Capcom’s Dead Rising series for the PC and the Xbox 360 is an acquired taste, despite the fact that it’s central conceit is the chocolate meets peanut butter of zombie games: killing the slavering, flesh-hungry dead in an American shopping mall. Now it’s coming to the iPhone later this year in Dead Rising Mobile, but can Capcom make the series work on a handheld device?
As a long-time series fan who is currently playing through Dead Rising 2 on my Xbox 360, the gameplay video embedded above doesn’t inspire confidence. The thing to understand about Dead Rising is that, unlike other zombie games, it’s all about hordes of zombies so large that there’s literally no way to dispose of them all. It’s about navigating across levels filled with thousands of zombies any way you can: slashing through them with chainsaws, batting them aside with golf clubs, crowd surfing on their heads, weaving and ducking between them on a skateboard.
To put the volume of zombies we’re talking about in perspective, there’s an achievement in Dead Rising 1 that you can get when you kill over 65,000 zombies… and if you know how, it’s attainable in an hour. Yeah, that many zombies.
So what the heck is going on in Dead Rising Mobile? Three zombies on a screen at a time does not a Dead Rising game make. According to Touch Arcade, Capcom’s working on getting more zombies into the game… but so far, a few zombies at a time is all they have to show for things.
Otherwise, Dead Rising Mobile seems like it’s got some cool ideas, including an innovative character rescue system that allows your character’s life to be saved by Facebook and Twitter friends… with their failure resulting in your zombification in their game. As a Dead Rising fan, though, it’s otherwise pretty hard to get excited about this game: hardware limitations seem to have hobbled the series’ central gimmick, turning a game that’s supposed to be about surviving infinite zombie hordes into a game about surviving one-on-one zombie duels.