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Frank West makes slaughtering zombies fun again in ‘Dead Rising 4’

Dead Rising 3 was quite an ambitious launch title for the Xbox One, with dozens of zombies on the screen at the same time and ridiculous weapon combinations, but it didn’t quite have the spirit and lightheartedness of the original game. For the follow-up, protagonist Frank West has plenty of new ways to slaughter the undead, and he’s having a good time doing it.

“Frank is cooler, he’s tougher … a little wiser, but he’s still Frank,” says Capcom Vancouver studio director Joe Nickolls in a behind-the-scenes video.

This means never taking the zombie apocalypse seriously. In addition to his new selfie camera, which allows him to crack a big grin in front of rotting corpses at a moments notice, he also has access to the goofy, ultra-powerful weapons fans of the series have come to expect. “Combo vehicles,” which played a large role in traversing Dead Rising 3‘s open world, also make a return, and are usable both inside Willamette’s mall and in the surrounding area.

A science-fiction twist, however, looks to make this the goofiest Dead Rising game yet. Utilizing an exoskeleton, Frank is able to rip zombies in half with his bare hands and wield weapons that a normal man could only dream of. But he can also use the suit in conjunction with other weapons, such as a Slurpee machine, to fire a tornado at zombies quickly clear a path.

The standard dumb, moaning zombies make their return in Dead Rising 4, but they’re joined by a couple new types that should help break up the monotony. “Freshly infected” zombies are easily seen because of their glowing eyes, and are a much more dangerous and aggressive threat. The second new class, the “Evo,” appears to be the most intelligent. These monsters are capable of using stealth and evasive maneuvers — something we don’t typically see in zombie games.

Dead Rising 4 has the potential to be one of the best open world games this year, and with its Christmas theme, you might want to put it on your wish list. The game hits Xbox One and PC on December 6.

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