Zombies, Zombies, Zombies, everywhere you go you run into them. More frequently in Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2. But the zombies themselves are a window into the eyes of those who want to take vengeance, falsely accuse, and gain power. In a world rife with undead the humor somehow refuses to go away and in Dead Rising that’s a good thing. With the third game in the series nearly a month away, you’ll need to know what’s what and who’s who before you go to the after-party.

A small town in Colorado has been quarantined and, always looking for the scoop, photo-journalist Frank West takes a helicopter ride to said town, Willamette. Frank heads towards the mall before telling the pilot to come back in 72 hours to retrieve him. Before entering the mall proper, Frank is met by an ominous man who cryptically tells him “I think you’d better see for yourself… this, my friend… is hell.” Frank then sees what this man was telling him on the helipad  as he comes face to face with hundreds of zombies at the locked doors of the mall. Those who have not been infected are barricading the door to their best extent all the while an old woman is whining about her missing Madonna. You notice a mysterious woman before being sent down the mall to get more items for the barricade. It is at this moment that the old woman opens the door to get her baby which in reality is a dog. Literally all hell breaks loose as zombies start pouring into the mall and overwhelming every survivor except for the mysterious woman who has disappeared out of thin air. You are preoccupied however, by an elderly man who asks you why he was summoned to the area and what you are letting in. After the elderly man walks away you are told by a man on the upper floor to get to the stairs. You make your way to the stairs and look back in horror as there are hundreds of zombies now in the mall.


After all the chaos you make your way into the maintenance room where you meet Jessie, Brad, and Otis. Brad being the one who directs the survivors to head to higher ground earlier. Jessie is an associate of Brad who looks like she is new to the job. As for Otis, well, he’s a maintenance man for the mall prior to the outbreak. From here you are free to follow your own journey but before that you are given a radio by Otis so you can get information on where possible survivors were last seen. Over the course of the game Brad and Frank have violent encounters with the ominous man first met on the roof of the mall. After being let in on what Jessie and Brad are looking into or who they are looking for, you have another encounter with the ominous man who has been causing you hell, Carlito Keyes. The elderly man, Dr. Barnaby you are looking for has been suspended above a horde of zombies by Carlito whom you defeat before retrieving the dear doctor. Upon returning Jessie talks to Doc Barnaby about what is going on. Shortly after this Frank encounters the mysterious woman and brings her back to the safe room where she admits that she is Carlito’s sister, Isabela and her brother intends to spread the infection in retaliation for the mysterious Santa Cabeza incident. This is immediately followed by the not so good doctor’s attack on Jessie in which she is saved by Frank. Isabela states that he is starting the turning process which still gives him some time to talk and answer some questions. The cause of the outbreak in Willamette and the destruction of Santa Cabeza was an unknown type of queen wasp never before seen. One sting from the insect caused infection and what started out as mass breeding cattle for food eventually became observing and studying the zombie creatures made from the queen wasp.

Things turned bad when the queen specimens’ escaped the laboratory and turned nearly everyone into a zombie excluding Carlito and Isabela. Before dying Barnaby says that the work he did at the Santa Cabeza Research Facility was necessary. Shortly after, he reanimates and is put down by Brad. Isabela then reveals that her brother has bombs planted around the mall as a fail-safe in the case of his demise. Frank eventually gets the bombs disarmed and Carlito is pursued by Brad in the maintenance tunnels where they get into a fight that ends with Brad stabbed in the shoulder but Carlito receiving a gunshot to the stomach. Despite this, Carlito knocks Brad out of the storage room and locks the door behind him. Brad is then left to fend for himself against many zombies and Brad’s mortality is soon realized as Frank finds him against a wall torn up but still living and imminently close to reanimation. Brad asks Frank to put him down but not to tell Jessie the details. Frank fulfills Brad’s last request and puts him down.


Isabela then takes Frank to Carlito’s hideout where he has a jamming device that is blocking all calls in or out of Willamette. Jessie radios Frank saying that she sees what appears to be Carlito being dragged by a very large and very big man which prompts Frank to go and investigate. He is shocked to find Carlito hanging upside down from a meat hook while the large man sighted by Jessie, Larry Chiang who was a former butcher before the outbreak is disillusioned by the situation and sees Carlito as fresh meat. This leads to a fight that culminates with the death of Chiang and soon after, Carlito. Frank gets the password needed by Isabela and Carlito makes Frank promise to give Isabela his necklace and soon after, he passes. Upon returning, Frank gives Isabela the necklace and password to enable the communication lines. Jessie then makes a call to Frank and says that the government is sending in people to clean up the incident and kill every living thing in Willamette. Frank then heads to the helipad where he is expecting Ed, his pilot, to pick him up. Unfortunately a zombie stowaway causes the helicopter to crash and Frank falls to his knees in defeat thus ending the Dead Rising 72 hour mode. What comes next is Overtime mode which, as the name implies, takes place after the main story and wraps everything up. This trend continued in Dead Rising 2 as well. Overtime starts right where you left off, at the end of 72 hour mode where Frank falls to his knees in defeat.

