|Developer(s): Capcom, Blue Castle
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s): September 28, 2010
Genre(s): Action adventure
Mode(s): Single-player, online co-op, multiplayer
Five years after the events of Dead Rising, former motocross champion Chuck Greene takes part in Terror Is Reality, a controversial game show where contestants kill zombies for money, sport, and fame. Chuck is hoping to win the prize money for his daughter Katey, who was bitten by her zombified mother in a previous outbreak in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has to be medicated with Zombrex (a zombification-suppressing medication) in order to stay alive. Chuck heads backstage after he wins the competition, but is trapped in an elevator after a mysterious explosion. Upon exiting the elevator, he finds the city overrun by undead. After rescuing Katey from the green room, Chuck makes his way through the zombie horde to an emergency shelter.
Inside, Chuck is confronted by Sullivan, a Fortune City security guard and the only reserve man to make it into the shelter. Sullivan is reluctant to allow Katey inside, since she is infected, but Chuck promises to keep her supplied with Zombrex until the military arrives in three days. One of the other survivors, Stacey Forsythe – the local leader of the zombie rights organization “Citizens for Undead Rights and Equality” (CURE) – tells him there is a pharmacy in a nearby mall that might have some of the medication. She offers to provide him support from the bunker via a two-way radio. Just before Chuck heads out, a news broadcast on one of the bunker TVs announces he is accused of starting the outbreak. Seeking to clear his name, he enlists the help of Stacey and journalist Rebecca Chang, who uncovered the evidence against him.
Chuck discovers that Terror is Reality host Tyrone “TK” King is using the outbreak to provide cover while he and his agents clean out the vaults of Fortune City’s biggest casinos. TK is planning to escape with his loot by helicopter, but Chuck manages to knock him out and drag him back to the safe house. TK is interrogated there and reveals he was ordered by a mysterious organization to frame Chuck. He refuses to say any more, so Chuck handcuffs him and locks him in the infirmary under Sullivan’s watch while he and the others try to figure out what is really going on.
After three days have passed, the military, led by Sergeant Boykin, enter the city to clean up and rescue survivors. The operation goes horribly wrong when a noxious green gas emanating from underground causes the zombies to mutate into a faster, more powerful form. Unprepared for dealing with the new super-zombies, most of the soldiers are wiped out. Rebecca, who believes this will make the “story of a lifetime”, ventures out to find the source of the green gas. She is captured by Sergeant Boykin, who has gone insane after seeing his troops massacred. Chuck tracks down Rebecca, kills Boykin, and frees her, and the two return to the safe house. It is revealed that TK has been bitten during the chaos caused by the mutated zombies, and Chuck must decide whether or not to give him Zombrex. The survivors are also faced with another problem: since the initial rescue operation failed, the government is going to firebomb the city to wipe out everything and everyone inside. They have less than 24 hours to escape or alert the outside world to their presence.
Following up on Rebecca’s leads in the underground maintenance tunnels, Chuck finds a squad of scientists from Phenotrans, the company which manufactures Zombrex. They are busy rounding up the zombies, which will be harvested for the zombification-causing queen wasps needed to synthesize the drug. Chuck recovers a transceiver and a laptop computer containing extensive records about the operation, and takes them back to the safe house. Rebecca tries to contact her colleagues at the news station about the discovery but is ambushed and killed by Sullivan, who is secretly a Phenotrans agent. Sullivan takes the laptop and escapes to the roof of the Yucatán casino. Determined to get the laptop back, Chuck chases after him.
When Chuck arrives at the Yucatán Casino, Sullivan reveals that the outbreak was engineered because the available supply of captive zombies was no longer sufficient to produce the quantities of Zombrex demanded by the market. There is no way to breed the zombifying wasps outside of a human host, so Phenotrans deliberately released zombies into a populated area to create more undead. TK was only hired to frame Chuck for the incident; the heist plot was his own idea that came to him later. Sullivan then calls in a Phenotrans transport to rescue him by skyhook, but Chuck handcuffs his harness to the rooftop, causing him to be torn in half when the transport lifts off. Chuck contacts the media via transceiver and offers to give them proof of Phenotrans’s involvement in exchange for them sending rescue helicopters.
From this point, there are several possible endings, depending on the player’s actions during the game. The two primary endings (unlocked if the player completes all story missions in time and keeps Katey alive throughout the game) are:
Ending A (the player does not give TK Zombrex): Chuck radios the military and asks the firebombing to be put on hold. He rides the news helicopter to the safe house roof and is greeted by Stacey with Katey asleep in her arms. They prepare to leave, but Chuck realizes Katey’s backpack containing her mother’s things is missing and goes back downstairs to retrieve it. He finds the backpack but is ambushed from the elevator by the zombified TK. Stacey runs forward to help, but Chuck tosses her Katey’s pack and tells her to take care of his daughter. Stacey escapes by helicopter, while Chuck is dragged into the elevator by the zombie mob. A news broadcast later states that his ultimate fate is unknown. This ending sets the stage for the expansion Case: West.
Ending S (the player gives TK Zombrex): Chuck calls off the bombing. He arrives back at the shelter to find the civilians being evacuated, but Stacey and Katey are not among them. He searches the control room and finds Katey’s backpack. The game then goes into “Overtime Mode”, which adds another day to the main story’s timeline. Chuck receives a radio transmission from TK, who reveals he has kidnapped Stacey and Katey. If Chuck wants to see them again, he must collect several items from around Fortune City and bring them to the arena within 24 hours. When Chuck reaches the arena, he is knocked out by TK with a taser and awakens to find himself hanging upside down over a crowd of zombies with Stacy and Katey. Chuck manages to free himself and climb up into the rafters, where he is attacked by TK. Eventually he overpowers TK and hurls him down into the arena. Chuck then frees Stacey and Katey and they leave the city hand in hand. If the player fails to meet TK’s demands in time the game will show Stacey and Katey being lowered into the zombie horde and devoured.
“Bad” endings unlocked if the player fails to complete some critical task:
Ending B (the player fails a story mission after the first rescue, and/or the firebombing timer runs out): The government levels the city, wiping out the zombies and all the survivors.
Ending C (the player fails a story mission before the first rescue): Chuck returns to the safe house after his encounter with Sullivan and finds it under attack by the military. He is shot twice in the chest by an unseen assailant, and the player receives the message that the second rescue was a failure and the city was firebombed.
Ending D (Chuck is outside the safe house when the rescue team arrives): Chuck awakens in the back of a military truck surrounded by soldiers, who have been ordered to bring him in so he can be prosecuted. The truck encounters something in the green gas swirling through the streets, and the screen cuts to black. The player receives a message stating that the city was firebombed. This ending will automatically result if Chuck is not in the safe house when the rescue party arrives, regardless of what other criteria the player has fulfilled.
Ending F (Chuck fails to provide Katey with Zombrex): Chuck is seen standing in the safe house holding Katey’s backpack. Stacey tells him not to blame himself for her death and that they should move on. Suddenly, several zombies force their way into the room, and Chuck allows them to overpower him. Stacey watches in horror as he is devoured alive. The city is firebombed shortly thereafter.