Dead Rising 2: Off The Record (Xbox 360) Reviews

  • Drayco90Drayco90128,480
    16 May 2012
    12 0 1
    Okay, a disclaimer before I begin- this review will likely have spoilers for Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 2: Case West. I'm not sure why you'd be reading a review on Off the Record if you didn't already know the plots of the last few games, but I'll throw this up here just in case.

    Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is extremely similar to Dead Rising 2, which launched a little over a year before this one. This game is meant only to be a fun distraction- a completely non-canon version of the events of the last game, with one major change. Instead of Chuck Greene being the Hero of Fortune City, Frank West is there instead. It's a Dead Rising Elseworlds tale, so one shouldn't expect to come into this as a full new game.

    The Story
    Dead Rising 2: Off the Record's story is, for the most part, a rehash of the last game. Instead of Chuck Greene, Frank West has to take part in the Terror is Reality games to try and win money, but instead of doing it for Katey Greene, Frank is trying to get the money because he's the one who needs the Zombrex injections, and his career as a TV celebrity washed up over time and controversy. The game immediately goes off the rails, when Frank discovers the host of the show, TK, making a deal with the CURE member (and optional boss battle from the last game) Brandon Whittaker. After snapping a few key photos of the event, Frank leaves and suddenly the Zombies are loose from their Terror is Reality pens and the Fortune City Outbreak begins. The set-up is more-or-less the same as the Second game, with Frank needing to discover what TK's evil plots are while fighting hordes of zombies and rescuing all the survivors he can get.

    Surprisingly, a lot of the story missions are changed just enough to keep them interesting. While a few encounters seem a little forced since it's clear that it's playing a Dead Rising 2 cutscene with, what is effectively, a Frank West skin for Chuck, leaving a few moments a little awkwardly placed, these moments are few and far between and a lot of the voice acting cast has returned to record new dialogue. This goes beyond just saying "Frank" instead of "Chuck"- while some cutscenes follow the same path and actions as the last game, a lot of the dialogue is completely reworded just to change things up. The biggest changes as a result, are the final few cases which play out MUCH differently, and the Psychopath encounters.

    In DR2, most of the Psychos attacked Chuck as a result of them seeing the TV reports that Greene was responsible for the outbreak, but in Off the Record, CURE is being framed instead of Frank, so all of their motivations for attacking Frank have to be updated accordingly, with only a few major exceptions. While all of the classic Psychos make their returns, two new notable ones join the cast- both of whom were so heavily spoiled before the game's release that I don't even consider it a spoiler to talk about them.

    Chuck Greene, unable to save Katey, is now a raging lunatic- there's still glimmers of his protective and skills, but these are clouded by a haze of depression-induced binge drinking. While I enjoyed Chuck's character in the second game, the moments he really shined as a character was in the character moments between himself, Katey, Rebecca and Stacey- while he faced everything else with a level of stoicism that felt out of place in a game where you can dress up in a banana hammock and cowboy hat and club things to death with a giant teddy bear. This change has made Chuck Greene a far more interesting character, and it's a shame that we can't have a canon Chuck this interesting. The second new psycho is Evan McIntyre, the dwarf clown ice-cream salesman, who's name you may recognize as the brother of Adam, the chainsaw juggling terror of Wonderland Plaza that you murdered all the way back in the original game. Evan is out for vengeance on our boy Frank West for killing his brother, and while he's not much of a challenge, he's a fun encounter with a number of nostalgic moments, and a few cheap laughs.

    It is a little disappointing that, after all the other changes done to the end-game, the entire sub-plot about the Phenotrans creating the Gas Zombies to drive up Zombrex prices is still intact- a non-canon Dead Rising should've allowed them to do something crazy with this plot point instead, but it remains almost completely unchanged. Similarly, Overtime Mode in this game seems to have no redeeming qualities about it at all. Like Dead Rising 2, Off the Record's Overtime mode is a mad dash to gather some useless crap for TK, followed by a redux of the Terror is Reality games, and ending with a battle with the Host himself to earn a happy ending. The extra work seems a lot less worth it when you already know that the events won't matter, and TK is as cheap a boss as ever.

