Frank West is back in Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package
Photographer Frank West is back in action in Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package on the PlayStation 4. You’ll return to the town where it all started—Willamette, Colorado—and try to survive a treacherous new breed of zombie that has taken over the mall and streets. With hundreds of deadly, and often time hilarious weapons, you can craft a wide assortment of weapons to take down the zombie threats.
These include a firework launcher, candy can crossbow, and Frank’s signature barbed-wire baseball bat. For extra power, jump into the all-new Exo Suit and pummel zombies to a pulp with your mechanized fists, or mow down entire swaths by punching cars.
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
Frank returns to Willamette, where it all started
Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package’s story is great in that you really do not need to have played any or all of the previous games to understand what is going on and enjoy the game. It’s every bit as quirky and funny as previous games and it begins with our favourite photographer Frank West facing the many ghosts of his past in a freakish nightmare. As Frank makes his way frantically through the zombie-filled mall, fans of the series will instantly recognize some of the funniest moments from each of the three games.
It’s been a year since the last zombie outbreak and Frank West, is now a college teacher who is trying to put his worries behind him. However, it’s not long before one of his students, Vicky Chu, pulls Frank back into his former lifestyle. She wants Frank’s help investigating a military compound on the outskirts of Willamette, Colorado—where the first zombie outbreak began—based upon a tip she has received.
Frank and Vicky discover that the government run facility is filled with zombies. However, these zombies are far more aggressive than previous zombies were. As they are trying to leave, they are discovered and this causes Frank to be become a fugitive after he is falsely accused of terrorism by the government. Just a few short months later, a new zombie outbreak has started in Willamette on Black Friday. Frank sets out to clear his name with his exclusive story as he investigates the latest outbreak.
Classic Dead Rising gameplay
Much like previous Dead Rising games, you will be slaying zombies, taking photos as evidence, and using some of the most bizarre weapons ever. Yet, Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package’s scope is far larger than any previous game in the series. The action is more frantic; saving fellow survivors involves clearing zombie hordes from the area so that they can run off on their own, and checkpoints replace save points.
Within my first few hours of playing Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package, I had already raced around in a go-kart while mowing down zombies and used a T-shirt gun to take out my enemies. Oh, and that was while I wearing a full suit of armour with a mask of Blanka from the Street Fighter series on my head.
This time around, recovery items are not as plentiful, but are easily found. The new Exo Suits are awesome. There are some weapons that can only be used while wearing the Exo Suit. Though the Exo Suit only lasts for 2 minutes, you will have unlimited stamina and can run without slowing down through packs of zombies.
Freedom to explore as you want and improved mechanics
One of the biggest changes to Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package’s gameplay over Dead Rising 3 is the absence of a time limit. Previously you had a few hours to complete the campaign before your time ran out. To be honest, the time limit was my biggest pet peeve with the Dead Rising series.
Not being able to explore everything I wanted to without the worry of a timer was not something I liked. Now that the timer is gone, you can go and explore pretty much anywhere you want without worry. Another of Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package’s gameplay mechanics that have been modified is the use of Frank’s camera and the photos you take.
In the past, Frank’s camera functioned more as a kind of minigame in which you had to take photographs that didn’t relate to the game’s plot. However, in Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package, Frank’s camera is used mainly in research segments where you have to find clues and information that relate directly to what happens. Capcom has included some new types of zombies to add to the variety of enemies you’ll encounter while playing.
Improved graphics engine
Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package’s graphical engine has been enhanced over Dead Rising 3 and is far superior in virtually every way. In addition, the game’s world is larger, more colourful, and more zombies on the screen at any given time. Despite Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package’s graphical enhancements, there is an issue with the game’s camera.
At times, the angle in which the camera is facing makes it difficult to see what is happening. More often than I liked, I would find myself being attacked from an enemy that I could not see or know that was there. Ultimately, this does not detract from the gameplay too much; it is noticeable and sometimes is frustrating.
Four-player co-op goodness
I was shocked that Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package did not contain a cooperative campaign option. Though, I did find the four-player co-op mode to be fun and entertaining. Separate from the single-player campaign mode, co-op missions are episodic standalone stages.
They take place over the time of two in-game days. You have a list of missions and objectives to complete in the two-day period. Objectives include recovering a collection of go-karts, defeating a boss, and then making it back to the safe house.
The scoring system rates your performance and allows you to unlock skills, which are separate from the single-player campaign mode. Overall, I found this mode added a lot of replay value to the game.
New additions and enhancements
Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package comes with a lot of bonus content and a new Capcom Heroes mode. New side missions called Distress Calls have been added to the game. In these side missions, you must rescue survivors and get them to safety while avoiding Zombies.
Out of all the DLC included, I enjoyed Frank Rising the most. Essentially it is an epilogue that gives you different skills and re-introduces the two hour time limit. While I am not fond of the time limit, I found it to be an equal mix of new and old gameplay.
Quite arguably the best addition to Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package is the new Capcom Heroes mode. The best way to describe this new mode is a mashup between Dynasty Warriors and Dead Rising. You play through the story, but this time combat is completely changed. You can change into a variety of different Capcom characters with their own set of attacks and special abilities. If you are looking to have plain old fun, Capcom Heroes is where it is at.
Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package is clearly different from previous games in the series, which makes it a lot of fun to play. The removal of a time limit gives you a newfound freedom. It allows you to move through the game at your own pace. The world in which you play in is huge, and the crazy weapons that you use will make you laugh.
Dead Rising 4 Frank’s Big Package breathes life into Capcom’s beloved franchise, and allows those new to the series to jump right in.
+ Big world to play in
+ Frank’s sarcasm and humour will have you laughing
+ A ton of content
+ Capcom Heroes Mode is an absolute blast to play
+ Freedom without a time limit
– Camera can be frustrating at times
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5