The video game naturalness of Capcom's Dead Rising

An analysis of the core gameplay ideas behind Dead Rising, an action-adventure horror survivor video game developed by Capcom and released in 2006 on Xbox360.

Most of the time, the player experiences four moments during the practice of a video game that can be broken down into stages such as for sleep : drowsiness, rapid eye movement, etc. except that in this case they're not necessarily consecutive :

- Contemplation ; observation of graphics, animation, some details,

- Raw play ; for passing time, practicing with no real care,

- Precise play ; proved when you hear the sentence "this time, I'll beat it without using any continue",

- Failure ; hang on and start over.

Dead Rising is a 2006 action survivor horror game made by Capcom. In this game, where the player impersonates a photo reporter attempting to solve the mystery of a zombie invasion in a small city, these phases are exhibited by four gameplay ideas :

- The photo camera stands for the contemplation part,
- The beat'em up stands for the raw play part,
- The rescuing stands for the precise play part,
- The new game + stands for the failure part.

But how do this ideas serve the game's context ?

- The photo camera (contemplation) insists on the very details of a jostled existence, loss of a child, dementia, facial disfigurement, etc. Being interested in capturing these moments makes earn points,

- The beat'em up (raw play) confirms the overwhelming power of sheer number. By randomly assigning the blows (lariat, hammer throw, etc.) that might help you to get out of difficult situations, the game presents itself as much crueler than fate. The player better understands then that many survivors like his character is have been killed (or zombified) for the reason they weren't granted with his amazing yet simple abilities (completely randomly assigned). It reassesses the importance of the luck factor in a worst case scenario : being in the wrong place at the wrong time becomes not having the appropriate blow at the right time,

- The rescuing (precise play) needs a lot of preparation (good items), knowledge (map, events), attention (skill), for the sole purpose of saving one life or two from certain death. Sometimes carrying someone on the shoulder, a wounded comrade, makes the trip more stressful. It's a clever staging on how much energy it asks to preserve one other single life,

- The new game + (failure) remixes Game Over. Just by including one dimension, the temporality, the game generates chaos. Repeating exactly what happened in the party before the player died is nearly impossible, giving him no grasp on things like most games do. This fits with the history of this small town Willamette and its familiarity suddenly redefined for his inhabitants as it is for the player.

Dead Rising had (and still have) this rare coherence.

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