Review: Dead Rising 3 – Fallen Angel

While Operation Broken Eagle was a bit hit and miss, we imagined things would only get better with the remaining three pieces of story-based Dead Rising 3 content.

Unfortunately, we were wrong…

Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: 11th February 2014
Format: Xbox One
Price: £7.99

This time, the story takes us deep underground, exploring the living conditions of the so-called illegals who are apparently infected and isolated from the ground-dwellers because they resisted governance surveillance programmes. Our story follows one illegal in particular, a rebellious drunk called Angel Quijano.

Unlike our prior protagonist – Adam Kane – Angel actually has some character. She likes tequila – or any form of alcohol there is – is defiant and has a bit of an attitude. Basically, she doesn’t do well being told what to do. So it shouldn’t come much of a surprise that there is a boss-figure. Doug, the ringleader of this pack of illegals, keeps everyone in check, but has to keep an extra special eye on Angel as she has a tendency to do things ‘her way’.

We’re introduced to Angel while she’s taking a cat nap. She’s wasted and Doug is pissed about it.

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Doug snaps her out of her snooze and tells her to investigate the site of a big yacht that has crashed in the capital. Doug hopes she’ll find some survivors but also supplies the group can use. You see, they’re running out of Zombrex and medicinal supplies and only have enough to last the next three days.

So, off she trots, trying to get to the center so she can find this big yacht. Shouldn’t be hard to miss, right?

However, five minutes in, it’s not a big yacht that has grasped a firm hold of our attention. Once again, we’re re-treading the same steps we trod in Operation Broken Eagle and the main campaign of Dead Rising 3. The DLC gives us another character to play around with, sure, but when you’re heading to a slightly different objective by walking along overly familiar ground, the whole thing is instantly set up to be tedious. Everything is so dauntingly familiar.

And sadly, the monotony of mechanics and environment instantly disengages you from the story. Not that there’s a lot of story to take in, but there’s nothing new happening here, and certainly nothing worth a £7.99 price tag.

We’re not given any in-depth revelations from Angel about her inner psyche or the emotions and feelings of the illegals as she cruises around. The closest we get to any sort of bonding between Angel and Doug is Angel calling her boss ‘Dougie’ which he doesn’t like, apparently. Then Doug has to drop in a comment every two minutes about Angel’s drinking, even when she’s fighting through an entire team of Quarterback Zombies who want to pin her to the ground.

‘Dude, lay off. She’s not fucking drinking. She’s doing what you asked. Find something else to complain about’ I scream at the TV after the tenth time after just the first few missions.

Sadly, Kinect couldn’t register that command…

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I say the first few missions, but to be honest, there aren’t that many to get through. In fact, providing you don’t get lost, you can sprint through this content quicker than Operation: Broken Eagle. More specifically, not far off one hour. Again, not the biggest justification for  a £7.99 price tag.

And to further add to Fallen Angel’s woes, despite the major patch a few weeks ago, I experienced a few dips in frame rate, particularly in cut-scenes and areas full of crowded zombies – of which, there are many because the game is set at night-time.

Weapon-wise, players will receive a Spiked Mace, a Shockblaster and Dual Machine Guns. The Spiked Mace feels about as effective as any other close-ranged melee weapon. Compared to some – such as a fire axe or even a lead pipe – it actually feels less effective. The Dual Machine Guns are quite cool and will tear through armies of zombies like a hot knife through butter, but much like the minigun in Operation: Broken Eagle, the poster-boy weapon has to be the Shockblaster. One shot and a bolt of electricity can take out an entire horde in a very satisfying way. Enemies lie frazzled on the ground as you unload its ammunition into humans and zombies alike.

But sadly, this just isn’t enough for me to offer a whole-hearted recommendation. We’re two pieces of content down in this Season Pass and it’s simply not value for money. To date, both pieces of content have felt half-hearted and unnecessary. Despite Fallen Angel having a better main character, I felt the character development was slightly better in Operation Broken Eagle. Regardless, neither of them offer particularly memorable narratives.

The checkpoint system is still horrific, accessing areas is a continuous chore and to make matters worse, it’ll all be over before it even really gets going.

Pros:

  • Shockblaster is a unique treat
  • Angel is a more interesting character than Kane

Cons:

  • Way too short
  • Missions and environment feel repetitive and samey
  • Nothing about this content feels necessary or particularly interesting
  • Hefty price point for content offered

Rating:

2.5 out of 5

Fallen Angel is an underwhelming DLC that never delivers a thrilling moment, nor does it ever pick up momentum. From start to finish, it’s only ever average and with the premium price tag attached, you’d be better off spending your money elsewhere . This Season Pass is in desperate need of a hit.

About the author

Ray Willmott

Ray is the founder and editor of Expansive. He is also a former Community Manager for Steel Media, and has written for a variety of gaming websites over the years. His work can be seen on Pocket Gamer, PG.biz, Gfinity, and the Red Bull Gaming Column. He has also written for VG247, Videogamer, GamesTM, PLAY, and MyM Magazine,