Gameplay is similar to the other Dead Rising titles we’ve seen with one key difference: You don’t have to drag rescued NPC’s back to your safe room. Since this latest outbreak is happening within the Phenotrans facility, the “victims” who are stranded around the game are lab workers from the facility. Once you clear a path for them or bring them what they think they need to survive, they easily find their way out of harms way and you’re instantly rewarded a rescue Prestige Point (PP) bonus.
In co-op, both players get credit for this rescue. It’s a great way to rack up the PP working together. You’re also given plenty of opportunities to take out powerful enemies in the form of security at Phenotrans armed with anything from assault rifles to impact hammers - doubling up on these enemies is really satisfying in co-op whereas one-on-one can get a bit irritating.
Combo weapons are still present in Case West and both Frank and Chuck can tie things together to make them work - including a handful of new weapons unique to Case West. Photography makes a comeback here as well, and both players can use a camera. Though, Chuck is stuck with a cute little disposable while Frank lays out the big lenses. This basically just means that both players, whether you’re Chuck or Frank are evenly matched and no one faces a penalty in co-op.
That is to say: both players can initiate any mission prompts, rescue civilians, enter areas, or do anything that a player by themselves could do. To me, this co-op is almost better than the co-op present in Dead Rising 2 because of the two different characters, but both styles work very well. It’s also fairly amusing to hit the Y (call) button in co-op, as Frank and Chuck seem to get on each others nerves when they call out to each other.
Though the co-op is fully intact and works very well from a gameplay standpoint, it seems that there is a bit of a glitch in Case West that will effect player 2 if player 1 saves during the task completion screen. Player 2 will inevitably be booted from the game; able to save their level progress, but they lose all of their inventory. An easy fix for this is to ignore the prompt to save between tasks, and just run to the restrooms to save.
While this mini-game is incredibly fun, it’s also very short and doesn’t resolve much of the story - just opened up enough of the story to bring Frank and Chuck together for potential future ventures. Oh, and it’s in your best interest to not skip the credits.
The Co-Op Experience: Two players can take the roles of Chuck Greene and Frank West over Xbox LIVE
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.