PP you get. The more PP you get, the faster you level up. PP can also be gained by killing zombies using Combo weapons or by rescuing survivors.

As you play through the game you’ll find combo cards which are used to combine weapons. Combo cards are also awarded when Frank levels up. Combining weapons to create new ones is pretty much fun and satisfying. Combined weapons are more powerful, net you more PP and some weapons have awesome finishing moves that’ll make you combine those weapons again and again. Some weapons combinations are really innovative. And no matter how long you’ve played the game, you’ll still find new weapon combos.

Graphically, the game looks pretty average at most times. And in some instances, the graphics look pretty out-dated even for a sandbox game. There are also slight frame rate issues when playing co-op, which makes the game a bit tougher. It’s quite strange because these issues were not so prevalent on the original Dead Rising 2 and it even looked somewhat better graphically. The HUD is simple and pretty neat. Traversing the world would’ve been much easier with a mini map considering the game world is huge. The game makes up for this by letting you set waypoints and guides you to the destination.

One of the main issues with the game is the extremely long loading and saving times. Sometimes, it takes around 30 seconds to save the game, or to load when you’re moving from one area to another. Another big drawback in the game is that all the missions are timed. You are given a lot of side missions, but all the missions including the main missions are timed. Spend too much time killing zombies or on side missions and you won’t have time for the main missions. This is completely meaningless given the fact that there are a lot of side missions and a lot of zombies to kill. The side missions though, are huge in number but lack variety. There are only two types of side missions, one is ‘rescue a survivor’ and the other is a mini boss fight. The boss fights are pretty moderate and clumsy.

    

 

The game also provides a sandbox mode where there is no time limit. You can explore the entire city at your own pace and kill all the zombies you want. You’re given all the time to find the various secrets in the game and all the combo weapons. You are also provided with a few challenges that you can complete solo or in coop. Playing co-op with a friend makes the game a lot easier and makes the game more entertaining. Playing sandbox mode or helping a friend in co-op will give you a lot of money to be used in the story mode.
Conclusion:
If you like to go on a mad killing spree without a care in the world about anything, this is the game for you. If you haven’t played the original Dead Rising 2, then this game will surely surprise you with the huge content that it has. Plus it’s got a good story that keeps you engaged in between mad zombie killing sprees.
Score: 8/10
Positives
+ Great amount of content
+ Good story
+ Lots of weapons and innovative weapon combos
+ New Sandbox mode
+ Double the fun in co-op

Negatives
- Average Graphics
- Extremely long loading & saving times
- Not much improvement or change in gameplay from Dead Rising 2
- Timed story mode
- Clumsy boss fights