Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
By Marc Saltzman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Very gory adventure uses weapons of mass dismemberment.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
No positive messages to be found here, even though you're someone fighting against zombies bent on eating human flesh. You kill enemies in a variety of creative ways, are rewarded for it.
Positive Role Models
Frank West might be a respected photojournalist seeking a cure to prevent turning into a zombie but he uses plenty of violence to kill thousands of zombies.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, easy to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Incredibly violent, gory adventure, where you kill enemies with more than 115 weapons, combinations of weapons from swords, baseball bats to machine guns, chainsaws to unconventional weapons like stuffed bears, slot machines. You're awarded more points for creative ways of killing others. Players can rip apart enemies, blow them to bits, dismember, decapitate them, beat to pulp with blunt objects, run over them in vehicles.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Many sexual themes, such as a peep show you can visit, collectible Playboy magazine covers, female characters who wear sexy Las Vegas Showgirl-like costumes with ample cleavage. Players can find a foot-long dildo, beat zombies with it.
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Frequent use of words like "s--t," "ass," "damn," "bitch," "hell."
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Products & Purchases
Along with Playboy magazine covers, there are references to other Capcom video game characters (such as Mega Man, hidden Easter egg for Resident Evil.)
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frank West can find, consume alcohol, which impairs his mobility (swaying side to side), he can vomit on ground if he consumes too much. West is also on hunt for a drug to contain his infection.
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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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Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
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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
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: 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
- Last updated: December 14, 2021
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