    These are small complaints, however. Not only does DR2:OTR keep everything good about the second game's plot, but Frank's appearance actually improves it. West seems to be more naturally suited to unraveling the conspiracy around him, and once the Phenotran's hilarious plan is revealed, it seems MUCH less forced than it did when combined with Chuck's no-nonsense, "it's personal" approach to the Reveal.

    The Gameplay
    First and foremost, Off the Record makes one of the best decisions in the history of the franchise, ever. It takes the horrible multiplayer mode that was tacked on to the second game, and it throws it away entirely, replacing it with Sandbox Mode. Sandbox Mode is by far my favorite new addition to Off the Record- basically, it's DR1's Infinite Mode, but not made to be "kick to the teeth" hard. No time limits, no cases- just you, whatever you can scavenge and a millions of zombies to slaughter as much as you want. Any XP and Money earned along the way can be carried over to the main game, so there are practical reasons to play as well. When you get tired of slaughtering zombies, you can load up various mini-games. Most of these are kind of meh, and a lot of them are just more variants on "kill zombies in time limit", but hey- it works.

    The overall gameplay is rather unchanged from the sequel, and that's not really a bad thing. The item placements have been completely rearranged, which does quite a bit to force you to find a new playstyle for this one, and the boss battles have adopted a new feature- after so many hits, they take next to no melee damage until they can recover. Gone are the days when you can just swing your defiler and turn Ted's face into a puddle in a few hits, and while the Psychos have less health to compensate for the change, they also all seem to have become more fun to fight as a result.

    Photography makes a much appreciated return, and is full of all the mainstays you expect- PP stickers, bonuses and cries of "FAN-TASTIC" abound. Frank's devastating unarmed abilities aren't all back in this game like in Case West, but they are notably better than Chuck's still, allowing the player to enjoy a few new moves along the way.

    They say the devil's in the details, and Off the Record makes great strides to proof this. Off the Record may not be much of a change from the last game, but all of the small changes really add up to a superior experience.

    Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is a blast to play through- it's full of all the mainstays the series is famous for, an amazing Sandbox mode and while it's still not the Citizen Kane of gaming, it's an absolute blast to play, and is without a doubt a superior experience to all of the games to come before it. When it came out, it was only 40 dollars, which is a great price for it, but I bought it used for 16, which is practically a steal- if you're a fan of the series, or never got the chance to try it out, I can't recommend picking this game up enough. It's small problems add up like the small advantages, which make this simply a "very good" instead of a "must buy", but it's still a great time to be had... especially if you have a friend to go Co-Op on.
  • Skycaptin5Skycaptin5716,349
    29 Oct 2011 08 Nov 2011
    10 2 2
    Return to Fortune City with the Champ

    The Campaign
    -Welcome back to Fortune City, a place we ventured through not too long ago, but this time we are joined by the one and only Frank West (He’s covered wars). Somewhat changing the entire storyline of Dead Rising 2, Frank has come across hard times since his show got cancelled, so he’s come to the city, as he feels he hasn't uncovered the whole truth. Featuring a similar storyline, you go around doing quests and missions, from essential ones of finding Frank Zombrex, to fun sidequests that may include crazy psychopaths. The game builds off the previous version, adding extra items and psychopaths, along with the theme of making it through so many days. I found it as a nice refresh playing as Frank, thinking at times that maybe he should have been there instead of Chuck.
    Anyways he brings back his trusty camera, that gains you tons of extra PP, there is also a new Uranus Park area, which hosts a collection of games and other neat things. There are more weapons to collect and also build into a more kickass device.

    -The most awesome sandbox mode, which is the most compelling feature to this purchase. Basically it is the game open for exploring without a care in the world, besides the annoying psychopaths. Yet other then that just roam around killing zombies, or even venture and try a challenge to get a medal for some bonus PP. The best part, from just roaming around is that everything done in this mode carries to other and also for campaign to this! That includes levels, PP and skills!

