Around this time last year, I reviewed Dead Rising 4 for Xbox One. At the time, it was kind of an exclusive for the system (before it eventually arrived on Steam and, as of today, PlayStation 4), so I understood if some people felt left out of its experience. But it was still really something at the time, offering an over-the-top and highly joyous way of mowing down hundreds of zombies, while keeping things moving along story-wise. And the fact it didn’t have any limits to hold you back from said carnage really opened things up for it, even though some people want them back. (Why, exactly?)
So I’m revisiting the experience today with Frank’s Big Package, the PlayStation 4 version of Dead Rising 4, which includes the core game along with its respective DLC (including one where the main hero, Frank West, is a zombie himself – it’s called Frank Rising, of all things), as well as a new chapter called Capcom Heroes, in which Frank can play through the game costumed as many different superstars from Capcom games.
The story is still eventually the same, as West makes his way through the zombified town of Williamette, Colorado, seeking out his partner and a whole lot of answers. Along the way, he can put together and use a variety of weapons and costumes that can really help even the odds, through the help of blueprints and unlockable items that load up into his arsenal.
What’s really spectacular about this is how crazy the creativity can get with these weapons. Ever see a gun that can shoot out swordfish? Or, for that matter, a bumper car turned into the ultimate killing machine? You’ll find hundreds of these possibilities within the game, as well as the option of taking a chaotic selfie at any time – just to commemorate the occasion.
The core game itself is still a blast a year later, as you’ll find many ways to carve up the undead and unlock new things, even if you didn’t really expect it. But it’s the DLC that really rounds things out, making Frank’s Big Package, ahem, worth opening.
The main ingredient is Capcom Heroes, which is also available as a free download for previous Dead Rising 4 buyers on Xbox One and PC. In it, again, you can run through the main story, but with over 15 costumes from Capcom’s past. While it may not be the prettiest thing in the world watching Frank tear enemies up dressed as Cammy (ugh, butt cheeks), it’s hilarious all the same. And some of the costumes are truly inspired, particularly Arthur from Ghouls ‘n Ghosts and Viewtiful Joe. They’re fun and useful, especially when you’ve got gun-toting soldiers after you.
Better still, you can unlock these abilities by taking on challenges and hunting down arcade machines within the world, and they’re pretty well placed. You can also pick up tokens and earn even more stars, or purchase them from select places within the city.
On top of that, the other DLC is satisfying as well. Frank Rising adds some fun new gameplay, even if the chapter ends up running shorter than expected; and Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf is a humorous take on mini-golf, with a huge multiplayer motif. It’s pretty unexpected for an experience that’s mainly built on single player, and worth a try the next time you have friends over.
Everything about last year’s game remains unchanged here, which isn’t a surprise, since Capcom is trying to expand its reach while keeping its core elements intact. But it’s the new stuff that helps Dead Rising 4 speak volumes with Frank’s Big Package, and it’s just the holiday relief some players may be looking for, especially if they’re stressed out with gift giving. Sure, it’s just zombie bashing and a few other minor missions for hours on end, but it’s enjoyable, and you can do worse things than dress up as Ryu and hurl fireballs at them.
WWG’s Score: 4 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimer: A review code was provided by the publisher.