Dead Rising 2 Examines the Power of Multinational PharmaceuticalsS

Dead Rising 2 is a zombie game with bite – a darkly humorous exploration of the ultimate power wielded by multinational pharmaceuticals and the corruption that creates.

This time around Dead Rising will have a more involved, and in-depth story than the original game, said Capcom's Keiji Inafune.

"One of the things I'm proud of with the story is that we have been able to splice in comedic elements even better than before," Inafune said through a translator during a press event last week. "There is an air of mystery but you will also be laughing as you enjoy the story."

In the game, a sequel to Capcom's multi-million selling Dead Rising action title, players take on the role of former Motocross champion Chuck Greene.

Greene travels to Fortune City, a sort of post-zombie apocalypse Las Vegas, to compete in gruesome reality show Terror is Reality. Greene signs up for the show to help pay for the outrageously expensive, and only effective treatment for zombie bites so that his daughter Katey can continue to receive her daily dose of Zombrex. Without it the little girl would turn into a zombie.

But inevitably, things go sideways and Greene finds himself at the center of a zombie outbreak, fighting to stay alive while racing against a clock to, most likely, get his daughter her Zombrex injections. Injections, Capcom folks were quick to point out, that are the only prevention for zombie bites and so very pricey.

As with Dead Rising, the story of Dead Rising 2 takes place over the course of 72 hours, said Rob Barrett, president of developer Blue Castle Games.

The game's plot will be doled out in missions and "scoops."

"It will be very easy to pick up and play," he said.

Dead Rising 2 Examines the Power of Multinational PharmaceuticalsS

While the experience can be very open ended, allowing gamers to explore alone or together the vast playscapes of Fortune City, there are triggers through out the game that push the story forward.

Capcom had a single mission for Dead Rising 2, Chapter 4, level one, named "The Source" playable at last week's event.

Dead Rising 2's open-ended gameplay was briefly interrupted by a call on Greene's two-way radio from someone telling him to go to a night club in the casino. (Barrett says the person on the other end of the radio is essentially Dead Rising 2's Otis, "only hotter and less annoying.")

As Greene's controller, I don't have to run right over there, instead the game allows me to continue my exploration, only hopping back into the story when I arrive at the door to the club.

Walking into the night club triggered a cut scene that introduced me two twin sisters, their opening monologue hinting at some sort of mysterious greater power and the fact that Greene has been set-up to be the cause of the zombie outbreak... again.

Mandatory plot-filling dialog out of the way, Greene then has to defeat the sisters, eventually triggering another cut scene.

Once you've completed the battle, you're back to running around in the zombie-packed Fortune City.

The trailer does a good job of teasing the depth of the game's story, it also introduces us to what I can only hope will be Chuck Greene's catch phrase:

"I know my way around a zombie or two."

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