    -The game sadly scraps the fun money making Terror is Reality mode… but fear not there is still the great coop mode allowing you to take on the zombies with a friend. Doesn't change really anything, but is definitely a blast.

    -Not much has changed in the game, despite the camera and the new area. The graphics look slightly better, but its pretty much the same. The game still has terrible load times, but far better in comparison to the last.

    The Conclusion
    -Yet to play Dead Rising 2?, then is something you will want. Similar story, sporting more great stuff and Frank West. All with a cheap price tag makes this title awesome. Its filled with zombies as usual, sports an awesome fun sandbox, the modes are combined and the loading screens are better than Dead Rising 2. More zombie killing fun in Fortune City!

    Written by me on
  • ryanlegend95ryanlegend95184,471
    04 Aug 2012 08 Aug 2012
    8 2 2
    I've covered war games ya know.

    Yes that's right folks Frank West is back and he is still the same immature journalist that you know and love although this time he seems a bit different. Over the years he has put on weight and he is starting lose quite a bit of hair due to stress and age (he's in his 40s).

    External image

    This game is a directors cut to the original Dead rising 2 game where you play as Chuck Greene. In this version it's the same story but you play as a different hero. It's like a "what if" really.

    In this alternative story you play as the Willamette hero Frank West. The game will show you a brief cut scene about Frank's life after the first incident and he is not a happy bunny. Basically Frank became a well known celebrity. He released a successful book and was given his own talk show but he let all the fame get to him and lost everything during the process. He wants his life back and to do that he needs another story. He goes to Fortune city to win money at the Terror is Reality game show. Unfortunately he was at the wrong place at the right time because Frank realizes that something wasn't right. So he does his snooping around and before you know it the zombies arrive for Frank's next big story.

    Now here's a review worth a zombie outbreak.


    The game look pretty similar to the previous version but there are some differences. The character models have a better use of motion capture and the animations have been improved so it doesn't look dated anymore and it does a good job. There's an increase in the amount of zombies on screen which is very impressive but does cause some frame rate issues.

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    The new area in the game (called Uranus Zone) looks great and stands out from the other areas in the game. It's also a massive area. The cut scenes still look great.

    I give the graphics score an 8/10.

    Sound effects are reused from the previous title which still sound good and the new weapon sounds, sound great if not cheesy. The voice acting remains solid with the odd exaggeration but it really makes the story come to life. I will say that when Frank talks it always sounds like a one liner. Even if they are one liners there are just way too many and sometimes don't make sense or they are just weak but other than that the voice acting is well done. The background music is still charming but the scary sound for the scare zombies ruins the overall score cause it's poorly done. (I'll go into more detail about the scare zombies later).

    I give the sound score a 7.5/10.


    The gameplay is largely unchanged. The combat is very similar but some weapons from the previous title react different e.g. the normal baseball bat only allows you to swing once whereas the previous game allows you to swing twice. The new weapons are creative and are great to use. If not clunky at times.

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    The loading times are shorter than the original but it's still pretty long and intrusive. Killing zombies are still fun but the new scare zombies are a annoying. Scare zombies are individual zombies that will either hide around a corner, in toilet cubicles or pretend to be dead and as soon as you get near one they will grab you while the scary sound plays at the same time. It's a good idea but the scary sound effect used is poorly done. It's scary but quite muffled. The developers could've done better with a screaming zombie or something than that messy tune. Also if you think that you know all the weapon locations in the game and you know where the best weapon is. Think again. They've changed places.

    Just so you know the co-op is still the same but instead of playing a twin brother. The second player gets to play as Chuck Greene so this time the co-op actually makes a bit more sense that last time. Unfortunately the developers have taken away The Terror is Reality mode which was the only versus game mode. Shame.

    The new sandbox mode is great and lets you have freedom to do whatever you want to do. If you get bored of just killing zombies then there are challenges to complete and they are fun.

    I give the gameplay score an 8/10

    The storyline has the same scenario but it does have twists that you wouldn't expect. This means that there are more cut scenes than the previous game. Unfortunately the story isn't as emotional than the previous game because you are just looking after yourself and not looking after an 8 year old infected girl. But the new twists make the story entertaining again and that's all that matters.

