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Game Review

Capcom's 2006 zombie-killer  Dead Rising focused on a photojournalist who found himself stranded in a Colorado mall full of flesh-eaters. While snapping photos that he hoped would earn him a Pulitzer, the reporter slashed and gashed hundreds, if not thousands of shambling corpses … just to stay alive.

A number of years after that first outbreak, Dead Rising 2 reveals that the zombie problem still hasn't been cured. But it's being controlled. Some folks have even gone so far as to figure out a way to corral the devouring deadlies and make a buck off them.

Gamers play this time as Chuck Greene, a motocross champ who's trying to cash in—for a good cause. The money he makes comes from a game show called "Terror Is Reality." Its objective? Drive chain saw-equipped motorcycles through crowds of zombies, mowing down as many as possible. He wants to use his winnings to buy his daughter some Zombrex—the only medicine around that can keep the zombie-bitten tyke from becoming a monster herself.

But then, as you might expect, something goes horribly wrong.

The caged zombies are set free, and they go on an all-out rampage in the Las Vegas-like metropolis of Fortune City. Chuck is framed for the disaster. Before long, the whole city is zombified and it'll be three days before armed rescuers can arrive. So as the game grinds through those 72 hours, Chuck must hack his way through the malls and casinos, find clues to clear his name, rescue whatever survivors he can and get his hands on enough of the zombie meds to keep his daughter alive.

If You Build It, They Will Bleed
For all of Dead Rising 2's ticking clock, action-adventure pedigree, though, it's the grisly mess-making that's the beating, blood-spurting heart of the game. As in the original, gamers are given a pretty wide-open world to roam. And they're rewarded when they find new and ever more disgusting ways to slice and dice the thousands of groaning and slobbering brain-dead around them. In fact, along with all the baseball bats, iron pipes and pickaxes of the first game, Vol. 2 installs a crafting system that looses a whole new wave of bloody havoc.

Gamers discover combo cards as they make their way around the city, which give them blueprints for combining certain objects to create over-the-top weaponry. A baseball bat full of nails is child's play when you can duct tape a pitchfork to a shotgun. Or how about combining a bucket and a drill for a handy little helmet that turns a zombie's noggin into so much mulch? The more bizarre the combo, the more outlandish the kill, the more freely the blood and game points flow. And as players pull in points, their character becomes stronger and learns even more flashy kill moves.

Worse—if that's possible—is the fact that the game also features level-ending human psychopaths who must be put down in order to move on. These deranged sickos have their own corrupt and evil tales gamers must wade through—each more nightmarish and depraved than the last.

Will Demolishing It Staunch the Flow?
The whole flesh-tearing mess is served up as a heaping helping of black comedy for gamers who love to guffaw over each new camera-splattering bit of carnage. It's so gory and creepy that the other more usual nasty elements on hand seem almost mild. But it still should be noted that foul language includes uses of the s-word along with "d‑‑n," "a‑‑" and "h‑‑‑."

There are a number of sexual elements in the mix as well. Characters wear revealing outfits. The cutscenes give quite a bit of attention to cleavage and backsides. Playboy advertisements are sprinkled throughout the city. A woman is abducted and forcibly fondled. And several scenes include sleazy wordplay. Chuck can jump into a game of strip poker with other survivors.

Families aren't going to want to touch this one with a 10 foot pole … with or without chain saws lashed to either end.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

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Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

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Discussion Topics

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Episode Reviews

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