Dead RisingDead Rush was a game in development in 2004 that was going to be the first open-world zombie game, for the xbox, PS2, and gamecube. Dead Rush was first shown to the media at E3 2004. It started development in 2004 at Treyarch studios, with a projected release date of some time in 2005. For unknown reasons, it was cancelled, even though most fans thought it looked really good. This was some years before Dead Rising, so the public was still crazy for zombies (a trend that wasn't actually reduced by Dead Rising). It could be that it was cancelled because Resident Evil 4 was due to come out in January 2005. Either way, it was cancelled, and we'll be sad forever until it comes out. The game starts out with you (Jake Walker, not you the reader) washed up on a beach somewhere with amnesia, a gun, a radio (possibly in a sealed supply bag), and a wound, which leaves plenty of room for all kinds of exposition. Your radio lets the leader of a group of survivors, Cass, tell you she needs your help. You later learn that you're in the city of Eastport, and that a number of earthquakes have caused black clouds to fill the sky, and demons to walk the earth and re-animate the dead. After the dead started walking, the authorities sent in the national guard and blew up the bridges leading into and out of Eastport, which is an island. The big hook for this game is that Eastport is a big place, and to get around it, you'll need a car, which is what makes this game GTA with zombies. Quite a lot of emphasis is put on cars in this game, and it includes an NPC to swap in parts (such as nitrous tanks), a system for salvaging parts off of other cars and making field repairs (the game journalists mention pulling doors off one car and putting them onto another), and realistic car physics (they cited the damage cars do to zombies. As GTA4 proved, realistic car handling physics aren't so much fun). Supposedly, the game was using the pre-GTA4 system for aiming around the car, but allowing the character to lock onto enemies to make shooting zombies off your car easier. The previews pointed out that the game doesn't use the traditional survival horror "tank" control system, and that it has a more modern third person shooter control style, like GTA. The media confirms that the game includes sedans, vans, trucks, and in at least one instance, a HMMWV. The presence of the national guard would suggest that there are APC's or tanks, though this wasn't confirmed. Though this game was built on a proprietary Treyarch engine, it was going to incorporate GTA's signature "load once" feature, wherein the game world only loads once, and objects "stream" in as the player gets near them. This leads to what the reviewers said was a somewhat unfortunately short viewable distance (that was not anywhere near as bad as it was in the original Silent Hill) that also helped to put large numbers of zombies onscreen at a time. The player has the option to help or abandon the survivor NPC's. There a number of situations in which zombies are sieging or invading survivor strongholds, and the player must kill the zombies with the help of the survivors. Almost all the pictures of survivors showed them with guns, which would lead us to suspect that there won't be the kind of useless followers that the player had in Dead Rising. There will, however, be friendly fire. The previews also suggest that the game keeps a tally of which survivors are alive, and that this number will matter later on in the game, though this isn't explicitly stated. Confirmed weapons include the machete, the chainsaw, the pistol, the shotgun, the mp5, and a grenade launcher. The game also had an early version of Dead Space's "strategic dismemberment" concept. Weapons can take off zombie limbs, but zombies only die when the head is cut off or shot. Other previews say that light is the only way to hurt zombies, but they may be referring to the demons and other monsters in Eastport. Whatever the case, there's also an abundance of light weapons, like glowsticks, a head-mounted flashlight, and flares. Screenshots and video show a number of zombies on fire, so there's a good chance of a fire-based weapon also. The monsters (articles refer to them as "shamblers") are large, clawed creatures that jump on the player's car and rip the roof off. They attack anything in sight, including the player, zombies, and other shamblers. The game is free-roaming, like any GTA clone should be, and also like a GTA clone, the player is initially confined to a small area that expands as the sotry progresses. East Port is supposed to be on the east coast, and the articles say that it's divided into a number of districts, each of which has a different "style and purpose". One might speculate that the districts are supposed to be the five boroughs of New York. The districts will be opened up over time and as the player completes missiosn to open them. Like RPG's, this game has a number of pre-scripted encounters that the player can wander into while exploring. One that the journalists mention is a zombie siege outside a survivor encampment that's on fire after an aftershock from the earthquake. Like Fallout 3 (which hadn't been made yet), the player can choose to help or not. The article that mentions this also implies that the game will keep track of which survivors are alive, and that they might make an appearance later in the game. This article also mentions that "dozens upon dozens" of zombies are onscreen at the same time with no serious framerate hits, which means that this game actually had pretty good technology for its day (see for comparison the screenshots of the wii port of Dead Rising). Another mission has the player in the opposite situation, inside an encampment and trying to defend it with large numbers of zombies invading. Rewards for missions, sidequests, and random encounters include ammo, new weapons, armor, and car parts such as nitrous tanks and air intakes. Special car parts require the aid of an NPC mechanic, who you meet early on, and probably have to work to keep alive.
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