Dead Rising hands-on

By far the most fun we had with Dead Rising was weaponizing all of the little doo-dads lying around the mall. Although you can put on a variety of silly headgear (like a horse costume or giant Lego head), it's way more of a blast to plop them onto the domes of hapless zombies and watch them totter around unable to seek the precious brains they crave.

Other items make more straight-forward weapons, like the lead pipe which functions like a big stick for undead-thwacking. The real appeal of a weapon like this is in its realistic physics - when Frank thunks a zombie with the pipe, he continues to follow through with his swing even after the pipe has contacted zombie-flesh. The result is a satisfyingly vicious-feeling blow accompanied by the flawlessly reproduced sound of lead versus necrotic tissue.

Everything you can swing, you can also throw by holding the R trigger while smashing the X button. This simple feature turns our favored lead pipe into a hollow javelin of blood-gushing doom, because if you can score a direct hit your walking-dead foe will not only be comically harpooned with the pipe jutting out of its body, but the pipe also serves as new artery that spouts blood onto the surrounding environment - gross and awesome all at the same time.

With a dense plot packed with supporting characters (that we absolutely will not divulge any information on no matter how much you beg, which is totally for your own good) and remarkably freeform fiend-savaging combat, Dead Rising is rapidly chewing its way to the top of our must-play-more list. It's getting to the point where we're craving more play time almost as much as zombies crave the sweet, delicious contents of our skulls.