At that moment he saved from a zombie by Isabela who takes him back to Carlito’s hideout. It is revealed that Frank is infected and Isabela needs ingredients to make something that will hinder the process of zombification. After getting into a Humvee Frank and Isabela are stopped by Brock Mason who is the head of the special forces sent into Willamette. The ensuing fight between Mason and Franks proves to be the end of Mason as he falls into a crowd of zombies that were surrounding himself and Frank. While Brock is torn apart by the zombies Frank once again falls to his knees but this time he chooses to scream.


Five years after the events of Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2 starts. Frank West broke the news to the masses about everything. The government, partially agrees to what happened in Santa Cabeza but not Willamette as that was the doing of Carlito Keyes who had put the same suppressant Isabela gives to Frank into fifty orphans in all 50 states as a final last chance course of payback. The world has been exposed to the zombie outbreak as evidenced by the “outbreak” in Las Vegas. This leads to Chuck Greene and his daughter Katey going to Fortune City for Chuck to participate in “Terror Is Reality” an entertainment show that features contestants killing zombies and ranked upon the amount of zombies killed. Chuck is doing for his daughter as she was bitten by her infected mother in Las Vegas and requires Zombrex. This being a drug that slows down the process of zombification very much like Frank in Dead Rising 1. The downside is that it must be administered every 24 hours or else the recipient will turn.  

After the show is over Chuck heads back to his room via the elevator and some things start to happen. The stock of zombies used for Terror Is Reality are released and Fortune City becomes a zombie-infested reflection of Willamette in an instant as nearly everyone Chuck encounters gets infected and reanimate. Luckily Katey is alright and you take her to the local emergency center where he is nearly denied entry due to Katey being infected. Ray Sullivan, who was the only security officer to make it to the emergency center lets Katey and Chuck in. The military is then called and will arrive in 72 hours much like in Dead Rising 1. Shortly after this, Chuck and the leader of C.U.R.E. (Citizens for Undead Rights and Equality) Stacey Forsythe are framed for the outbreak and are out to prove they had nothing to do with what happened. Along the way Chuck rescues survivors, fights psychopaths, and even brings Katey back a pet tiger. All the while checking in and giving her the much needed Zombrex that he purchases from pawn shops using money he acquires using gambling machines, or breaking those machines, ATM’s, or pretty much anything that takes money. He then links up with reporter Rebecca Chang who he offers the story of a lifetime in exchange for help in clearing his name. While investigating they discover that Tyrone “TK” King was using the hysteria of the outbreak as a cover to rob all of Fortune City’s four main casinos. This heist is then foiled by Chuck who then manages to make sure TK misses his helicopter.


With the heist foiled TK is brought back to the safe zone and locked up. He then reveals that he was the one who framed Chuck and Stacey and the orders were received from another company that was involved with the outbreak. The military arrives and begins executing the zombies making it seem like the day is saved. However, a green gas begins rising up through the street vents that begin to transform the zombies and enhances their weak frames. They transform from regular Dead Rising zombies to “28 Days Later” zombies. They are faster, stronger, and have the ability to vomit blood on their prey which stuns them for a moment giving the zombie the chance to get their prey. Once transformed, the zombie is harder to put down and rips Sgt. Dwight Boykin’s AZU rescue team apart, stunning the arrogant sergeant. After observing the massacre outside, Sullivan mentions to Chuck and Stacey that more forces will be sent in 24 hours and that the city will most likely be firebombed as a safety measure. The safe house is then sabotaged and zombies begin pouring in. During the chaos, TK is bitten and he too requires Zombrex like Katey. Rebecca contacts Chuck and mentions that the source of the gas is located in underground access tunnels so Chuck investigates and finds a hidden facility used by the pharmaceutical company Phenotrans. Phenotrans is the company which created the Zombrex product that, because of the outbreaks, is needed by millions. Chuck borrows a satellite phone and a laptop to let Rebecca contact her network sources. Before anything else happens, Rebecca is gunned down by Sullivan who is then revealed to be a Phenotrans agent who let the zombies loose, sabotaged the safe house, and intends on escaping the area with the laptop and phone via helicopter.


Chuck however, gets the last laugh as he handcuffs Sullivan’s harness to the rooftop resulting in the traitor getting torn in half and dying. This ends Dead Rising 2‘s 72 hour mode but leads into Overtime mode. When Chuck returns to the safe house, Stacey and Katey are gone and he discovers TK is gone as well which means they were captured by the Terror is Reality host. After getting ten items requested by TK, Chuck goes to face TK and eventually ends up fighting him while Stacey and Katey are slowly descending into a horde of zombies. In the end, TK is knocked over the railing of the platform and falls to his death and Chuck, Stacey, and Katey all walk away from the camera in a sense of happily ever after.


Dead Rising 3 comes out in a month and is set ten years after the events of Dead Rising 2. While there are no confirmations on anyone from the series returning, there is nothing saying no one can come back as Frank West did in Case West.