The game itself is incredibly meaty, too. On top of the core game's collectibles of blueprints for weapons and vehicles, there are side items to collect, like Frank West Statues. You can also find "tragic endings" which showcase people that apparently came to their demise in some sad way. You'll find speakers spouting off propaganda to destroy and special challenge missions like killing zombies with only fire or vehicles. All of these things earn you PP, the game's XP system. You'll level up your character unlocking new abilities and upgrading things like life, inventory, or the ability to create new combinations of vehicles/weapons/foods.
It's in doing this that the game can lend itself well to co-op play. As the entire campaign can be played at any point in drop-in and drop-out fashion, you can customize your character to utilize abilities your co-op partner might not be focusing in. Perhaps you want to focus on melee while your friend works on firearms. You can be the inventory mule while your buddy puts everything in his life bar to be the tank. One player can focus on the combo vehicles while another the specialty weapons.
Joining a game will put you in the shoes of Dick, one of the side characters you encounter along the way. All of your customizations and level abilities are brought in and out of the game with you. Anything you collect and earn will come back with you out of the game, and this includes certain missions that are completed as well - depending on your own progress. The matchmaking system does a pretty good job of putting you into a game that's at the same point or prior to your own progress so you'll get maximum enjoyment.
Co-Op definitely makes the game much easier, especially during the game's "night time" hours when the zombies become more numerous and feral. Showing up to save a friend with a combo vehicle just as they are beginning to get overwhelmed is incredibly satisfying. And really, like any good open world game, co-op shines in Dead Rising 3 because of the unpredictable nature of what can happen. I've witnessed my partner accidently fall into a mosh pit of zombies from the roof top, one into which he dropped a stick of dynamite only seconds before. Soon after, he was launched clear across my screen in glorious next-gen physics fashion.
There are a few downsides to co-op play, odd ones too. When you join a game you start with absolutely nothing in your inventory, so you'll need to quickly pick up some stuff to join in on the action. During cut scenes the co-op character is entirely absent too, giving a bit of disconnect. These things are minor, and definitely don't detract too much from the overall experience.
Dead Rising 3 was a game that grew on me the more I played it. It keeps a lot of the familiar formula from the previous games, including the famous gameplay timeline, but removes a lot of the annoyances associated with it. If players just want to explore the world and collect everything, Dead Rising 3 easily allows that. If you'd like a more traditional Dead Rising experience, Nightmare mode is available for you sadists. Co-Op in Dead Rising 3 shines, multiplying the absurdity and creating the unpredictable and hilarious outcomes we all enjoy from games that provide freedom. Killing 50,000 zombies might seem like it gets old, but Dead Rising 3 does its best to make sure it doesn't.
The Co-Op Experience: Up to 2 players can join together to combat the zombie horde, free to explore Los Perdidos without having to travel together and drive special vehicles designed only for co-op play. The player who hosts a co-op game can allow their co-op partner to access areas inaccessible in their own single player game, depending on the host's progress.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.