Dead Rising 2: Off the Record first-look preview

Fame-crazed photojournalist Frank West dove headfirst into a zombie outbreak for the sake of breaking a story. A risky move for sure, but his photos and acts of heroism helped make him a celebrity in the Dead Rising universe, leading to talk shows, endorsements and no small amount of fans. When another zombie mess overtook Fortune City, however, it was stuntman Chuck Green who saved the day and exposed a pharmaceutical conspiracy. And as any attention-seeking star would act, Frank West wants to butt in and tell you how HE would have handled the situation.

Above: Apparently things would have been… oh, 60% different?

Thus begins Off the Record, a so-called “re-imagining” of last year’s Dead Rising 2, one that replaces Chuck with Frank and tells a brand new story. Developer Blue Castle said this is not just a case of dropping Frank into DR2 and calling it a new game, but rather a thorough “what if?” scenario that retools the entire experience for Frank’s personality. Telling the story through his eyes would no doubt dramatically alter the events in Fortune City, and that’s reflected in the game – expect all new psycho bosses, new combination moves and new areas Chuck never explored, plus a huge focus on Frank’s photography skills. There will also be a new mode introduced, as well as a multiplayer component that joins Frank and Chuck, though further details weren’t given on either subject.

Above: Photography will play a big part in this retelling of DR2

Your first reaction is probably the same as ours – is this DLC or a whole new disc-based game? While on the surface this appears to be a simple tweak and perhaps more worthy of a beefy DLC update than a full disc release, Off the Record will actually ship as its own product and, according to Blue Castle, is larger than the previous game. The impression we got was that Off the Record will contain everything from DR2 (with new locations, plot points and the like) plus new content that Frank sees as a result of his own journey through Fortune City. Off the Record also introduces a handful of gameplay adjustments that stem from critical and consumer reactions to Dead Rising 2; namely a new checkpoint system that saves in each new area and before a boss battle, as well as shortened loading times.

So it’s a mix of old and new, but how much will this remix of an existing game cost? Blue Castle producer Jason Lee said it will be “appropriately priced’, which suggests something lower than the usual $60. Capcom allowed Super Street Fighter IV to launch for $40, so we’re holding out hope Off the Record lands in the same area.

How far does this “re-imagining” go? It appears the key plot points will be similar (if not identical) though the details will unfold in a different manner. For example, this game opens with Frank, whose popularity has waned since his first big story, appearing on the Terror is Realty show as a special guest. Instead of racing in on a motorcycle a la Chuck, he dons a unitard and fights zombies in a wrestling ring. Frank’s a bit tougher this time around, using suplexes, body slams and clotheslines to tear zombies’ heads off and send them flying into grisly wood chippers built into the turnbuckles. After winning the contest, he heads back to the greenroom (as Chuck did), then is trapped in an elevator as the zombie outbreak occurs (again, as Chuck did).

From there, however, the events begin to stray from Dead Rising 2. Frank hears some hushed, mysterious-sounding conversations coming from behind a door and peeks in for a quick snapshot. Inside, he discovers the Terror is Reality host, TK, engaged in questionable dealings; naturally this calls for some incriminating photos, which then kick off a story that snowballs out of control. As with the first game, Frank’s photos earn PP and come with all kinds of categories, like “Erotica” and “Drama.” He does have at least one new photo trick though – pointing his camera at himself as he poses with a zombie, creating a cheesy, MySpace-worthy glamour shot. So yeah, the goofiness is still intact.

Off the Record is slated for a fall 2011 release, just over a year since DR2 arrived. It does appear to be a hefty director’s cut with plenty of new content, but the tipping point for us is price. How about you? As Dead Rising fans, is Frank’s return enough to get you back in, or are you sated enough to wait for a full-fledged Dead Rising 3?

April 12, 2011



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  • BertTheTurtle - May 13, 2011 12:57 a.m.

