Dead Rising 4 (DR4) is the latest iteration of the zombie hack-and-slash survival horror game franchise.
I have not played the first three versions. But, even if you have never played the previous games, DR4 makes it easy for you to hop right into the game.
The original protagonist Frank West is back after not featuring in the second and third versions.
During the opening sequence of the game, you will be introduced to the gameplay as well as the story.
Through a chain of events, West is now back in the fictional town of Willamette, Colorado, where he had repelled the zombie outbreak in the first game.
As you might expect, another zombie outbreak has erupted in Willamette. And you play West to investigate the mysteries behind this new outbreak.
The story can be played only in single-player mode. Unlike previous games where there was a timer for you to complete the game, DR4 has none and thus you have more time to explore the game world.
You do not just go around killing wave after wave of zombies, even though doing that can be strangely cathartic as I have found.
PRICE: $75.90 (PC); $69.90 (Xbox One, version tested)
GENRE: Survival horror
There are new classes of zombies that are much faster and more ferocious than normal zombies and paramilitaries which are pursuing their own agenda.
You also get to use your camera, which has been modified with night vision and spectrum analyser, to navigate areas as well as photograph clues to complete quests.
But the best part of DR4 is you can pick up almost anything around you to be your weapon. Be it a chair, fire extinguisher or cash register, you can just use it to attack your foes.
You get to drive a buggy or any vehicle you can lay get your hands on to mow down those zombies.
Furthermore, you can discover blueprints that allow you to forge more powerful and bizarre weapons. For example, you can combine a petrol canister and a blade for a Fire Sword. Or you can forge a Gandelf that shoots exploding ornamental Elves.
Later on, you even have access to an Exo suit that will greatly increase your strength and stamina. With the Exo suit, you can even rip up giant pipes to use as weapons.
But each weaponhas a durability percentage. When it goes to zero per cent, the weapon cannot be used. You have to pick up or forge a new one.
The gameplay is really easy to master. In no time, you will be mashing buttons to complete attack combos and turning zombies into mashed meat.
On the downside, there is no way to change the difficulty mode. So, the game might be too easy for some. There is always plenty of food lying around to replenish your health. Even if you do die, there are regular auto-save checkpoints that allow you to quickly get back into the game.
Another downer is the limited multiplayer online mode, which supports up to four players in several scenarios. They lack the grip and depth of the story mode. I think cooperation in the story mode would have offered a much better experience. But it was sorely missing.
•Verdict: With an engaging story, great weapons and easy gameplay, Dead Rising 4 is an enjoyable no-brainer hack-and-slash zombie game.