Dead Rising 4 received fairly average reviews, with many pointing out that the zombie-slaughtering open-world formula has begun to stale for the series.
While Capcom initially dismissed the notion, it finally came through during its recent investor’s briefing. Addressing the question of why Dead Rising 4 did not receive “more distinguished reviews,” the developer acknowledged the game’s “more approachable” nature to be the root cause.
“Compared to the series up to now, this game was made more approachable in order to allow a wider audience to enjoy it,” said Capcom. “However, there was a wider range of opinions for the new game. Moving forward, we intend to grow unit sales on a continuous basis by releasing additional digital download content while implementing updates for improvements.”
In short, Dead Rising 4 brought nothing new to the table and at the same time opted to make things fairly too easy for players. Capcom might have hoped for the greater accessibility to rake in more players. However, it resulted in a setting where the undead horde carried no threat at all. Players seldom felt being trapped between infested creatures and soon found the game too monotonous to continue any further.
There is a strict pattern here to be noted. The second installment in the series introduced combo-weapons that had to be built at specific points. In the third game, these could be built anywhere and were more powerful. In Dead Rising 4, there are practically no requirements for any combo-weapon, giving players the freedom to make whatever at will.
To make matters worse, the zombies were dialed back to simply be there to be ripped apart by you. As such, Capcom has been making the series “more approachable” with each installment. Perhaps the next Dead Rising 5 will return to its roots or at least make things a bit more difficult.
Dead Rising 4 came out in December for Xbox One and PC. Capcom is expecting the game to ship 2 million units by the end of March, though it’s unclear if that figure has been met.