The first entry in Capcom's successful open-world zombie survival action franchise, Dead Rising follows the adventures of Frank West, a luckless photographer who finds himself trapped in a zombie-infested shopping center. As Frank, you'll run around the mall trying to accomplish various quests for the other trapped survivors, battering zombies with everything from a mop to a chainsaw. Although the action can be tense, the tone is full of dark, absurd humor.
Chop 'til you drop
Although it has a mission structure, Dead Rising is fundamentally a sandbox game, in which half the fun comes from running around the mall, bashing ever-increasing hordes of zombies with ridiculous weapons, trying on new clothes and lining up dramatic photos for Frank's report. Not only can you beat zombies down with a huge variety of weapons, you can confuse them by sticking traffic cones on their heads, making them stagger about with hilarious effect. In addition to the zombies, there are human enemies, who serve as the game's bosses. In the main game mode, Frank has three days to solve the zombie contagion; finishing this unlocks more modes.
Whack a zombie today
With its blend of gruesome horror and goofy action, Dead Rising is an enjoyable mix of open-world exploration and quest-based adventure. If you like beating zombies over the head -- and who doesn't? -- it's definitely worth your time.