Dead Rising 2: Case Zero (Video Game)

Dead Rising: Case 0 (click for larger image)Reviewed by Mr. Dark

Published by Capcom

Developed by Blue Castle

Dead Rising 2: Case Zero represents an evolution of console gaming. Let’s just throw that out there.

Developers have been complaining for years about the time and expense it takes to develop demos for their games. To a player, it seems kind of simple. Just take a section, slice it like a piece of pie, then serve it up on a standalone plate with some screens promoting the release a la mode. Apparently it’s just a tad bit more complicated than that. Cramming Uncle Creepy into his truss after a night’s drinking at a con seems simple until you try it, too.

Case Zero represents an answer to devs everywhere and a fantastic new avenue of entertainment for us. Case Zero is a demo. Yes, it’s a demo you pay for, but allow me to summon the spirit of Billy Mays from the bowels of hell to say, “Wait! There’s more!”

Case Zero is not simply a demo. Yes, it allows you to experience all the core elements of gameplay before the game is released. Yes, it whets your appetite for the full product. Beyond that, however, it offers even more than many of the full-blown Xbox Live Arcade titles.

First of all, it’s cheap. $5 is a really low price of admission for several hours of fun. It’s also a heck of a lot more substantive than many Arcade titles that go for $10-$15. How many Arcade titles out there have five or six different endings and achievements that require real effort and multiple playthroughs to earn? I easily spent around eight hours reaching the ‘A’ ending the first time. That still isn’t the best resolution because I have yet to save a particularly tricky survivor for a 100% on that stat.

Second, this is a full-featured portion of Dead Rising 2. It’s all here – everything you’ll see in the main game. Combining weapons, collecting ‘cards’, rescuing survivors, racing the clock. It’s just a shorter experience, a prequel to the events of DR2. This isn’t crippleware, as demos often are; no ‘buy the game to see more’…none of that here.

Finally, and this is the big one for me: It is an absolute blast as a standalone title. You can play Dead Rising 2, or you can just stick to Case Zero. You’ll be left with a bit of a cliffhanger ending, wondering about the eventual fate of Chuck and Katie, but it has a beginning, middle, and thrilling end.

Case Zero is, I hope, a view of things to come in gaming. I hope more publishers forgo traditional demos and release standalone Arcade or PSN titles like it. The only downside is the $5 we have to pay for something that was once free, but in return we get more of a good game (or find out about a bad one for only $5 instead of $60).

Oh, wait, I haven’t even mentioned the game itself yet, have I?


That’ll sum it up. Everything about Dead Rising that was annoying is fixed, and everything that rocked is turned up to eleven.

4 1/2 out of 5

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Mr. Dark

A man of mystery. An enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a low-carb whole grain tortilla. A guy who writes about spooky stuff.