With its seemingly endless supply of shambling brain-eaters and counteracting weaponry, Dead Rising 3 is arguably the best next-generation video game thus far. As such, the recent release of brand new, story-based DLC for the game is big news within the industry and its consumer base. That’s for good reason, though, given just how well-made and insanely enjoyable Capcom Vancouver’s sandbox zombie epic ended up being.
Following a month-long delay, yesterday brought with it the debut of Operation Broken Eagle, the first of four planned episodic expansions for the campy, horror-based title. Ushering in a stand-alone menu selection called the Untold Stories of Los Perdidos, said add-on introduced veteran zombie killers to a new protagonist in the form of Spec Ops Commander Adam Kane.
Written in as an anti-hero of sorts, Commander Kane is part of a military sect that has been given controversial orders involving the President of the United States. They’re told to fly into Los Perdidos and complete their mission without raising too much suspicion, but things quickly change as a crazed motorcycle rider sends the team’s chopper spinning out of control after firing a well-aimed rocket at its tail. What results is an explosive crash, as the helicopter spirals down towards a main thoroughfare, though Kane and his allies are able to escape before that happens.
Once he lands, our new protagonist finds himself separated from his team, though that doesn’t stop him from getting straight to work following communication from HQ. Of course, that’s where we, the players, come in, with the goal of helping the Special Operations veteran complete his duties.
In an effort to prevent spoilers from getting out, I will not go any further with this plot discussion. It is important to note, though, that fans of the core game and its peers will find interest in this newly-provided narrative, even though it’s quite minimal. Truth be told, Operation Broken Eagle is only two to two and a half hours long, depending on how much players search for collectibles, and places more emphasis on gameplay than story. Certain aspects of the core campaign are fleshed out further, though, adding intrigue and providing a reason for fans to pay attention.
On the gameplay side of things, little has changed, and that’s not a bad thing. Commander Kane plays very much like Nick Ramos, and even boasts the same mechanical abilities despite his apparent lack of expertise in the field. As such, vehicles can still be welded together to create badass custom creations. However, many will be drawn to the pack’s one new vehicle, which is a rather fast-moving tank that packs a ton of lead and can be used to resist quite a bit of damage. It’s not revolutionary, by any means, but is quite helpful and works well within the construct of Dead Rising 3.
To progress, players must go from one point of the city to another, in order to complete quests, most of which fall under the fetch variety. What’s good is that, despite this lack of creativity, the expansion remains fun and tense, due to its similarity to the main game. After all, even though the main character, storyline and quests are new, this is still Dead Rising 3, meaning that you’ll spend most of your time utilizing amazing combo weapons to kill thousands of zombies, en route to goals and objectives. To that extent, you’ll be happy to hear that there are new weapons — such as a neat freeze gun — to be found here, including one new combo weapon that can be constructed when found. There’s also a new costume – something that will only be noteworthy to certain folks.
If you were to only focus on the five, or so, story missions that Broken Eagle adds to the fray, then you’d probably finish it in about an hour and a half. As such, I’d recommend taking an extra hour or more to hack its 29 security cameras, infect its 8 illegal strongholds (via the old gas in the vent trick) and find each of Kane’s allies. These secondary objectives are very straightforward, but they’re relatively fun and provide achievements upon completion, adding incentive for those who care. Plus, what’s most important is that they offer extra bang for your $9.99 or (Season Pass-based) $30.
The city itself hasn’t changed much, so those who previously memorized it will still feel at home here. You’ll maybe find a new barricade here or there, and will encounter at least one unexpected detour while driving, but Los Perdidos generally remains its decayed, apocalyptic self. The same is true of the visuals, which are still impressive given how many creatures are on screen at once, and the sound, which has been bolstered by some new (and pretty solid) voice acting.
In the end, I enjoyed Dead Rising 3‘s Operation Broken Eagle expansion. However, a lot of that had to do with how much I loved the main game, because it’s not like this pack brings anything revolutionary to the table. It’s merely more of the same, albeit with some notable changes, such as a new plot line and a (rather forgettable) new protagonist. Seasoned Dead Rising fans should give this add-on a shot, while those who find the series’ core gameplay designs to be repetitive will want to pass.
This review is based on the Xbox One exclusive, which was given to us.