In many ways, Dead Rising 4 should be familiar to fans of the franchise. It once again stars ambitious photojournalist Frank West as the main character, and it is set in Willamette, Colorado, the setting of the first Dead Rising game. However, not everything will be the same in Dead Rising 4, as Capcom Vancouver has decided to ditch the time limit mechanic that has been a series mainstay since its inception.
Dead Rising 3 made the first step to getting rid of the time limit by only having it in the game’s Nightmare Mode, but Dead Rising 4 removes it from the story completely. According to Capcom Vancouver studio head Joe Nickolls, the decision to remove the time limit in Dead Rising 4 was due to extensive research done on the subject, which showed the majority of people didn’t like it, and also because of the game’s expanded open world nature.
Nickolls explained that Dead Rising 4 will have “multiple levels of exploration,” and that the team wanted people to explore it thoroughly, which wouldn’t necessarily be possible if a time limit was imposed. “It’s so dense this time. There are stores, there are apartments above the stores, there are hidden areas and rooms,” he said. Dead Rising 4‘s trailer from E3 2016 backs up his claims, showing that players will be able to explore Willamette itself as well as the mall from the first game, plus a number of other interior locations.
Even though the time limit is being completely removed from Dead Rising 4‘s story, that’s not to say it won’t be in the game in some capacity. In fact, Dead Rising 4‘s 4-player online co-op mode will actually use a time limit, as missions have been designed specifically for co-op that will use the time limit to challenge players in unique ways.
Overall, Dead Rising 4 moving farther away from the time limit mechanic is probably the best move, though it’s easy to see why some series veterans may be skeptical. After all, the time limit has given Dead Rising games a sense of urgency not found in many other titles, and it’s hard to imagine how the series will maintain that without the time limit in place.
Fans that may miss the time limit and the challenge it brings to the table will have a chance to relive it, however. Capcom is launching Dead Rising remasters in September, which will give longtime fans of the franchise a chance to experience the time limit and all the other quirks of the older games on new-gen consoles. It will be interesting to see if fans will stick to playing these old games, or if Dead Rising 4‘s abandonment of the time limit is ultimately the right move.
Dead Rising 4 will be available on PC and Xbox One on December 6th.