Changing the game: Downloadable content takes ‘Dead Rising 2’ to the next level

BY ANDREW BINDRIM | CONTRIBUTING WRITER

With video gaming becoming a more social experience over the last few years, games that are single-player based and don’t feature a multiplayer experience are finding it harder to make the sales they used to.

However, downloadable content (DLC) allows players to buy new feaures for existing games for whatever game system they use.

This feature has breathed new life into games by creating additional content that can be downloaded after the game’s initial release, increasing a games’ longevity.

“Dead Rising 2: Case Zero” is DLC for the upcoming title “Dead Rising 2,” which comes out Sept. 28.

The original “Dead Rising,” released in 2006, is a zombie horror game that places the player in a shopping mall and allows three game days to complete a list of objectives.

These objectives allow one to escape, killing thousands of zombies in the process.

Items like benches, guitars, shopping carts, chainsaws, teddy bears and even the mannequins in clothing stores can be used as weaponry.

“Dead Rising 2” follows the same overall formula, but takes place in the fictional setting of Fortune City, based on Las Vegas, Nev. Its story will center on character  Chuck Greene and his search for the drug Zombrex—a drug that will keep his daughter Katey from becoming a zombie.

“Dead Rising 2: Case Zero” takes places three years before “Dead Rising 2,” and begins with Chuck and Katey escaping from Fortune City. After Chuck’s truck is stolen at a gas station, he has to find a new mode of transportation as well as more Zombrex for Katey, since their supply was in the truck.

The game puts the player in a small town on the outskirts of Fortune City that has been swarmed by zombies and gives the player a chance to try out some of the new game play mechanics that “Dead Rising 2” features.

The main feature is the new system that allows players to take certain items and combine them into new, more powerful ones.

My personal favorite is one where a rake and a car battery are combined to become an electric rake that shocks zombies.

What makes this DLC more than a demo for the game is that it allows players to transfer certain aspects to the upcoming game.

In the DLC, players are allowed to level-up  Greene by killing zombies and completing secondary objectives.

Greene is then be able to level-up to a maximum of five levels and players are able to import this status to “Dead Rising 2” after it’s been released.

“Case Zero” also features a surprisingly wide variety of weapons to try out, making the  game area so big it takes more than one play-through to experience everything.

However, like the original, the player is timed, and the playtime only allots the player a little over two hours to play before the game ends.

The player can save at anytime and is given a new “game plus” option, which allows a replay of the game with any assets aquired in the previous run-through.

One issue I found is the narrative is lacking and only really serves to introduce  the main characters Chuck and Katey.

Above all, the DLC serves as an interesting marketing idea for the complete game.

It is something I wouldn’t mind seeing more of in the future with other games, especially if there was more content or a decrease in price.

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