Angel Quijano is an ass-kicking lone wolf alcoholic with a death wish. She’s the star of Capcom Vancouver’s Fallen Angel DLC for Dead Rising 3, and she’s also the first playable female protagonist for the frequently irreverent series. Tired stereotypes are blessedly absent from her character’s makeup, but Angel is just as much a cardboard cutout as Nick Ramos or Frank West or Chuck Greene or Adam Kane. There are some improvements to how this second Dead Rising 3 DLC offering plays, but there’s also a continuing and inexplicable “story over gameplay” focus in the “Untold Stories of Los Perdidos” DLC series that undermines everything.
There’s nothing unique or original about Fallen Angel.
Fallen Angel follows Ms. Quijano as she pummels and shoots up the zombie hordes – plus occasional armed soldiers – in the name of helping her fellow survivors. Just like the previous Operation Broken Eagle DLC, this story runs sort of parallel to the events of Dead Rising 3, providing a glimpse into another zombie-slayer’s journey. It’s not a very clear glimpse in this case. Angel is an “illegal” or unregistered infected, and she works to undermine the military’s presence in Los Perdidos. Incoherent plotting and cardboard characterizations keep you from actually investing on any emotional level, but there are still plenty of zombies to smack. Yay?
Sure, why not? There are new toys to pick apart zombies with in Fallen Angel and, more importantly, the mission objectives are structured in a way that encourages you to play with them. More than once, a “kill all the zombies” moment is enhanced with the addition of one or more crates containing an infinite number of a particular weapon type. It’s a small-yet-subtle improvement that encourages players with resource-hoarding sensibilities to not be so precious with the tools they’ve gathered.
Fallen Angel also puts an emphasis on visiting under-explored parts of Los Perdidos. The 1-2 hour adventure uses the same map that Dead Rising 3 and Operation Broken Eagle did, but you’re sent to some locations – notably an underground sewer/tunnel network – that didn’t factor into either of those stories. Broader secondary objectives – such as burning posters, saving to-be-executed survivors, and shooting up security cameras – still send you running to every corner of the city, but the focused portion of the campaign commendably pushes for fresh exploration.
Unfortunately, these improvements don’t fix everything. The core of what you’re doing – mostly, weaving a safe path through zombie hordes and wrestling with clunky combat controls – is no different than it was in Dead Rising 3. Fallen Angel, just like Operation Broken Eagle before it, doesn’t make any effort to mix things up. You’ve got an alcoholic protagonist here, but it’s nothing more than a fact of the story. There’s no gameplay that, say, requires you to survive the zombies while fending off a wicked hangover. Dead Rising 3 has no problem applying irreverent humor to fat people, gays, any number of other groups, but Fallen Angel does nothing to tweak the gameplay around its promising protagonist. It feels lazy.
Even worse, the DLC actively strips out great features like co-op play and weapon lockers. That was true of Operation Broken Eagle as well. These DLC packs streamline your play experience by giving you less to play with. Any experience you earn goes toward your main game’s save, but that’s not enough of a hook.
All of which leads us back to Capcom Vancouver’s baffling focus on story in these DLC releases.This is a series in which unfolding events serve primarily as a vehicle for locking you up in a location that is teeming with zombies. Building a four-part collection of add-on content around coloring in the lives of supporting characters in a story you never cared about to begin with feels like a waste of resources.
There’s nothing unique or original about Fallen Angel. If all you want is MORE DEAD RISING, a chunk of new content that gives you an option for leveling up your profile that doesn’t involve replaying the main story, you get that here. Downloadable content should exist to build new ideas on top of an existing foundation, but all “Untold Stories” has done so far is highlight aspects of the Dead Rising series that need to evolve.
This DLC was reviewed on an Xbox One using a code provided by Microsoft.
- An emphasis on using the new weapons
- Mission objectives visit under-explored locations
- Nothing fresh or original; it’s still just “more Dead Rising”
- Baffling focus on story over gameplay
This game was reviewed on an Xbox One using a Season Pass code provided by Microsoft.