Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition (PC) Review – Wanna Sledge-Saw Some Brains?

PC gamers always have a tentative relationship with console exclusives. They’re either the games that we never get to play because of our lack of a current console, or they become the reason we shell out $400+ to play a single game. Bloodborne and Uncharted 4 for the PS4 are the most likely to make me take the plunge, because those are unlikely to come out on PC. Xbox on the other hand has had two of its biggest exclusives announced for PC. Ryse is coming soon, and we can enjoy Dead Rising 3 with some DLC added in there right now!

I covered some of the more technical points of the PC release of Dead Rising 3 in my In Progress Review, so I’ll keep that portion brief here. In short, this isn’t a great PC port. It’s not absolutely disastrous, but it’s not great. Controls work flawlessly with a controller and are totally competent with a keyboard and mouse as well, so that’s fantastic. Performance wise, however, things are much more rough. First of all, the game is locked to 30fps, which is just unacceptable for modern PC releases. I outlined how to unlock the framerate in my previous article. It’s simple and works well, but shouldn’t have been necessary.

Much more damning is the constant crashes many people are facing and the fact that the game just doesn’t run as well as it should. It’s a nice looking game and the massive crowds of zombies are certainly impressive, but most systems will struggle to maintain even 30fps on max settings. Dialing the visuals down does help, but it also makes things look much worse. My particular flavour of crashing issue was solved by reverting my Nvidia drivers back to 335.23, but rolling back drivers isn’t an easy task and can hurt the performance of other games. Big negative points there, which is a shame, because the part where you actually play the game is pretty darn fun!

This guy’s having a little too much fun…

I played the original Dead Rising and hated it. I hated it because of the constant time restraints and the need to save at a “safe house”. I’m not a big fan of losing a half hour of progress because I died on my way to the safe house. Funny enough, the reasons I hate Dead Rising are the same reasons most fans of the series like it. Amazingly, Capcom managed to make everyone happy. People like me can play the regular story mode with auto-saves and VERY lax time restrictions, and classic fans can play Nightmare Mode, which has all the horrible trappings of the original. So go nuts, you crazy people!

Of course the most important question about Dead Rising 3 is this; Is it fun/satisfying to kill the zombies? Answer:  absolutely! Like the other games there’s tons of variety and you can use pretty much anything not bolted down as a weapon. Vehicles are also a big part of this game because of the much more open world map introduced here. Most players will likely gravitate towards a small stable of favourite weapons/combos, but I like to know that I could pick up that novelty LEGO helmet and kill things with it if I so choose. I’m not going to use it frequently, but I just like the option.

Speaking of options, the real variety comes in the crafting system. There are blueprints scattered all over the world, and they do things like teach you how to strap a cement saw and a sledgehammer together to make the “Sledge-Saw”. Or perhaps you could combine a motorcycle and a steamroller to make, I don’t remember what it was called…..this thing:

The word “Rad” just doesn’t do this thing justice.

Combining items into combo weapons is probably the most important mechanic. Eventually you can put skill points into combo categories, so instead of needing a sledgehammer for the Sledge-Saw you can use any blunt weapon. This results in hilarious combos, like combining a wrench and a keyboard into a gigantic hammer that shoots electricity. Putting points in enough of these combos means you can make almost anything with parts lying around in any given place. It’s weird, but great!

It just wouldn’t be a Dead Rising, or a Capcom game for that matter, if there wasn’t a hefty dose of just plain oddity as well. Every character you meet is an absolutely insane over-the-top stereotype. The weapons are beyond impossible, and there are plenty of clothing collectibles lying around that your character puts on immediately when he finds them, resulting in stylish looks like this:

“I slay all the Zombies…..with laughter!!”

Dead Rising 3 is funny, and more importantly a riot to play. New players will enjoy the standard mode while classic players will get their fix in Nightmare Mode. It really is just a shame there are quite a few issues with performance on PC. Let’s hope the modding community can work their usual magic with this one.


The Good


The Bad