Dead Rising 3 E3 display

E3 2013 kept us all very busy last week, and this week we still have a few more games to discuss with you. The Xbox One lineup looks like it will cater to fans of a variety of genres – not just first-person shooters. Horror games should be especially well represented. The console launches with Dead Rising 3, an exclusive title from Capcom and Microsoft. The previous series entries all appeared on Xbox 360, with a port of the first game showing up on the Wii and both 2 and Off the Record gracing the Playstation 3 as well.

Shortly after launch we should also see D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die from Hidetaka Suehiro (creator of Deadly Premonition) and Microsoft.  D4 will be a thriller/mystery released via downloadable episodes. And in 2014, Japanese developer Tango Gameworks will team up with publishing giant Bethesda to release a pure horror game The Evil Within at retail.

Dead Rising 3 for Xbox One

Dead Rising 3 E3

Xbox 360 owners are currently enjoying State of Decay, an open world zombie game with an emphasis on survival tactics that released on XBLA at the beginning of June. Capcom Vancouver’s Dead Rising 3 packs an open world too, though it provides a much more action-oriented experience (with a touch of humor) and far, far more zombies on-screen at once (we saw crowds made up of hundreds of the undead buggers).

Players control Nick Ramos, a mechanic who is trapped in the fictional Californian city of Los Perdidos 10 years after the events of Dead Rising 2. The government has quarantined the city in order to contain the zombie outbreak. Nick must rescue fellow survivors and find a way to escape from the undead city.

The Dead Rising series has always featured fast-paced melee combat with massive hordes of the walking dead. Beyond the sheer number of zombies, these games are also set apart by the crazy variety of weapons and clothing players can wield. Virtually any object you find can be used as a weapon, from plates to rakes to guns.

Weapons can even be combined into more powerful instruments of destruction. For instance, put a shotgun and a grenade together to make a Boom Cannon. Unlike the last game, you can make combo weapons at any time – no need to reach a workbench. Safe rooms are still worth finding because every weapon, item, or clothing article you collect will unlock for fast access in the safe rooms’ lockers and wardrobes.

Third time's the charm

Dead Rising 3 E3 SmartGlass
Dead Rising 3 SmartGlass

Dead Rising 3’s principle new gameplay addition is the ability to drive cars and plow through crowds of zombies. Enemies even interact with vehicles in realistic ways thanks to the game’s new physics engine. Zombies can cling to your car, affecting its center of gravity and making it harder to steer. Speaking of physics, the glass in cars and other windows shatters based on velocity. Shoot it with a bullet and it flies farther than if hit by a melee blow.

SmartGlass integration also elevates this third entry over previous games. When you launch the SmartGlass app, Nick actually pulls out a smartphone that mirrors the app itself. Nick will receive calls and texts through SmartGlass that open up exclusive missions to him. Complete these to unlock new “apps” within the app.

The apps granted by SmartGlass allow players to call in drone support, air strikes, and even reach out to other survivors for help. Finally, Nick can use view a map from his phone, search for gun stores and other locations, and then set waypoints that will appear on the big screen. There’s actually so much to do with SmartGlass that someone with a phone or tablet can actually act as a support player while another person wields the controller, and both people will still have fun.

The latest Dead Rising game is browner and less colorful than previous titles visually, but it will still have the series trademark humor: we saw wacky clothing items like Blanka and Servbot masks during the demonstration. The new game will not encumber players with a time limit by default, so you can actually explore the world at your leisure this time. An optional Nightmare mode reinstates the time and save game limits for players who crave a greater challenge.

Dead Rising 3 will launch alongside the Xbox One on day one. With 2-player online co-op, a densely packed open-world city, and staggering numbers of zombies to defeat, it should be a zombie game to remember.

The Evil Within for Xbox One and Xbox 360

The Evil Within security room

Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami finally returns to horror with this brand new franchise. The game starts out with a gripping prologue in which Detective Sebastian and his partner arrive at an asylum in which a major crime is unfolding. After walking through a lobby littered with bodies, Sebastian reaches the asylum’s security room. On its cameras he witnesses a squad of cops murdered by an assailant who moves impossibly fast. Suddenly the attacker appears behind our hero…

Sebastian regains consciousness, hanging from his feet in a basement room filled with dead, dripping bodies. Once he cuts himself loose, the player takes control. From there, Sebastian must sneak past one of his captors. But a chainsaw wielding maniac soon spots him and starts to chase. You’ll frantically run away from the killer, hiding in a locker as he stalks around the room. It’s tense and exciting.

The demo ended with Sebastian finally reaching the door of the asylum only to find that the world itself has been torn asunder outside. From what I saw of The Evil Within, it looks like a real contender for the horror game throne once occupied by the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series.

D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die for Xbox One

D4 for Xbox One

D4 stars a private investigator whose wife was brutally murdered. The protagonist has the unusual ability to travel back in time, which he does in order to investigate his wife’s murder. Even though he can visit the past, he can’t change it. But of course he’ll try to find a way to save his beloved anyway.

The developer's goal with D4 was to create a suspenseful game that’s as easy to play as watching TV. As such, D4 supports Kinect motion controls and voice commands. No need to stand up though – the new Kinect can easily track your hands while sitting. But people who prefer controllers will be glad to know that D4 supports physical controls as well.

The game will be very story heavy, though players still need to interact at various points such as choosing between dialogue options during a conversation. You’ll also have to help the hero fight for his life during action sequences. As we watched the hero fight off an escaped killer on an airplane, the player had to move one or both hands in various swiping gestures that mimicked the onscreen combat.

D4 doesn’t have a release date yet, but it will be released in multiple episodes. The developer wouldn’t confirm just how many episodes, but four is a safe guess if you ask me…