Capcom defends Dead Rising, Blames Critics

Following the latest media backlash bemoaning the lack of zombies, photography, and “Xbox 360 like” features in Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, Capcom spoke up to defend the upcoming horror title.  In Gamedaily’s most recent “My Turn,” a bi-weekly column that gives industry professionals a soapbox, Product Marketing Manager Colin Ferris tries to show critics why they are misguided to judge the new Dead Rising so quickly.

Let’s get this out of the way: Will DR:CTYD look as beautiful on the Wii as Dead Rising did on the Xbox 360? No. Will it have the same number of zombies on screen at the same time? No. Does that mean we should deny Wii gamers the joy that 360 owners had in surviving three days in a zombie-infested mall? The answer is, obviously, no.

Ferris makes a strong argument for multi-platform gaming as a means of spreading the fun around to everybody, but misses the point when it comes to what’s upsetting the fan base.

Critics and some gamers are in the lucky minority, in that they have all three systems, or at least two, so that they can experience every game regardless of system. However, especially in these troubled economic times, many gamers have only one system they can afford… DR:CTYD will be much different than the 360 version, but should we allow a small group of critics dictate how the game should be experienced by everyone else? Should Capcom deny the Dead Rising game experience to a Wii owner because they do not have a 360? When Capcom creates a good game, shouldn’t we try to let as many gamers experience the game as possible? This question is not talking about the quality of the game made, just whether or not the game SHOULD be made.

emphasis added

It may be a stretch to interpret Ferris’ words as an argument for quantity over quality, but a hands on experience with the Dead Rising demo certainly makes them hard to swallow.  Ferris mentions gamers who can only afford one system – Wii owners who long for the Dead Rising experience, but don’t have the console necessary to play the original.  I approached the Dead Rising Demo at Nintendo’s fall press event as a member of that group.  After shrugging off the complaints of critics who had demoed the title at E3, I sat down for what I was sure would be the highlight of the show – only to leave disappointed.  “Jeeze,” I thought, “That’s too bad.”  I knew I couldn’t expect a game with visuals to rival it’s Xbox counterpart, but I had at least expected it to retain some of the excitement of Resident Evil 4, whose engine DR:CTYD is based on.  Despite surprisingly solid gameplay and some humorous item uses in battle, the lack of suspense, challenge, and fun left quite a bit to be desired.

Still, Ferris insists that Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop will be a very different game – unique and fun in it’s own right.   “We’ve changed just about everything but the overall story.” Writes Ferris, “The save system, the weapons, the point of view and even the mission design have all been touched in order to make them ideal for the Wii audience.” Although such changes make me wonder why they didn’t just scrap the whole re-make idea and make a new Dead Rising game with a new story unique to the Wii, I could be wrong – in fact, I’d prefer it.  The Wii could use more games like Dead Rising, and the last thing anyone wants to see on the system is a major flop – but if a game is going to succeed, it should be a good game.  Something of a quality that can be respected and admired.  I hope that Colin Ferris is right, and Dead Rising will be “must have” Wii title, but I still have my doubts. We’ll find out in about a month.

“Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop” will be released February 24, 2009.