Dead Rising 2: Off the Record

Common Sense Media says

Extremely gory adventure uses weapons of mass dismemberment.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is an over-the-top b-movie like horror game with copious amounts of gore and violence, but with some humor thrown in. There is no positive message to be found here, even though you're someone who is fighting against zombies bent on eating human flesh. You can kill enemies in a wide variety of creative ways and are rewarded for it.

Positive role models

Frank West might be a respected photojournalist who is seeking a cure to prevent turning into one of "them" but he uses plenty of violence to kill many thousands of zombies in this game. Sure, he can photograph them, too, but points are awarded for ultra-gory images. Frank seems like a nice guy but at the end of the day he is a relentless killing machine.

Ease of play

The game is controlled in a similar fashion to other third-person action-adventure games. It is not difficult to control for seasoned players, but there is a small learning curve for newcomers to these types of games.


This is an incredibly violent and gory adventure, in which you kill umpteen enemies with more than 115 weapons and combinations of weapons. This includes swords and baseball bats to machine guns and chainsaws to unconventional weapons like stuffed bears and slot machines. You are awarded more points for creative ways of killing others. Players 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 has many sexual themes, such as peep show you can visit, collectible Playboy magazine covers, and female characters who wear sexy Las Vegas Showgirl-like costumes with ample cleavage. Also, you can find a foot-long dildo and beat zombies with it.


The game includes frequent language use of words like "s--t," "ass," "damn," "bitch" and "hell."


Along with Playboy magazine covers there are references to other Capcom video game characters (such as Mega Man and a hidden Easter egg with a reference to Resident Evil.)


Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frank West can find and consume alcohol, which impairs his mobility (swaying side to side) and he can vomit on the ground if he consumes too much. West is also on the hunt for a drug to contain his infection.

Privacy & safety

Creates privacy concerns. The game can be played online with other gamers and supports open voice chat; therefore, players could talk to one another over the Internet in both versions of this game and hear offensive language and be asked personal questions from strangers.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Dead Rising 2: Off The Record is an incredibly violent and gory adventure game. It is not for kids, tweens, or teens because of its 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.



Parents say

Kids say

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 kind of "director's cut" of last year'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. And with Frank's return comes his trusty camera to earn prestige points for taking gruesome images of the carnage. But yes, there are also those 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.

Is it any good?


Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is a good game for adults who like gory, campy adventures, but only if you haven't purchased last year's version. Unless you're a huge Frank West fan, there's not much earthshakingly new to justify the purchase -- aside from a new Sandbox Mode that lets you tackle a seemingly never-ending hoard of the undead with no storyline or time limit to distract you. The game also 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 -- and 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 this new disc isn't quite worth the $40 for its new spin on last year's game. Instead, this should've been a $10 digital download for those who already own Dead Rising 2 but want a little more bloody fun.

Note: The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game are the same.

Families can talk about...

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 11, 2011
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Sexual Themes (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This review of Dead Rising 2: Off the Record was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bybigman200 November 27, 2011


Pretty bad game. Theres a ton of violence, adn I don't think anyone under 17 should be seeing it. Theres other stuff too, like beating zombies with a d*ldo (Funny, but inappropriate) and some language, but nothing above s***. I wouldnt get this game in the first place, but if you do, don't let kids under 17 play it
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old January 16, 2012

Fun Game, But COuld Wait a While

I have this game and it is truly fun, but yes there is violence. Every game has violence this one is no different it is not going to make your child go and kill a zombie plus their not REAL!! The peep show isn't bad you walk in and walk out no noise no language nothing. I agree their is drinking but i mean the place resembles Las Vegas their is alcohol everywhere. It is fun but its for kids who are mature 12 year olds
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old February 16, 2012


This is a good game but it is bad.If you play the first one then the kind of pictures you take and violence and the cussing is like a teen game would have and the other two make it M.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide