In 2006, Capcom scored a huge success with its zombie action game “Dead Rising.” Players were given the opportunity to take on the role of photojournalist Frank West, finding the character trapped in a mall that’s crawling with the undead. Frank has to not only survive, but he and the player must also try and figure out what’s behind the zombie outbreak. Between the hordes of undead, the sandbox gameplay, and the variety of weapons to destroy zombies with, “Dead Rising” was like getting to play through your favorite zombie movie.
After the success of the Xbox 360 version, Capcom announced that “Dead Rising” would be making its way to the Nintendo Wii console, with “Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop.” The game arrived in stores this past week, and CBR caught up with Capcom Product Marketing Manager Colin Ferris to talk about what makes the Wii version of the game unique.
CBR: What is it about the “Dead Rising” property that you think makes it a good fit for the Wii?
CF: Dead Rising is a great franchise that could find its home on any console. Ever since seeing their first zombie, people have wondered what it would be like to try and survive a zombie apocalypse. Obviously, we make it more fun than it would be in real life. I doubt I’d be trying on a dress while flesh-eating undead were after me.
A lot of focus has been placed on the technical limitations of the Wii, specifically that there will be fewer enemies on screen at one time. How do you respond to critics who believe “Chop Till You Drop” will be a watered down version of the original?
It’s a very different game than the original that has many unique elements to take advantage of both the Wii hardware and the Wii consumer. We’ve worked a long time on “Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop,” and have created a genuinely fun game that I think Wii fans will really enjoy.
Will the storyline in “Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop” mirror the original game?
The storyline is very similar [to the original], but there are differences. I don’t want to ruin any of the plot points for new fans, but the basic premise is that Frank West, independent photojournalist, got a tip that something was happening in the small town of Willamette. On his way in by helicopter, he is forced to land at the local mall. Once there, he discovers that he is trapped by thousands of undead that have surrounded the mall. Can Frank last for 3 days in a zombie infested mall?
One of “Dead Rising’s” original features that is not in Wii game is the photography element. Is there another system in place to help Frank upgrade his abilities?
In order to raise your characters abilities, you must kill zombies. The more creative you are in the killings, the more experience you get. You also gain experience by rescuing other survivors and beating the various psychopaths that have been driven crazy by the situation.
How are you making the game more accessible for casual players, while still offering a challenge to those hard core gamers who want it?
The game is challenging, no doubt about that. However, we did want to address some concerns that gamers had with the original. The save system, in particular, has undergone a complete change. Broken up by chapter, you are now able to continue your game at any point, no more restarting from the beginning. In addition, you are able to have more than one saved game.
We’ve heard you’re using the “Resident Evil 4” engine to power “Chop Till You Drop.” Does that allow you to do things with the gameplay that were not possible with the original game?
Actually, this is a misconception. While we used the same team who created “RE4 Wii Edition” and mirrored the successful Wii controls from that game, the engine used for the game was designed specifically for “Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop.” The gameplay is actually much more gun based than the 360 version. To reflect that, we’ve added a bunch of new weapons and changed the story to allow Frank to purchase new weapons from the gun dealer in the mall. We’ve even added a few new [weapons] that gamers might recognize from some of our other games.
You’ve actually been able to improve on a couple of areas that gave people problems with “Dead Rising,” namely the save system and font sizes? Can you talk a bit about those and other issues you may have addressed?
I previously discussed the save system, but the fonts have changed too. Given that the Wii only operates at 480 (‘i’ or ‘p’), we didn’t have to worry that a different resolution would affect the legibility of the text.
“Dead Rising” featured a lot of unlockable weapons and costumes. Can we expect the same of “Chop Till You Drop?”
Absolutely. There’s a ton of weapons and costumes. Some unlock as you play, but most you just have to find. There are new unique costumes we’ve added including a “Bionic Commando” outfit and a bikini. Frank in a bikini is more frightening than any zombie.
For someone who has already played through the Xbox 360 version of the game, what are the reasons they should check out “Chop Till You Drop?”
They should check it out for a completely different gameplay experience. “Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop” is a much different game and fans should check it out for themselves.
CBR would like to thank Colin for taking time to talk with us.
“Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop” is available now for the Nintendo Wii. For more information, head over to the game’s official website, www.dead-rising.com/wii.