Is Dead Rising as great as it used to be?
Dead Rising 4 doesn't have the impact of its early predecessors, but the thrill of screwing with the undead before slaying them still hasn't faded. The story is forgettable, and there are plenty of gameplay frustrations and glitches; meanwhile, the graphics are jaunty like a shambling zombie. But those are old annoyances, and they fit the game's B-movie-like feel and flow.
Really, the game's biggest issue, aside from leaning on a lot of the same concepts established in 2006 and now spread across five entries, is that it just doesn't give you a very exciting location for its mayhem. You can play in another shopping mall, sure, but I've spent a lot more time away from that welcoming beacon of commerce, instead running around a vacant city or through military facilities and abandoned labs -- totally average, generic game settings.
It's just not as enticing, and while Dead Rising 4 occasionally tries to be as weird and wonderful as the older entries, it doesn't fully commit -- plus the other characters fall flat, and this entry drops the constantly ticking timer and sometimes-intense challenge that made the past entries feel so uniquely tense. A lot of the game is just fine, but not particularly riveting or exciting.
Fans who are still up for another round of loose, zombie-slaying shenanigans will find them here, but this isn't the grand, reinvigorated revival I'd hoped for. Dead Rising 4 has its moments, but the old shock value -- in terms of hilarity, not horror -- is in shorter supply.