Dead Rising 2 thrives on secrets, hidden items, and insider knowledge. A good guide would be a godsend for anyone struggling with the undead hordes of Fortune City. Does Prima’s guide have what it takes to keep motocross star Chuck Greene and his daughter Katey alive?
If all Dead Rising 2 needed was a simple walkthrough, it would be easy to take care of it here, in one sentence: Follow the arrows, carry lots of healing items, and don’t run out of time. But that’s not nearly all there is to surviving and thriving in Fortune City, and thankfully Prima’s guide is well-equipped to help.
The guide is rife with all manner of tables and appendices. List of weapons and their locations, what weapon combinations are most effective, and how to make different mixed drinks are just the start. There’s plenty more and Prima covers just about everything, including tables and maps specifically to serve a few of the more difficult achievements of the game (such as defacing all the Zombrex posters).
The guide is very easy to use as well. A strong table of contents at the beginning starts it off on the right severed zombie foot, showing the guide split into a few basic sections. It should be useful to both first-time players and seasoned zombie killers looking to squeeze every last achievement point and zombie corpse out of the game. Prima has also included a large foldout poster of Fortune City (about 2×3 pages) that includes things the locations of maintenance rooms, save points, blenders, and all those other important little things, as well as color-coded stores.
The page layout is generally easy to follow and spoilers are highlighted consistently, though frequent screenshots can sometimes ruin the suspense with too-long a glance. There isn’t much to the book from a design perspective, but it does a great job conveying the information it needs to convey quickly. It should be easy to find just about anything in just a few page turns once familiar with the guide.
The charts are comprehensive and seem to include just about everything, though there are a few minor omissions—the push utility cart is a combo item in the game, but is not listed in the combo item appendix. Another was a guide to the different endings possible in the game. While the walkthrough clearly should guide the reader toward the best possible ending, it’s nice to know what other possibilities are out there.
While there isn’t really anything that sets the guide apart from the others, it conveys the information it needs to efficiently and effortlessly. It’s a solid guide that should help anyone that decides to take a vacation to Fortune City.