Capcom’s Case Zero is a prologue that lets players chop the dead before Dead Rising 2 is released at the end of September. The story takes place two years after the first Rising and three years before Dead Rising 2. The player is thrown into the boots of Chuck Greene, a motocross star, only hours after his first encounter with the zombies. His primary task is to ensure the safety of his young daughter.
The setting for Case Zero is the barley populated town of Still Creek, 46 miles outside of Las Vegas. Scattered around this desert town are items, weapons, and shops to aid Mr. Greene on his way through the town. Chuck uses his natural ability of fixing everything with duct tape to combine ordinary items into finely tuned undead tools of destruction for his own personal arsenal. The player simply needs to pick up two compatible items and combine them at a workbench. In Case Zero there are a handful of possible combinations, including the “paddle saw” and the “IED”, with many more available in Dead Rising 2. One of the problems with the item combinations is that no matter the items used, Chuck always has the same creation sequence. It feels like if Capcom would have implemented item dependent sound effects that would play during the creation, it would have added or a more immersive feeling. Another jarring aspect of the weapon creation system is how Chuck is able to use more than what you give him. Take for example the “paddle saw”, a kayak paddle with a chain saw fixed on both of the paddles. In order to create This all Chuck needs is the paddle and one saw, when clearly the final weapon two. While this flaw can easily be overlooked by some players, to others it will be a frequently reoccurring itch.
The game’s cut scenes are done in engine and make an attempt to give the game a serious tone that will communicate a realization that the stumbling walking dead are still a dangerous threat. While the voice acting fits the characters well, some of the dialogue comes across as corny and cliché. It feels as if it was done intentionally to strengthen the scene of the typical zombie film. While enjoyable these segments are plagued with loading screens, one before and after each of these in game movies. Not only are they frequent (every time you leave or enter the ‘safe house’ it has to load) but the loads aren’t quick either. The good news is, when you are out slicing up the walking brain eaters the game won’t have to load unless you progress in the story.
If familiar with the first Dead Rising, one will instantly be comfortable with the gameplay and mission layout of Case Zero. The player has a limited time before the military swoops in to eradicate everything and purge everyone that moves in an attempt to stop the undead spread. The game timer is shown through Chuck’s digital wristwatch. During this race against the clock players will have the opportunity to rescue other survivors and fight off a psychopath with the ultimate goal to keep Chuck’s daughter safe.
Not everything can be completed in just one play through of Case Zero, and players will receive different endings depending on which missions they accomplish before the time runs out. The maximum level achievable in this prologue is 5 and will be able to be transferred to a new game of Dead Rising 2, along with money and scratcher cards (unlocked for each new weapon combination). This gives players planning on playing Dead Rising 2 extra incentive to picking up this prologue arcade title.
With its own set of achievements separate from Dead Rising 2, and playable a month before the release this game will definitely cover your clothes in infected blood, and whet your appetite for even more zombie flesh. Dead Rising 2 executive producer, Keiji Inafune, said that they will not be making money off of this title. Dead Rising 2 Case Zero is launching exclusively on Xbox Live Marketplace for 400MSP($5) it will easily give you enough content for your money, and is perfect for the zombie genre fan, dead rising fan, or someone new looking to test the infected waters.