Dead Rising 4 Hands-On Preview [E3 2016]


When the Xbox One launched, one of its standout launch titles was Dead Rising 3. Sure, it had some issues, but it was a Hell of a lot of fun and ended up sucking me in for more than just a handful of hours. It’s just a shame that its DLC was so middling.

Leading up to this year’s E3, there were rumours regarding a potential sequel (Dead Rising 4), and you can bet that I was overjoyed when its existence was made official during Microsoft’s press conference. It helped that what was shown looked fantastic, and that this next iteration marks the return of fan favourite Frank West.

Earlier this week, I was able to go hands-on with what has since become one of my most anticipated titles, during a Microsoft after hours booth party where Dead Rising 4 was fully playable.

Set during the cheery Christmas season, this new, zombie infested gorefest takes the best parts of Dead Rising 3 and turns them up to eleven. Gone is the clunky inventory system that forced you to equip just one weapon or health item at a time, and in its place is a much more user friendly design, wherein certain buttons relate to the use of different types of weapons. While X is used for anything to do with melee, a shoulder button lets you use a throwable item (like a grenade or explosive fire extinguisher) and the trigger buttons relate to any sort of gun.

This particular timed demo (which was a bit on the short side) dropped me into the middle of the story – or so it seemed – and tasked me with getting through a MASSIVE amount of zombies while en route to a fire station where enemy soldiers had taken up residence. I didn’t finish my quest, though, because I spent the majority of my time killing the undead in visceral ways. This included using a badass ice sword to freeze, then partially shatter them, chopping them into bits with an electrify great axe and blowing them into smithereens with an explosive fireworks gun. Suffice to say, I had an absolute blast.

Of course, Frank is still Frank, and he brings his sense of humour back to Dead Rising 4. He’s crass and overly confident, and can also take juvenile selfies at inappropriate times.

If you liked Dead Rising 3, or any of the series’ other unique outings, then Dead Rising 4 should be right up your alley. It takes what was fun about the other games and ups the ante to 11, while introducing smart fixes that will surely make for a much more user friendly experience.