Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is a violent adventure game. It has frequent and excessive violence, blood, and gore. Gamers can rip apart enemies, blow them to bits, dismember and decapitate them, beat them to a pulp with blunt objects and run over them in vehicles. The game also has some profanity, sexual imagery and references to alcohol. The updated “remastered” version released in 2016 adds high-definition graphics and additional content.
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What's it about?
What would happen if Frank West -- the photojournalist star from the original Dead Rising -- replaced motorcycle star Chuck Greene in Dead Rising 2? You can find out firsthand in DEAD RISING 2: OFF THE RECORD, a "director's cut" of 2006's campy action game that swaps the new protagonist with the old, and adds new story elements, enemies, and weapons to the gory gameplay. This remix once again drops you into the Las Vegas-like Fortune City, currently plagued by a zombie outbreak, and leaves you to fend for yourself. With Frank's return comes his trusty camera to earn prestige points for taking gruesome images of the carnage. There are also combo items used to create insane weapons of mass dismemberment, such as fusing a vacuum cleaner and saw blades that sucks zombies in and chops them to bloody bits. New psychopath bosses are even harder to take down this time around. Capcom rereleased this game in 2016 for new platforms – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs – with updated graphics (now sporting 1080p HD resolution), 60 frames per second gameplay for faster and smoother motion (even during scenes with many zombies onscreen at the same time), all previously-released downloadable content (DLC) costumes, the option to digitally download the game, and a reduced price of $19.99.
Is it any good?
This adventure is a violent title that's solely for mature players, but it's really best only if you haven't purchased the original game, whether that's the 2006 original or 2016 “remastered” version. Why? Unless you're a huge Frank West fan there's not much earth-shakingly new to justify the purchase, aside from a new Sandbox Mode that lets you tackle a seemingly never-ending horde of the undead with no storyline or time limit to distract you. At least it supports online play, including a co-op option for two players to work together over the Internet.
This third-person adventure's over-the-top gory gameplay is still fun in a guilty pleasure sort of way -- now with fewer and faster load times, improved online performance, checkpoints, and other technical upgrades -- but Fortune City hasn't changed much since Dead Rising 2, despite some new missions, environments (including "Uranus Zone"), weapons, and vehicles (such as a clown car). Fun, yes? And funny, too, but the lower price may tempt fans of the franchise. The high price of the initial game wasn't worth the expense for the gameplay. Now, it's a more desirable purchase given the sub-$20 price tag, updated graphics, and extra content.
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?
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- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Capcom
- Release date: October 11, 2011
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Sexual Themes
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.