    It is very likely that I will pick this up immediately, or as close to immediately as possible. I hope they have more hand-to-hand combat moves this time around, though. I missed Disembowel.
  • SerpentineZERO - April 15, 2011 4:28 a.m.

    I love the Dead Rising games, so i'll be getting this on day one, or around that time. I also like how one of the biggest DR haters at GR is previewing a Dead Rising game... again.
  • Longnuts - April 13, 2011 11:22 p.m.

    More zombies. A day one purchase for me no matter what.
  • philipshaw - April 13, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    I loved DR2, but this should be DLC
  • PortalFTW - April 13, 2011 2:37 a.m.

    Is it wired that Frank looks like Dan Akaroyd
  • FlikNightshade - April 13, 2011 2:09 a.m.

    First off, I want to say, this is the best write up about this game I've found so far. Very to the point and the only one I've read to address the possible price point of the game. Now. I won't lie. I'm excited for this game. It's like Capcom had been listening in on my conversations when I talked about the original Dead Rising 2. I'll be watching this one very closely.
  • Stryde22 - April 13, 2011 12:54 a.m.

    definitely would prefer those resources were used to create a whole new game in a new setting. seems a little low to charge that much for a 'master quest' style non-canonical spinoff, especially when teh story still has places to go.
  • Yeager1122 - April 12, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    I would rather play this then Dead Rising 2 which i never played cause it didnt intrest me.
  • BladedFalcon - April 12, 2011 8:49 p.m.

    So basically... They are doing what DR2 SHOULD have been... After releasing DR2 already and charging for it... >_> I mean, seriously, for me, the biggest flaws of DR2 were the lack of frank, The loading times, and the annoying checkpoint system. So sounds like this will be the game that I should have played all along... Which means i could have avoided playing DR2 *Grumbles* Fucking Capcom, your tactics seriously piss me off sometimes, but you know I will not say no to this. Damn you.
  • AlphaAGENT144 - April 12, 2011 7:04 p.m.

    seriously, they could have AT LEAST made his voice a little different. i mean hell. he looks like he let himself go and is fastly approaching 50 and still sounds like a 12 year old with a congestion.
  • Anderstmnt - April 12, 2011 6:28 p.m.

    This better be on PS3, also when this comes out I think capcom should throw in the 2 downloadable cases on the Disc for PS3 & a download code for Xbox.
  • bloodyshadow - April 12, 2011 6:13 p.m.

    That sounds awesome... But I'm sorry, why is Brett the one announcing this? He HATES Dead Rising! whatever. Look forward to it.
  • NathanXplosion - April 12, 2011 5:53 p.m.

    I loved DR2 but a what-if game doesn't really interest me much. I think I will wait for DR3.
  • NinjaJamez - April 12, 2011 5:24 p.m.

    this gets my attention a lot more than what the original DR2 did
  • FrankWest246 - April 12, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    I will for sure buy this when it comes out, dont really care about price, ive beaten every Dead Rising, including Chop till you drop 100%, so i cant wait to play this.
  • Calicard - April 12, 2011 4:08 p.m.

    I love the Dead Rising series and this sounds awesome. Chuck was nice but it will be cool to see some more Frank action. I'm excited for this and hopefully a Dead Rising 3.
  • ChickenFillet5140 - April 12, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    Sounds cool, definitely gonna pick this up. Loved DR2.
  • Ell223 - April 12, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    Not gonna buy it till it's dead cheap (geddit?!). But seriously DR2 was a big let down for me after how much I loved the original, not sure what it was- the environment probably, and the still broken boss fights, yawn worthy plot and awful multiplayer. The first one had all those problem except the mall environment was great and the gameplay was fresh and fun at the time. Unless they add something more than just areas and weapons I'm out.
  • asspills - April 12, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    For $40... Yeah, I'd definitely be willing to wait until it drops to $29.99!!
  • bonerachieved - April 12, 2011 3:35 p.m.

    YES, bonerrrrrrachieved