Platform: Xbox One (£7.99)
Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
You've got to feel sorry for Hunter Thibodeux. Before being pummelled and burned to a crisp by Nick Ramos in the first Dead Rising 3 boss battle, the hapless motorcycle gang leader spent his last hour on Earth undertaking fetch quests, smashing up emergency telephone booths, then doing another few fetch quests for a fistful of extra PP. Beneath his posturing and facepaint, he's basically a golden retriever with a mohawk, wagging his tail as he does everything his masters tell him.
It's such a waste, because this was Capcom Vancouver's golden opportunity to finally give us a decent slice of DLC. The groundwork's laid perfectly: you play as a boss character who's well-placed to enjoy the zombie carnage. He's out for a rip-roaring revenge story. You get to ride the outrageous offspring of a Harley Davidson and the Sea Drill from Tomorrow Never Dies. What could go wrong?
Pretty much everything, as it turns out. If you needed further proof that season passes are an idiotic waste of money, here's Chaos Rising with a textbook example of rushed, rehashed content that was pushed out to order with the minimum possible effort.
Chaos Rising starts promisingly enough, with Hunter in prison after being betrayed by one his comrades. Naturally he escapes, returns to his gang, only to discover his position usurped by the nefarious 'Spider' (gosh, I wonder who traitor was?). What follows is a tidal wave of insane vengeance, a furious storm of gleeful carnage... wait, no, the other thing. Spider asks him to get some whiskey from a shop on the other side of town, and Hunter agrees. Waggling his tail all the way, and completely assassinating what remains of his personality in the process.
It's just the first of a handful of story-based fetch quests and a plethora of optional ones set in the same old streets. You'll collect motorbikes, because Capcom Vancouver still haven't realised that the vehicle driving missions are the very worst part of the game. You'll collect rings from gang members. You'll collect whisky. Then, 45 minutes later, you'll participate in a final battle that's straight-up ripped from the campaign, right down to Red's AI attack patterns. It's shockingly lazy, offering nothing new or even remotely interesting to do beyond some facile reskinned bosses. If the objectives weren't spaced so far apart, and the roads weren't blocked off, you could complete the whole thing in half an hour with time to spare.
As always there are optional quests to perform, but the term "quests" is overly generous. It turns out that Hunter has a pathological hatred of telephones, which you can destroy for PP. He also loves whisky, which is inexplicably scattered around the town. Fallen Angel at least tried to provide some interesting side missions, but here, just sprinkling some collectibles throughout Los Perdidos is an easy substitute for real effort. Should you tire of your whiskey-fuelled telephone killing spree, you can then collect TEN motorbikes if you want to. Again, vehicle delivery missions are the very lowest point of Dead Rising 3, but Capcom Vancouver saw an opportunity to give the impression of content without actually having to do any work. Hooray!
What little new content there is turns out to be either shonky, lazy or both. Spider and other new characters don't move their mouths while talking in-game, as evidenced by some hilariously primitive scenes showcasing repeated cumbersome animations, and dancing background enemies who can be shot over and over again without flinching. "New" boss fights reskin familiar encounters and call it a day. And, once again, Hunter is just a reskinned version of Ramos down to his attack animations, PP level and combo weapons.
Even the new toys aren't much cop. One of them is just a gun. Another is a hat. There are no awesome lightning casters or cryogenic freezing guns, just some boring low-tech gear. Though you'll eventually get access to the fantastic Shredder, a bike that munches up zombies with a whirling maw of sawblades, it's still less efficient than the Rollerhawg in the long-term... to the extent that the campaign forces you out of your new ride and into the well-worn steamroller at very end. Yes, you can take it back to the campaign, but that's hardly worth £8.
Put simply, the Untold Stories Of Los Perdidos was a terrible idea that keeps getting worse. Rather than concentrating on a major DLC pack that fills the gap between Dead Rising 2 and 3 (can we know more about what Chuck Greene got up to, please?!), Capcom Vancouver have pumped out the bare minimum of content for four unimportant bit characters, locked into tight deadlines by the tyranny of their own season pass. Once you promise content, you have to deliver it, but there's no guarantee of quality or value. Season passes are a terrible idea for both consumers AND developers, it turns out, and should only be offered after all the content has released.
But hey, we've still got Episode 4 to go. If it's 20 hours long and full of tasty new content, the Dead Rising 3 season pass might be worth a punt after all.
In breaking news, Hell has experienced its coldest spring since records began.
- The Shredder is rather cool, we admit
- An excuse to play more Dead Rising 3
- Staggeringly short
- Lazy, rehashed and recycled
- A ridiculous waste of money
The Short Version: How low can you go? Not content with mediocrity, Capcom Vancouver are on a crusade to singlehandedly destroy consumer confidence in next-gen season passes and DLC.
We can't wait for the fourth and final episode, since we assume that it will call you nasty names for five minutes, then end on a cliffhanger.