If you skipped Dead Rising 2 just because Frank West wasn't in it, Off the Record is game for you. Otherwise, even though it improves on some of DR2's mechanics, it doesn't seem like a worthwhile retail product.
Off the Record feels like an optional story mission you would find in a Resident Evil game. Frank West is a down-and-out celebrity that went from covering wars to covering zombie outbreaks, then on to hawking hair regrowth products. Somewhere along the line he turned into fat Elvis and started relying on Zombrex (the zombie cure that serves as DR2's macguffin). His return overwrites Chuck Greene's story and replaces it with a man's struggle to overcome zombification and a ruined reputation. Wait, that's…a lot like Chuck's story.
If you played Dead Rising 2, almost all of Frank's adventures will feel the same. That's because they are, with Capcom only throwing in a few changes and added lines of dialog. Chuck isn't gone completely, as he shows up again in multiplayer, but Frank essentially replaces him in all major aspects of the game.
Off the Record does introduce one legitimately rewarding mode. Players can now run around in a sandbox version of Fortune City earning money Frank can use in the main game. You cannot gain character levels, but the sandbox offers plenty of chances for you to brush up on weapon combinations and earn lots of money. Since the first Dead Rising, I've wanted a game that was entirely about slaughtering hordes of zombies without psychopath boss fights and an agonizing time clock. Off the Record offers a very limited version of that.
But the real issue here is that Off the Record feels more like a massive piece of downloadable content than a free-standing game. Players who made it all the way through DR2 will likely find Frank West's story repetitive and boring, since it's pretty much what they already played.
Where Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare introduced a new scenario to the familiar Red Dead world, Off the Record only partially changes Chuck's story before dropping Frank West in to the middle of it. It's difficult to get beyond this concept, no matter how much fun the sandbox mode is.
So, if you never played Dead Rising 2 because Frank West wasn't in it, Off the Record is the place to start, but it is such miniscule improvement over the previous game to recommend to everyone else.
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