Dead Rising

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Dead Rising Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Campy, violent zombie bash imitates Dawn of the Dead film.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 25 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 36 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

No positive messages, game rewards creating gory, graphic violence by letting you earn points for taking photos of most horrific scenes. Before you can film graphic violence, you have to help create it by attacking zombies.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As a photojournalist, you don't just record mayhem, you participate in it to create it.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.


Action-heavy zombie-smashing game is both bloody, gory. Players use chainsaws, shotguns, hand-to-hand combat to dispatch undead. 2016 "remastered" version offers high-definition visuals of gore.


Some images of nude women on objects, such as a t-shirt, paintings. You earn rewards for taking photos of partially unclothed zombies.


Frequent use of "hell," "damn," "s--t," "bitch."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Players can drink wine, will encounter an inebriated man.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dead Rising is a violent adventure game. It features plenty of shotgun blasts, chainsaw dismemberment, and hand-to-hand combat as the player takes on legions of the undead. Other possible concerns for parents include profanity (the character may utter curse words including "hell," "damn," "s--t," and "bitch"), some nude imagery on paintings and T-shirts, and the ability to carry and consume wine.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byBinge W. August 2, 2018

Rated M for mature

There are a few Violent moments and yes they get mature. There’s a lot of shooting zombies and one part cannibal corpses were shown. And an occasional use of... Continue reading
Adult Written byJimmy H June 24, 2017

Great game, but not for kids

Dead Rising is a well made game, but does have some intense themes. There is graphic violence with lots of blood, and the atmosphere is a bit scary. There is so... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byCherryBoy February 11, 2021

Amazing zombie game!

Despite this game being made in 2006, the game is still a very fun game to play through, you play as Frank West, an avid photojournalist looking for his next bi... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 17, 2013

Good Rising

This is a great zombie game! a video game remake of the famous movie "dawn of the dead" you just dont record mayhem, you create in it?
Thats the most... Continue reading

What's it about?

DEAD RISING is best described as an interactive version of George A. Romero's 1978 zombie horror flick Dawn of the Dead. You play as the rugged Frank West, an ambitious freelance photojournalist who arrives in the small, fictitious town of Willamette, Colo., and discovers that the Army has mysteriously quarantined the area. The town's residents have turned into the undead. West makes his way to a shopping mall, where he must survive by working with others to ward off this relentless mob and get the story before the rescue helicopter comes back for him in 72 hours. All versions of the game are the same, but only the 2016 remastered game is playable on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. Capcom Vancouver added high-definition (1080p HD) visuals at a smooth 60 frames-per-second, and some extra content including bonus costumes. Along with a disc, the newer game is available as a digital download for under $20.

Is it any good?

It’s violent, gory and completely ridiculous – yet mature gamers who spend time with this adventure game won’t be able to put it down. By giving you an open-ended action-adventure game, Dead Rising lets you go virtually anywhere and interact with more than 80 survivors. It also lets you use anything found in the game environment, such as a box to climb over a tall barrier, a golf club or frying pan to whack zombies, or an air duct to travel to other areas of the mall. But your greatest asset is your digital camera as you must take photos for the rest of the world to see – if you can make it out alive, of course. Taking good photos – such as an up-close snapshot of a zombie’s face (no easy task) or one that shows a drama on a survivor’s face – earns the player Prestige Points, which can be used to upgrade skills, including attack power, movement speed, and throwing distance. The camera’s battery will eventually run out so players must find replacement batteries in the mall to keep snapping photos. At any time in the game, players can look through their photo album and keep which ones they like best.

Missions are listed as “Cases,” which will lead you to the truth behind the zombie outbreak. Some missions are mandatory while others are optional. As one would expect for such a game, fighting plays a big part in Dead Rising. Players will unlock new attack moves over time to better stave off the blood-thirsty mob (who grow stronger and faster at night, by the way). This is one of those “guilty pleasure” games. The premise is campy and the action is over-the-top, but it's also good-looking, fun, and addictive for mature players -- and it's never looked and played so well as it has with the 2016 remastered version.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Do you think it's acceptable for older gamers to find entertainment in this sort of carnage? Is it a harmless way for adults to unwind after a tough day? Or can games like this desensitize us to real-life violence and gore?

  • Talk about the campy appeal of old horror movies and zombies. Do you think they are good source material for a video game? If you were to remake a classic monster movie or make a favorite movie into a video game, what would it look like? Who would the heroes be?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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