How would you survive a zombie apocalypse? On SciFiNow, we have a promotional Highlander sword next to our desks in case of emergency, and we’re always prepared to behead or impale someone in the name of defending the human race. The upcoming Dead Rising 2: Off The Record is a new edition of last year’s zombie sequel, the difference being that players take on the role of Frank West, the hero from the original 2006 title Dead Rising, rather than the sequel’s slightly more generic Chuck Greene.
That might not mean a lot to you, so let’s put it this way: Frank has kind of a cult following, in the way that Ash from The Evil Dead does with a certain subset of horror fans. Frank is a photographer, a fool and completely practical at building weapons to thwart a zombie onslaught. Capcom’s team of zombie experts talked us through game and offered some tips on how to survive a zombie attack that doesn’t require dodgy promotional weaponry:
What are the main influences on the game from cinema? The original game stated that it wasn’t associated with George Romero in any way, a clear nod to the filmmaker’s influence – but what about the second game? Were there different influences?
DR2 was mainly influenced by DR1, plus a range of our own personal interests in zombie fiction and action/horror movies. The biggest influences for Off The Record were the first two Dead Rising games. DR1 and DR2 are already so steeped in zombie lore that they encompass the whole spectrum of the genre. All of the homework that was done to create those two games gave us the ability to simply reference them and try to stay true to them. DR2 was obviously the springboard for the world, characters, and tone. DR1 was critical for us to revisit in order to bring Frank West back in a way that stayed true to his character. In the end we’re really happy with how the experience of the Fortune City outbreak has changed by having Frank and his story in the mix.
Go on – what would be your guide to anyone suffering from a zombie invasion?
I’d get away from population, stock up on food, lock the doors and windows, arm myself with as many weapons as possible, and keep an eye out for anyone who starts to shamble. But Frank would do it differently. He’d just find a bunch of funny objects to put on their heads to confuse them. Then he’d take their pictures! FANTASTIC!
What weapons would you recommend people construct out of everyday household objects, in order to survive?
DR2:OTR now has 65 combo weapons that you can build so there are more than enough ideas there, but if the zombies are coming and you don’t have time to turn on your console, HEAD FOR THE GARAGE! Lawn mowers, axes, hammers, anything sharp or bludgeoning would be on the list. I’m a big tennis player and have lots of old racquets from over the years, so it would be fun to figure out how to use those. We have a couple of tennis racquet combo weapons in the game already that use fire, but perhaps hooking up a battery and electrifying the strings would be the ticket! Hmmm… and perhaps some wired videogame controllers with blades attached that you could swing around by the cord…
Dead Rising 2: Off The Record is out on the 14th of October on Xbox 360 and PS3.