Expectations for Chaos Rising are understandably low, after a muted first episode and a disappointing second one. The Untold Stories of Los Perdidos have so far somehow managed to turn an interesting premise into something that reeks of a lack of effort and feels too much like a simple cash-in.
Immediately Chaos Rising feels a little different. Playing as Hunter (former second-in-command of the Biker gang The Kings of Chaos) you start off in a prison cell. Hunter was framed, wrongly imprisoned, and now that the Zombie outbreak in Los Perdidos has given him a chance to escape his prison time, he is looking for revenge against those who wronged him. This leads him into a showdown with his former gang, its three captains, and new leader Spider: the man who framed him. Taking control of Hunter lets you play as one of the bosses from the main game – albeit one who meets his demise early on in the story.
Although the story of Hunter is set up to paint him as a somewhat sympathetic character, from the get-go you can tell that he isn’t going to be a loveable hero. It is somewhat liberating playing as a ruthless killer, who seems to have little moral conscience – and this does feel somewhat akin to controlling Trevor in Grand Theft Auto V. Whereas your principles may have stopped you being too reckless when playing as Nick in the main story, playing as Hunter means you can let yourself go a little more wild without worrying about the consequences. You actually get four boss battles in this episode, against the gang leaders – although only two of these feel like proper battles, whereas the others are very minor encounters.
Of course, this is all superficial, and both the gameplay experience and the quests on offer really just amount to more of the same once again. There are four story-based missions, which are all short. They all consist of drive here, watch cutscene, drive here, grab item, and so on. None of them pose any real challenge, and the only one that takes up any real time is a mission where you have to wait for a friend to build you a new vehicle, which requires you to actually waste time whilst waiting. This is the longest mission by far, but it is a forced length, which feels a little patronising.
In terms of side quests, there are actually some interesting ones on offer here that complement the character you are playing as quite well. Firstly, there is the entirely derivative “destroy emergency phones”, which is almost identical to destroying speakers as Nick. So far, so bad. Next up is the ongoing task of simply killing every biker you find scattered around the city and collecting their gang rings. This suits Hunter quite well, and at least has a theme, but still amounts to killing everything in sight, so therefore provides little in the way of fresh experiences.
The final side quest is the most interesting. Hunter is aided throughout his story by fellow former gang leader Torque, who builds a new custom bike that cuts straight through zombies with razor-sharp blades as you drive. But aside from that task, he sets you the option of finding rare custom bikes around the city and returning them for generous PP rewards. Ok, this simply amounts to fetch tasks, but at least it provides new vehicles to drive and again suits the characters down to the ground and fits in with the theme of the DLC nicely.
You of course get a handful of new weapons in the add-on, such as the spiked biker helmet that you can wear and use to head-butt enemies into a bloody mess. Other new entries include the Splitter: a strange bike engine/shovel combo; a massive hammer that you recover from one of the biker captains, and a chainsaw/sword hybrid. None of these have the same all-conquering powers as the electricity-launching assault rifle from Fallen Angel, but they are mostly a welcome addition to your arsenal.
VERDICT: As with any good Zombie film, in Chaos Rising it is the other survivors you should fear more than the undead themselves. But Chaos Rising does seem to relegate the Zombies almost entirely to the backdrop. This content could have almost been in any game, and doesn’t fit the Dead Rising world all that well.
But it provides a different gameplay experience from the main story. You will most likely find yourself dodging Zombies and riding around on motorcycles, with the emphasis on killing other humans. Sadly, the game loses its identity a little when it becomes a simple biker game, and of course, once again it is all too short. The story ties nicely into that of Nick once you reach the end, but you will reach the end far too quickly.
DECENT. A 6/10 indicates that, while this game could be much better, it still has a fair amount to offer the player. It might be an interesting title sabotaged by its own ambition, or a game denied greater praise by some questionable design choices. Don’t avoid it outright, but approach it with caution.
Review code provided by the publisher.