    I give the storyline score an 8.5/10

    -It's great "what if" game.
    -More zombies on screen.
    -Great new weapons.

    -The scare zombies.
    -Frame rate issues.
    -Lengthy and intrusive loading screen.

    Overall I think this is a great spinoff with pretty good updates and the new weapons are a blast. They just need to sort out scare zombies. I give the game an overall score of 8/10
  • benthefletchbenthefletch136,556
    18 Dec 2012
    5 1 0
    That's right Frank west has returned to the dead rising series but not in the way you might have anticipated. Dead rising 2: OTR adds a new unique way to the definition of sequel. Practically based off of the original dead rising 2, Dead Rising 2: OTR puts you back into the shoes of dead rising 1’s own Frank west rather than Chuck Greene (The main protagonist of the original dead rising 2) and takes you on a very familiar journey through the Fortune city outbreak. This review will explain the major factors of the game and weather you should buy it or just forget about it so let’s go...

    Story: The story of Dead rising 2: OTR is almost identical to that of the previous dead rising but with some small and MAJOR tweaks. The major factor of the story is that you play in the shoes of Frank West if he was there at the Fortune city outbreak this does change many things like rather than getting zombrex for your daughter you get Zombrex for yourself, reducing less pacing back and forth between areas of the game. Another difference is Frank’s relationship between characters you can clearly tell that Capcom wanted Frank and Chuck to seem like two completely different people which really helps the story portions of the two games. Of course when playing co-op (that's right its back) the non hosting player will play as Chuck, it won’t change any of the plot so don’t expect any secret endings whilst playing in co-op but it does make more sense than having two identical Frank West’s running around. The major difference between this dead rising and the original dead rising 2 is the additional of the “Uranus Zone” theme park, this addition is a nice new area to explore as all the rides and attractions are fun ways to kill hordes and hordes of non-stop zombies. There are lots of things good with the story of the dead rising 2: OTR campaign weather it be Character development or new areas. But there are a few nitpicks I have to make on the story: For one there is no major changes from Dead rising 2’s story, Frank just like Chuck is being framed and a certain major villain from the last game still plays the same roll.

    The Good: Improved character development, new areas, less stressful plot.
    The Bad: Not a huge change in story

    Story: 7.9/10

    Gameplay: Gameplay is very similar to that of the original dead rising 2. You can free roam the city between story missions and do missions that have a certain time limit in the world. Combo weapons are back along with new ones introduced alongside the Uranus zone such as a Cryopod and a saw launcher. With Frank being a photographer you can now take pictures with your camera, a blast from the past from the original dead rising, you gain PP for taking pictures, the better the picture the more XP. Just like the last games there are still levels and level caps which increase health, Inventory and Combo weapons, you can level up from missions, survivors and kills. You can still dress up your character by exploring the shops; a new addition though is permanent clothing throughout the game. Remember those DLC’s in DR2 that nobody bought with new armour sets? Yeah you can now go through the map and collect multiple parts of those costumes and more a nice small new feature. To me side missions seem to be still repetitive, pick up survivor go to safe house meet psychopaths. Only 3 new bosses have been added: a certain motocross racer, a Midget clown related to the infamous Adam the clown and someone who shall not be mentioned due to spoiler purposes. Co-op does seem to be improved as you don’t get kicked when the host decides to save the game (THANK GOD) although loading screens do seem to be long as hell just like the last game, which is a disappointment but with so many zombies and survivors it’s understandable.

    The Good: New weapons, More Permanent armour sets, improved co-op/save system, more of dead rising 2’s addictive zombie fun.
    The Bad: Few new psychopaths, Repetitive side missions, Long loading screens

    Gameplay: 8.5/10

    Other perks: Sadly the 4 player multiplayer from dead rising 2 did not migrate to this one but instead we got sandbox mode. A free roam mode with no time limit and mindless co-op fun killing crazy survivors and beating your friends at challenges. The mode is fun to have there but it’s not something you should buy the game for, this being true achievements though it is very good if you want to get certain achievements for you lovers out there. Just like dead rising 2 there are still game bugs, frame skips, getting wedged in walls and consoles locking up are some of the glitches I encountered after a year of release.

