Dead Rising 3 preview: co-op joyrides

Dead Rising 3 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting next-gen launch games this year. It's certainly shaped up quite significantly since its E3 reveal, which featured a sluggish framerate, overly serious tone, and rather forced use of SmartGlass. Many of these issues have been addressed in the latest build we saw. For example, the game is running much more smoothly No longer does it seem like Xbox One is choking on the hundreds of zombies on screen. According to Capcom Vancouver, the boosted GPU and CPU speed helped significantly. "Just with that update, performance has gone through the roof," we were told.

Dead Rising 3 lets you play with a friend

More reassuringly, it appears the franchise's signature humor will remain intact in Dead Rising 3--namely through the game's insanely creative combo system. For example, finding a teddy bear and combining it with a wheelchair and boom box transforms it into a "decoy bear." By pushing it forward, its sounds will attract any nearby zombies. Add explosives to it, and you have an easy way of scoring a massive number of kills. There are other creative combination weapons we saw. Attaching a scythe to a katana resulted in the "grim reaper" combination. Add a skull mask to it, and you'll get the "death mask reaper," which shoots skull projectiles that eat zombie souls. You can take it one step further by adding gasoline to the mix, which turns it into the "ultimate death reaper," which launches explosives with every swing. Utilizing the many zany blueprints hidden in the game will be easier this time around, thanks to a new level up system that lets you improve your ability to improvise. By leveling up certain aspects of the combo system, you'll be able to replace specific items in recipes. For example, the sticky bomb recipe would normally call for a grenade and a pair of scissors. But if you're properly leveled up, you'll be able to replace the grenade with any other explosive. This flexibility will undoubtedly prove useful.

Combo vehicles are hilarious

Another incredible addition to Dead Rising 3: combo vehicles. Every vehicle can be combined, and each combo vehicle has some co-op functionality. For example, combining the motorcycle with a steam roller turns it into the "Rollerhawg." When riding the combo vehicle, player one can control the flamethrower in front while the second player can throw explosives from the back. There's other reasons to play through the campaign in co-op. Not only do you get added firepower, but you'll also be able to unlock blueprints together. Anything one player unlocks, the other player gets as well. Do note that there is friendly fire, however. If there's one aspect of Dead Rising 3 that Microsoft hasn't successfully sold me on, it's SmartGlass integration. Yes, you'll be able to call air strikes using a connected tablet--but I'm not entirely sure why this is relegated to the second screen instead of being an option on an in-game menu. Seeing it roll the in-game timer doesn't seem especially useful, either. With the return of truly zany weapons, the addition of even crazier combo vehicles, and a co-op mode that encourages silly over-the-top zombie slaughter, Dead Rising 3 looks to be one of the most exciting Xbox One launch games. It'll be available on November 22. BOOM video 15868