by: Katrina Pawlowski
Dead Rising 2: Case 0 is the inexpensive prequel to the upcoming co-op game that is just a taste of what’s to come, but it also does a great job of introducing the building mechanic and story of the full game Dead Rising 2.
The story begins with protagonist Chuck and his daughter Katey traveling through Nevada. She’s been bitten, and needs the medication “Zombrex” to keep from dying and being reanimated. Only, she needs the dose every 12 hours, and Chuck’s truck has been stolen - along with the remaining supply of Zombrex.
It’s set 46 miles outside of Las Vegas/Fortune City. Home base for Chuck is an abandoned gas station, which acts as the control room from the first game - a safe place for survivors, gathering supplies, and advancing the story. In the convenience store attached to the gas station you’ll find a bunch of stuff to try out the new “combine” mechanic on.
Pick up items and bring them to a work bench. If they can be built into some powerful weapon, they’ll have the option to “combine” when you set them down. The first obvious upgraded weapon is a baseball bat with a bunch of nails in it. Pretty harsh? Yea, it works, too. There are several different weapons to make, and lots of enemies to try them out on in the small town outside of Vegas.
Each of these weapon combinations gives you a weapon card. You can hold on to that card to get information on how to recreate the weapon, and info on how to use it if there are specialty instructions. The cards you earn by building in Case Zero are supposed to carry over to the main game of Dead Rising 2. If that’s the case, you have a head start on weapons building.
The prestige points (like experience points used for leveling) work differently in Dead Rising 2 - you’ll earn over double your PP when you kill enemies with hand-built weapons, instead of taking really good pictures. This will help you level your character in Case Zero, which will also carry over to the main game. The level cap tops out at level 5, but that’s 5 levels higher than any other Chuck that doesn’t play Case Zero.
One vast improvement on the first game is the saving system, and is demonstrated very well in Case Zero. The game prompts you to save after each individual mission, and you can manually save at any restroom (same as before). Hopefully this will mean less do-overs for those of us that can’t find the restrooms in the giant casino. Those places are intimidating!
Case Zero acts as sort of a preliminary DLC - it’s a new chapter for the story to a game that hasn’t been released yet. Gaining interest and giving people something to enjoy before they get their pre-ordered copies of Dead Rising 2? Yes please.