    The good: Sandbox mode, Co-op, Challenges.
    The Bad: Glitches, no TIR

    Other: 7.6/10

    In conclusion dead rising 2: Off the record is an improvement from 2010’s original Dead rising 2 with better story, gameplay and other perks. I would definitely recommend getting this game to those who did not get dead rising 2, love zombie games or want some co-op fun. But if you weren't much a fan of Dead rising 2 don’t get this because your just gonna want to hate it more. Personally this is a good game it has its glitches which every game has, and the story is improved from the last would.

    Verdict: 8/10
    Good things: Improved game, New Sandbox mode
    Bad things: Basically same plot, More of the same
    Dead rising 2: OTR is a far improved version of dead rising 2, it may not have HUGE changes but it is an improvement and gives us more of the same dead rising.
  • coloneilfrostcoloneilfrost76,433
    19 Feb 2012 23 Feb 2012
    3 7 0
    this game is just as good the dead rising 2 but with a few improvements.

    story: you play as frank west the main protagonist from dead rising 1. CURE gets set up and gets blamed for the outbreak. so frank has to find out what really happened and clear things up.

    GAMEPLAY: the game play is basically the same except with new combo cards and a new sandbox mode and also 3 new psychopaths and a new zone. sandbox mode is basically a free roam but with challenges. there are a total of 30 single player challenges and 30 co op challenges. the challenges arnt really that hard except a couple of them .

    COMBO CARDS: there are a total of 15 new combo cards. Zap N’ Shine – Floor Buffer + Electric Prod. (Build it for the Combo Card.)
    Laser Gun – Laser Sword + Lighting Gun. (Reach to Level 50.)
    Shocker – Defibrillator + Medical Tray. (Gained through levels.)
    Lightning Gun – Blast Frequency Gun + Electric Prod. (Gained through levels.)
    Reaper – Sickle + Katana Sword (Gold Medal the Double Trouble Sandbox Challenge, in Sandbox Mode.)
    Decapitator – Boomerang + Bowie Knife (Found by studying the poster in the Bathroom hallway between the Arena and Americana Casino.)
    Pegasus – Stick Pony + Rocket Fireworks (Gained through levels.)
    Bouncing Beauty – Propane Tank + Rocket Fireworks (Gained through levels.)
    Super Massager – Leaf Blower + Massager (Found by studying the poster in the Southern Plaza, near the southeastern maintenance room.)
    Weed Tendonizer – Grass Trimmer + Bowie Knife (Gained through levels.)
    Laser Eyes – Alien Head + Gems (Found by studying the poster in the Uranus Zone, on the south side of the central building.)
    Cryo Pod – Escape Pod + Fire Extinguisher (Gained through levels.)
    Molten Cannon – Tennis Ball Launcher + Motor Oil (Gold Medal the Burn the Bodies Sandbox Challenge in Sandbox Mode.)
    Saw Launcher – Tennis ball Launcher + Saw blade (Gold Medal the Chop Suey Sandbox Challenge in Sandbox Mode.)
    Electric Crusher – Sledgehammer + Battery (Gained through levels.). their is a new zone called URANUS zone which has a few rides and some supplies to make some of the new combo cards and has a couple of amusing things in the area i think uranus zone is a pretty good installment for the game. MUSIC: the music is still awesome although the psychopaths still have the same soundtrack, the 3 new psychopaths have good themes to them tho.

    LENGTH: the length is about the same as the first.

    GLITCHES/BUGS/ISSUES: i never encountered any bugs or glitches. also the load times have been improved over the first but the framerate is isnt that great. ACHIEVEMENTS: the achievements are funner then the first but they are also easier PROS: the gameplay is fun as usual, the soundtrack is great, the load times are improved, the achievements are fun. cons: framerate.

    why all the thumbs down? atleast explain why