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"Dead Rising"

Zombies + shopping mall + Xbox 360 = a good time


Shop 'til you drop some zombies

On the box of the Xbox 360 game Dead Rising, there is a disclaimer that reads "this game was not developed, approved, or licensed by the owners or creators of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead." On the surface, the basic concept of both the game Dead Rising and its inspiration are very similar --- a zombie infestation of a small town where survivors take refuge in a mall. That's where the similarities end, however, as Dead Rising takes a much more action-oriented tack toward its zombie subject matter than both Dawn of the Dead and zombie-themed video games before it.

There's no shortage of zombies to take on in Dead Rising --- they come at you in the hundreds. You can use almost anything in the mall to waste them, from bowling balls to guitars to chainsaws. This is where much of the game's fun comes from, as some rather comical situations can result from using such ordinary objects as weapons. Sadly, flaws in Dead Rising detract from the fun as well. The aiming controls are awkward and unresponsive; the behavior of survivors you escort to safety is about as dumb as the zombies out there, if not dumber; and some of the game's text is really small and hard to read, making it hard to understand what to do next. Not to mention that with only one save game slot, it can be possible to save the game at a point where it's impossible to win.

While these flaws detract from the game's experience, they don't ruin it --- it's always fun to run over zombies with a lawn mower.

Dead Rising is an Xbox 360 exclusive, and is rated M for Mature, so keep it away from the little kids.