Although not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, Dead Rising 4 appears to have been a slight critical disappointment as far as some are concerned. As per a recent Capcom investor Q&A (via GameSpot), the publisher was asked why the zombie-slaying sequel didn’t receive more “distinguishing reviews” upon release, to which it replied with admitting that the game’s “more approachable” format didn’t appeal to everyone. A vague (ish) response, sure, but I imagine Capcom is making reference to the fact that Dead Rising 4 did away with the limited-time system seen in past entries.
The original game, as well as its two subsequent sequels, played out over the course of a few days, with story progression tied to the linear passing of time. The restriction added a layer of management and tension to gameplay and was often seen as a unique feature of the series. For better or worse, Capcom Vancouver did away with the mechanic for Dead Rising 4, seemingly turning off fans of its successors.
In his review for We Got This Covered, Ken Barnes gave Frank West’s return to the series three and a half stars, stating that “the easier approach that Dead Rising 4 takes isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. What it means is that you get time to explore more or less at your leisure, taking in the genuinely charming Christmastime setting that Capcom Vancouver have put together, which is great if you’re trying to find every pickup or complete every side-mission.”
So it goes both ways, then. Personally, I passed-up on Dead Rising 4 due to the absence of a co-op mode for the story. An omission that I still find perplexing. Either way, Capcom’s not giving up on it just yet. In an effort to drive unit sales, more “digital download content” is in the works as too, are various improvements. More Street Fighter costumes, perhaps?