Dead Rising: Case West Review

Case West


I was a huge fan of Dead Rising 2. It easily made my personal Top 10 of 2010, on the strength of its interesting story, relatable characters, and addictive combat mechanics. After finding out who set Chuck up in Fortune City, I wanted nothing more than to take it to them as soon as I could. Unforunately, with the exception of one or two goons, you don’t really get the chance…

…until Case West, that is. 

Dead Rising: Case West brings the player straight to the heart of Phenotrans, the creator of Zombrex. Chuck wants answers, and he’ll stop at nothing to get them. This time, however, he’s not alone, as the original Dead Rising‘s protagonist Frank West makes his triumphant return to the series. Case West doesn’t add much to the game’s core, aside from more weapons to create, but it does improve on the co-op experience as well as set the foundation for future Dead Rising titles, making it a chapter not to be missed.

Just as in the other Dead Rising games, players run around, kill zombies with various weapons (even creating your own), complete time-specific missions, and rescue any survivors they come across. That may sound like a detriment, as if Capcom just cut and pasted into this title, but such is the nature of most downloadable episodes, so it’s hard to fault the game for that.

Frank and Chuck

Frank West’s return is AWESOME. He and Chuck engage in some fantastic chatter, my favorite being when Chuck kills a zombie with a hold-arms-and-kick-zombie-ripping-arms-off move, and Frank quickly quips, "did you learn that from me?" Along with Frank comes the return of the photography feature first seen in the original Dead Rising. Unfortunately, both of these returning elements are limited: Frank West can ONLY be played by anyone joining a game in co-op, and the photography is merely taking pictures — no score for great shots like before. The photography limitation is no big deal, but Frank only being co-op playable stinks. While it makes sense within the story’s framework, I was really looking forward to kicking some zombie butt with Frank and I can’t do it unless I join someone else’s game. 

As with Dead Rising 2, there’s not a whole lot to analyze in the audio department. The background ambience is awesome, as you’ll hear Phenotrans PA messages, music in the cafeteria, and various zombie groans and soldier yells. The highlight of the sound aspect is the voice acting, which is excellent. Every voice actor does a great job of bringing life to the characters, including the final boss who only says one word. That one word’s all it takes to scare the crap out of you.

Dead Rising: Case West serves as a bridge between the end of Dead Rising 2 and whatever follows in the series. As such, the focus is all on story and not much else. Does it revolutionize the Dead Rising gameplay formula? Not at all. However, for fans of the series, the story is engaging, the characters are just as interesting as ever, and the climax will leave you wanting more. If you’re a Dead Rising fan, there’s no reason Dead Rising: Case West shouldn’t be on your to-be-played list, as it’s worth the $10 price of admission.

4 out of 5



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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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