I’ve been a fan of zombies since I was about 13-years-old, long before the current trend that’s made them the hottest horror rage lately. I grew up with George Romaro’s movies as the text-book definition of what zombies should be: Slow, clumsy, and in very, very large numbers.
I’ve never been a big console gamer, but when I heard about Dead Rising on its original console release, I got excited. I went out and bought my Xbox 360 just to play it. It was outstanding. You played as a photographer that was going to scoop everyone on a zombie outbreak in a small town. One of the main points of the game was to take as many great photos as you could. The rest of the game was running around inside a mall for 48 hours, killing zombies with anything you could pick up and saving any townsfolk you found on the trip. One of the aspects I found charming about the game was that there was one room in the mall where you wouldn’t find any zombies: the bathrooms. It’s little things like that which you remember.
So it will come as no surise that when I heard that Dead Rising Mobile was being released on the iPhone, I was jumping for joy. A new chance to relive the game, but this time on a portable console, which I highly prefer. Sadly, it’s not entirely the same game.
This mobile version of the game starts out the same. You’re flying in a helicopter, chatting with the pilot. Unlike the original, you don’t start off by shooting photos of the carnage in the town. This is unfortunate since I felt that mechanic really set a great mood for the original, as it showed you just how screwed everyone there was. Your ride starts getting chased by military helicopters, so your pilot drops you off on the roof of a mall (not before dropping your camera out into the streets). For some reason, you then start actually playing outside the front door of the mall, no where near where you landed.
Dead Rising has devolved into its most simple form: You run around and kill zombies. Every so often, you save people by killing more zombies. The whole operation revolves around safe rooms (labeled as such) where you can save, request help, or take on new missions. The majority of the missions involve clearing all the zombies out of a given area. There’s nothing wrong with this, just don’t go in expecting what the 360 version was able to deliver.
The game play itself isn’t too bad. You have a virtual D-pad to move, an attack button, and other buttons that appear as needed (opening doors, picking up weapons, etc). I did notice that the buttons would lag, or be slightly unresponsive when a lot of zombies were on the screen at one time. You’ll still find weapons, but you can pick up anything in site anymore. It’s limited to more traditional items (I want my lawnmower and soccer ball back).
The graphics aren’t awful, but knowing the game they’re based off of makes them slightly less impressive. My only complaint is that the game has a maximum number of zombies you can see at one time. For example, I had many moments where I’d run down what looked like an empty hallway, only to find it FILLED with the walking dead once I was closer to the crowd.
One feature I thought was really neat, but couldn’t take advantage of, is the help feature. If you’re on the verge of dying and becoming a zombie, you can send our a request for help from a safe room through Twitter or Facebook and have a friend log in and save you. If no one does, you become a named zombie on all your friends’ copies of the game. This social feature is really unique and sounds awesome. Unfortunately, with no friend who also owns the game, I can’t tell you much about it other than the description given.
Overall, Dead Rising Mobile is great on the iPhone, and well worth picking up for any good zombie fan. Just make sure you go into it expecting a light and simple hack-and-slash adventure and you’ll be sure to enjoy it! For a limited time, the game is currently on sale for $1.99.