Tearing Up Zombies With Dead Rising 3

They wouldn’t let us record during the closed-doors Dead Rising 3 demonstration. Not even audio. Consequently, I took old-fashioned notes with a pen and a notebook. I’m looking at them right now and the general theme seems to be “some good ideas here and it looks quite pretty but oh gosh, the screen tear… and that’s a terrible frame rate.”

I should elaborate.


Dead Rising 3 is, as they went to great pains to repeatedly point out at the start of the demonstration, an Xbox One exclusive. It wasn’t playable at E3, presumably because it’s still a way off and with grand-scale open games like this, deviating from a tried and tested path often breaks them when they’re not finished. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, InFamous Second Son was in a similar situation for the PS4.

The game undoubtedly looks good. It’s clear that it’s running on next gen hardware with lighting, textures and models that seem well out of reach for this generation of consoles. The crowds, too, mark it out as being beyond what we’re used to. There is a veritable horde of undead at every turn and, as you would imagine with a Dead Rising game, a plethora of imaginative weapons you can use on them.

Having that many zombies on screen, with that level of detail, is impressive. Add to that the fact that different zombie types have different abilities and you’ll understand that the game is pushing quite a lot of data around its crowded streets.

The enemy variant they showed was the zombie fireman. This was a tougher, more intelligent zombie type, armed with an axe. A small group of them seemed much more effective than a much larger group of standard enemies might be but the upside of these encounters was that you got an axe to pick up after you took down the first zombie fireman. Still, they were deadly – almost finished the demo early by killing off our experienced player at one point.

The demo showed off one of four sections of the map that covers San Perdido, a kind of representation of Los Angeles. Our new hero is Nick Ramos, a mechanic who can craft his weird and wonderful weaponry from discovered blueprints without the aid of a workbench – he crafts anywhere. Weapon blueprints and crafting aren’t the only things to return from previous games in the series either.

The people showing the demo seemed keen to impress upon us that it was a darker, more serious tone to the game – a quote I’ve seen rephrased and repeated numerous times since the demo. In truth though, it’s just as silly as the previous Dead Rising games and anyone who claims to the contrary should go back and re-watch the part where Nick is dressed up in a skintight summer dress, throwing cement saws he’s taped to a sledge hammer at lurching undead firemen. More serious, darker tone? Only in the marketing blurb.

So the crafting, blueprints, costumes, safe houses and wacky weaponry all return. What is missing are the load times. The whole of the map streamed in, with some quite impressive vistas in the distance and packed zombie-filled areas in the foreground. This mix of crowded foreground and expansive background, all on screen working together, was something they were keen to stress in the demonstration but given the impact it clearly had on frame rate, I’m not so sure it was the best element to show off at this stage.

The most impressive elements on show were, somewhat surprisingly, the Smart Glass functions. At one point in the demo, in need of some more advanced weaponry but without any local knowledge, they took to a nearby tablet that was running the Smart Glass app. They were able to explore the map on the tablet, find the location of a gun store and select it. The gun store now popped up in game as a waypoint for Nick to get to. Smart Glass was also used at times to call in artillery and air strikes on huge crowds of zombies – the latter bringing the demonstration to an explosive end and once again highlighting those frame rate issues.

That’s something that can be polished out, of course. It’s clearly quite ambitious to try and make a game that looks that good and has that much going on at once. I hope they can fix the technical issues in time for release without scaling back on that ambition.



  1. Cannot wait for this. Realistically I can see myself picking up BF4, Forza and this before the end of the year :-)

    • Can we give Eldave0 a special couloured bar like Kev has, just to signfy that he’s our one and only Xbox Juan fan?

      I’m very impressed by his misguided optimism, well done ElDave!

      • LOL, I’ll gladly accept such a prestigious award :P

      • You b*stard, you just made me almost piss myself! :)

      • A nice Green one obviously :P

      • I’ll ask Alex to chnage his tagline to “The Juan and only” :P

      • :D !

      • I’m optimistic about it.

        Once the execs learn when to shut up and the dust settles, the 24 hour check in and lack of trade-ins shouldn’t be a major problem for me personally.

        So while I recognise that there are consumer rights issues at stake, and I think that some of the decisions they’ve made for their new console’s direction are batshit crazy, I probably won’t be that bothered when I’m playing Forza.

      • Exactly. Funnily enough, games make a console experience and I personally get more long-term enjoyment out of Xbox exclusives like Forza and Gears than I do Sony’s, which are typically “one playthrough” style games. No DRM in the world will spoil that

    • Whilst we’re on the subject Eljuan0, shouldn’t your gravatar be a ‘Forza’ logo and not ‘DriveClub’ or are you getting a PS4 too? ;)

      • I can’t believe the moment I clicked post it changed!!!! lol

      • LOL, perfect timing.

      • I’m sure i read he switched allegiance but seems to have switched back,he must know something we don’t ;D

      • @Wardy – yup, shortly after E3 I decided that PS4 would be the better option for me, but I’ve thought about it since and I’d still prefer to go Xbox. If nothing else that is the console my circle of gaming friends is going for :-)

        …or to put it another way: I’ve seen into the future. The PlayStation4 hardware becomes self-aware after 3 months and rises up against mankind. Save yourselves. No one is safe. Leave the women and children behind

      • Yeah i understand when a group of your mates are going that route you more than likely are going to go the same route,all my mates are playstation but even if they went to the darkside with Xbox lol id still choose PS4 as i think sony has always had the better games and exclusives and a steady stream of support for the console for me. I think the only game i kinda wish was available for Playstation would be the trails series i did enjoy those. ;)

      • Yeah, I think if I was still a single player gamer I would be more inclined to go PS4 and not worry about the console my mates are choosing. As I say, the PS4 is undoubtedly the better console from a pricing/spec perspective.
        Unfortunately I just can’t get into SPs anymore (Far Cry 3, TR and Bioshock Infinite did nothing for me whatsoever) and mainly see gaming as a social thing, where I fire up a multiplayer with a bunch of people I know, chat about rubbish and shoot bad guys. If that means paying £80 extra for the X1, so be it :)

  2. Pretty much the only game I was drooling over during the XBONE presentation. Seriously hope it’s a timed exclusive and appears on PS4 at some point, although from what I can tell it’s unlikely

  3. Can’t say i would jump ship to play another zombie game but it definitely looks more appealing than the previous games, which i didn’t enjoy.

  4. This is the one game that made would have made me consider a XBone….then I remembered all the sour taste Microsoft have left with their attitude…..not happening…

  5. Silly Capcom. I would have bought this without a second thought, but i guess i won’t now as i have zero intention of buying an Xbox One.

    Boo to exclusivity.

    • Shame really. I’m surprised they haven’t put it down to the capabilities of that ever so powerful majestical cloud sat in the heavens that Microsoft possess by probably buying out God him/herself! LOL

    • Lost a sale here too. Anyone who gets to play it, enjoy. I was very impressed by the walkthrough.

  6. Looks quite fun from the gameplay but I think I would get seriously bored with it very quickly. Another load of zombies, kill, escape, repeat.

  7. It’s certainly a bit of a change from the Cartoon style of the previous Dead Rising games.

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