It’s a dark night in the apocalyptic city of Los Perdidos and its zombified inhabitants are agitated. They’re out for blood (well, human thinkers to be exact), and are ready to latch on to anyone who is brave enough to walk by. That describes every nighttime cycle in Capcom Vancouver’s Dead Rising 3, but this particular one is a bit different because a new character is walking the streets in an attempt to not only survive, but also assist her peers. Her name is Angel, and she’s an Illegal – an infected human who lives off of the grid, in safe houses, while the army hunts her kind.
Angel, whose full name is Angel Quijano, happens to be the main character of Fallen Angel, the second Episodes of Los Perdidos chapter to release as DLC for the game. She’s presented as a tough-as-nails Latino chick, who prefers an alcohol-induced state over sobriety. In fact, her alcoholism is hinted at right from the beginning, and is also a constant speaking point in her discussions with her main ally, Doug. As the leader of their group, he’s put a lot of faith in Angel, with the hope that she’ll be able to do her job and improve the lives of those who depend on both of them, so he’s worried about her getting preoccupied with booze. It’s understandable in context, but sometimes becomes a bit much.
When they’re not killing zombies in creative ways or trying to simply move through the hordes, players will find themselves helping Angel learn the truth about her group’s situation. During that time they’ll fight off an armed attack on their educational safe house, before setting up shop elsewhere and furthering their plans. However, though the storyline is somewhat interesting, it’s standard fare and doesn’t push any boundaries or reveal anything that important. Then again, plot lines aren’t the main draw when it comes to the Dead Rising games.
The gameplay is, once again, very solid, because Fallen Angel uses the core game’s mechanics. It also doesn’t differ from the norm much at all, though a limited amount of new weapons are introduced. My favourites were the shock rifle, which I got to make by combining a defibrillator with an assault rifle, and a baton that could freeze, then shatter, zombies.
Fallen Angel is comprised of several missions and, like Operation Broken Eagle before it, is very heavy on collectibles. Frankly, though, all of its mission types are old hat for the sandbox genre and will be familiar to those who’ve followed this horror-based series. You fetch, you drive, you clear places out, and attack/defend against bad guys. It’s more fun in practice, though, as killing zombies is always enjoyable. Unsurprisingly, when you consider that I’m a big fan of this game and most of its series, I enjoyed playing through this add-on. That is, for the most part.
Although I loved Dead Rising 3 and consider it to be the best next-gen exclusive thus far, the mission(s) where Nick had to drive from one point to another in vehicles with limited health weren’t that fun. The city is full of debris and blockades, which only the best of the best will be able to go without hitting at all times. Furthermore, each zombie that is hit takes away a bit of health. It was a relatively frustrating mechanic to begin with, and it returns here.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I didn’t hate those mission(s). They were just more of a hassle than anything. That’s true of this one, too, as it forces you to drive a food truck from point-to-point to pick up three boxes, then has you drop them off at your safe house. It’s pretty straight-forward, but the vehicle is easy to damage, meaning that you have to be careful. I wasn’t as smart as I could’ve been with my first attempt and ended up being forced to restart my story progress, because when I saved some peers from execution the game saved on me. Normally, that’d be OK, but when the truck blew up from running over too many zombies (which were tough to avoid given how they covered each roadway), Angel was sent back to a random safe house and had to make it back to the position where the vehicle had respawned. That wasn’t too bad, but its health never replenished, which meant that I didn’t have enough armour to make it from that position to the safe house.
There were glitches, too, including collectibles that would appear back on my map after I’d already done away with them or picked them up. These were in the form of med kits, burnable propaganda posters and destructible security cameras. On top of that, the damned posters often wouldn’t burn when I’d throw a molotov cocktail directly onto them. Sometimes, it’d take a couple just to get rid of one piece of paper, which didn’t make sense and became frustrating as well. After all, it was only possible to store a certain amount of the flammable beverages in my inventory at one time, and they were only easily accessible at a limited amount of safe houses.
As the sum of its parts, Dead Rising 3‘s Fallen Angel DLC is a decent experience. It’s not great by any means, but certainly isn’t bad. As such, those who love the game will want to check it out, while casual fans might want to wait for a price drop.
This review is based on the Xbox One exclusive, which we were provided with.
Fallen Angel is merely a decent add-on, which lacks a wow factor. However, it gives us another excuse to return to the great game that is Dead Rising 3.