I don’t think I’ve seen Xbox Live running as slow as it was yesterday when the Dead Rising demo was released since E3, which I’m not sure is indicative of the level of anticipation for this game or just the lack of anything else to play. Enough flogging of that (un)dead horse, though.
The demo of Dead Rising doesn’t have any plot whatsoever and actually ends whenever you trigger a story cut scene, but maybe the lack of point is the point. I didn’t get to know any of the characters outside of the merest hint of a storyline at the beginning, but what I did get to do is crush a zombie with a sledgehammer in seconds of starting; pelt a zombie with ketchup; run a shopping trolley through the undead horde; throw a bowling ball down the stairs through a crowd of zombies; pelt them in the head with golf balls; thrash through them with a toy light saber (sorry, Lucasfilm: laser sword) complete with sounds; attack them with CDs Shaun of the Dead-style; oh, and shoot them with a shotgun. Can’t forget that old chestnut.
I hope there’s more depth to the game but if there’s not I might buy it anyway. I had a blast just running around like some maniac with an electric guitar as a bludgeon, and the demo only gives access to a small portion of the mall. Incidentally the game actually points out when you start it that it’s nothing to do with Dawn of the Dead which is a filthy lie. Consider it an unofficial Dead Tetralogy game that isn’t shockingly bad.
Another high point is the graphics, as even in shiny 720p the game seemed to be running at a solid 60fps. This was maintained when the screen was absolutely full of zombies and fountains of blood which, since this is a Capcom game, bodes extremely well for a certain other upcoming game which may or may not have zombies in it. I’m not referring to Okami. Character models look good if you can ignore how Frank permanently looks like he’s smelt something bad.
The big downside? A game finally comes out and I’m going to be on holiday. Gaaah!