Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is well-nigh the same damn game from a year ago. This is nothing new for a Capcom franchise. It's kind of what they do. *cough* Street Fighter 2. The premise is simple enough: 1) Create ridiculous, over-the-top weapons out of a multitude of conspicuously placed items. 2) Re-kill thousands of zombies while killing time between plot points. 3) Explore a large-ish Las Vegas-inspired area for even more obscure weapons, survivors, and psychopaths. 4) Rescue or kill the survivors and psychopaths accordingly. 5) Repeat steps one, two, three, and four until the credits role, then do it again. NGP FTW!
Sure, some things have changed, but let’s not kid ourselves. All of the gameplay elements from Dead Rising 2 return. There are some new weapons, baddies, outfits, and even a new area, but the game is one big case of deja vu. The save system, brutal load times, RPG-like leveling, and Fortune City itself largely remain unchanged.
Co-op works in almost the exact same way as in DR2. Two players can join up for online co-op sessions. No local co-op love, sorry. Both players earn XP, cash, and weapon combo cards. Story progress and items only apply to the host’s profile. Since a big feature of the Dead Rising franchise is replaying the game over and over again, the lack of story progression for the client player doesn't seem to be that big of a deal, especially if you have a consistent co-op partner. It would be nice if your hard-earned weapons came back to your own game as a client, but that's just not how it works. If a client does leave a host's game and quickly comes back they will find all of their items in a pile on the ground. Most of the Achievements and Trophies can be acquired as either a host or client. If you want more details on the inner workings of the game’s mechanics, you can read our Co-Op Review of Dead Rising 2 right here.
All you need to know is that he’s covered wars. WARS!
So what does our $40 dollars get us, other than a second trip to Zombie Vegas? It gets us Frank effing West, that’s what. If you don’t know who Frank West is, I lost you at “DEAD RISING,” didn’t I? You could say he's the John McClane of photojournalism, but you'd be wrong. It's more like John McClane is the Frank West of being a cop. For those of you who want to know, he actually drops the "war" line in Case 2-1! I squealed quietly to myself, not going to lie.
The super-awesome hero from the first Dead Rising was sorely missed in the sequel. His original Dead Rising 2 replacement, Chuck Greene, was a nice enough guy, but he was such a downer, what with the dead wife, zombie-bitten daughter, and the whole getting-framed-for-the-murder-of-tens-of-thousands-of-people thing. The joining co-op player will actually play as Chuck, which creates some interesting paradoxes, but we don’t have time to worry about plot logistics! It’s the freak’n zombie apocalypse!
Frank West is the anti-Chuck Greene. He hasn’t come to Fortune City to help some infected little girl. No, he’s here to “get back in the game!” You see, Frank hit it big after blowing the lid off of the Willamette Mall zombie outbreak. So big, he got his own show! Fame, fortune, women, money, and huge-ass Chris Redfield arms soon followed.
Fast forward through the inevitable scandal, failure, show cancelation, receding hairline, and what must have been hundreds, if not thousands, of Baconators, and we’ve got one washed up photojournalist, desperate for a piece of that zombie-clobbering celebrity pie. Enter Fortune City’s hit TV show "Terror is Reality." Enter fat Frank West in a wrestling singlet. I mean, he got fat. Okay, maybe not Rob McElhenney fat, but he’s still on the crazy train to adult onset diabetes.