I hated the original Dead Rising. Maybe I bought it because I was impressed by the technical achievement of all those zombies on screen at once. Or maybe it was the tin case it came in. I can't resist a tin case. But the stupid time limits and the stupid AI ruined it for me. And to be honest, no-matter how many ways there were to kill zombies, I found the gameplay mind-meltingly repetitive. What's more, I found the trademark humour misplaced. It's a subjective thing, but bizarre and sometimes camp slapstick doesn't seem to belong in a zombie survival game. Surely it takes a pretty unusual sort of person to find that combination amusing, and not the sort of person I would like to meet.
I disliked the game so much, that it pretty much put me off all zombie games. I hated Left 4 Dead, I hated the zombies crap that comes with every Treyarch CoD, and the rest (Dead Island etc) I have completely avoided. So when Dead Rising 2 came out, I most certainly was not interested. Having said that, I downloaded it when it was free for Gold members this month, but at time of writing, it remains unplayed. I will get round to it. I wanted to play it as a "warm-up" for DR3, which I have, to the surprise of those who know me, pre-ordered. I only hope it serves to awaken me to something wonderful in it that I missed all those years ago. My fear is that it will only strengthen my prejudices and put me off the upcoming reboot. If the cover art is anything to go by, the latter may be true.
So why am I getting Dead Rising 3 at all? Well it's purely because the direction seems to have changed. It does look more gritty, more realistic. Breaking into a house and finding a handgun, strapping a torch to it to make a tactical, or a worst, improvising something from a sledgehammer and a circular saw seems to me more appropriate to a survival game than wearing a gingham dress and beating zombies to death with a traffic cone or a foam finger. The silliness has been toned down enough for me to see past it and be wowed at the incredible density and destroyed beauty of the new world that has been created. The potential for varied gameplay and exploration that the new hardware has afforded looks fantastic. And the removal of time limits on most difficulty levels is the deal breaker. Ok so it's clear that I've only watched the initial reveal. That's deliberate. I am afraid of seeing any more, because right now, I'm sold. Honestly, if there was some subtle humour in there, I wouldn't mind, but please don't ruin the atmosphere.