When you get a game, you have certain expectations. Basically, you want the full package. Things should tie up nicely, with everything you absolutely need available right from the outset. Any add-ons should be supplemental. Things you don’t need to expand the overall experience. Unfortunately, it feels like Capcom isn’t taking that road with Dead Rising 4.
With Dead Rising 4, we have a game that has DLC. It’s already been pledged, made part of a season pass, and announced. But, it wasn’t until the full game was released and beaten that it was discovered to be something may have been included in previous games. I’m speaking of the Overtime mode. The “Frank Rising” DLC is the kind of thing that traditionally had been a reward for doing well in the game, but isn't now.
Note: spoilers for Dead Rising 4 will follow.
Ready for spoilers? Good. There’s only one ending in Dead Rising 4. This breaks with tradition, as Dead Rising 1, 2, and 3 each had multiple options. Getting the best one led to an Overtime mode, which acted as an epilogue and offered the opportunity to earn the true ending. No matter what you do in Dead Rising 4, though, the same thing happens. Brad, Vick, and Frank are running for a helicopter to escape. Brad and Vick make it, but zombies latch onto Frank and drag him down. Rather than risk their safety, he lets go and is swarmed, attacked, and eaten by the zombies. I felt it fit well with his character and offered real redemption.
However, it also ties directly into the Dead Rising 4 DLC Capcom announced. In “Frank Rising,” Frank has been infected by the zombies. Which, as you can see, happens very obviously at the end. In this epilogue, which is a timed adventure more akin to previous Dead Rising games and the Overtime modes, Frank is trying to find a cure for himself before he turns, while also learning that Willamette might be totally wiped out and the zombies are getting smarter.
The problem is, Dead Rising 1, 2, and 3 have set a precedent. Good behavior guarantees us the best ending and a chance to see what really happens in a more difficult and stringent mode. Clearly, Dead Rising 4’s Frank Rising is that. Once you’ve seen the ending, it’s obvious that it absolutely is picking up right where the game left off. Frank dropped, zombies swarmed and attacked him, of course he was bitten and infected when he sacrificed himself for Brad and Vick. Instead of maintaining this tradition, Capcom copped out and is going to make people pay more for it. It doesn’t feel right.
But, it also gets worse. Frank Rising isn’t available yet. It doesn’t even have a launch date. All we know is that it’s part of the Dead Rising 4 season pass, and it’s even listed as the last item in it. The Stocking Stuffer Holiday pack with extra equipment and Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf minigame are listed ahead of it. The story is not only incomplete, but we have no idea when Capcom’s going to go ahead and finish it.
Capcom flubbed it. Overtime is an established part of the Dead Rising formula. We earn those epilogues. Not only have we seen it removed from Dead Rising 4, we’ve seen it plucked out to sell as DLC. Which is Capcom’s right to do, but it didn’t even have the decency to offer that closure right away. We have to wait for this add-on, and don’t even know how long that’ll take. That certainly isn’t in keeping with the Christmas spirit.