Dead Rising 2: Case West: Can you hear the drums Hernando?

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“There is no way of knowing where a survivor is, so you’ll have to explore to find them”

I like that. I really like that. I’m totally up for exploring every nook and cranny of this place. Of finding every survivor and combo-ing every combo. Except that now I’m afraid to explore. I know something is happening at four o’clock. I have no idea what four o’clock actually means in this world, though, and I’m pretty sure if I set off exploring, that Casio-watch alarm beep is going to sound and I’m going to find myself in the red and I’m going to have to start running.

Which is really too bad, because I want to do some good.

Though we never thought that we could lose,
There’s no regret,
If I had to do the same again,
I would my friend, Hernando.

Scratch that. No I wouldn’t. Ungrateful jerk.

After the jump, I have some words with Hernando

Or, rather, he does with me.

One of the things I was really looking forward to in this game was managing survivors. I liked what I saw of that dynamic in Dead Rising 2 when I watched Tom playing a bit of it. Fighting through to rescue a survivor, giving her a weapon, and leading her back to safety was something that appealed to me. Watching the game it seemed a bit like herding cats, and while I didn’t totally get what was going on, I really liked the idea.

I identified my first survivor standing up on some boxes while a horde of zombies gathered around, clawing at his feet. He was crying for help.

“This is the job for us,” I said to Frank. “We can do this.” I darted into the nearby Maintenance Shed to combo a Hail Mary. Frank fended.

I ran back out, aimed at the heart of the horde, and threw my grenade-football.

Zombies exploded. PP fell down like rain. I also knocked the dude I was about to rescue off his feet, and I had a brief sickening moment where I thought for sure I’d killed my first survivor. But no. He bounced back to his feet. I ran up the steps and jumped up to help him, the survivor I now knew as Hernando Arisa. It was all I could do to restrain myself from yelling, “I’m here to rescue you!”

Was he grateful? Appreciative? Mildly happy to see me?

Nope. I think he said something like, “This is probably all your fault.” Then he jumped down, picked up a 2×4, and went on his way.

You see, like Frank, survivors here can take care of themselves. Once you initially help them, they’re gone. Poof. You get some extra Prestige Points (PP), perhaps an insult, and then they’re on their way. Because they can take care of themselves. They can’t get down off of boxes. Or out from behind a single overturned table. But once you help them they can take on a world of zombies. Suddenly they don’t need you. They were only there for leveling purposes.

Prestige Points Fever. Catch it.

What’s that? You, there in the back row, you have a question about what? Katey? Please don’t do that. Don’t even get me started on that. That’s a personal matter.

Chuck looking after his daughter was another thing about watching some of Dead Rising 2 that got me interested in Case West. I liked that. It tugged at me, even when I was watching Chuck administer medicine in a plaid bikini. I didn’t expect a BioShock dynamic, or even a Ripley/Newt thing. I was just looking forward to the relationship making an appearance. I’m sure why Katey is left out is handled in the opening bits. Maybe there’s a good reason and I just missed the exposition. However, without her. Without any meaningful interaction with survivors. Without anything to do but, in the end, run errands. And finally, with a partner who doesn’t need me at all…I’m left with this impression:

I leave no impact upon this world whatsoever.

Next up: Calling in the big gun

(Click here for the previous Dead Rising 2: Case West game diary.)