The Dead Rising series has never really done extensive DLC before. The first two games had DLC, but they were limited to costumes that were either purely aesthetic or had stat boosts. Anything that was deemed significant, such as expansions to the story, were released as Xbox Live Arcade games instead, with Case: Zero acting as a prologue to Chuck's adventures in Dead Rising 2 and Case: West being the epilogue with Frank West, the protagonist of the first game, in tow. Dead Rising 3 is really the first game in the series to provide some meaningful story-based DLC. Instead of expanding on Nick Ramos' adventures, the developers decided to focus on four different characters under the umbrella of The Untold Stories of Los Perdidos, and the first of these is titled Operation Broken Eagle, a prequel to the main game.
You play as Adam Kane, a military commander under the leadership of General Hemlock. He and his squad are assigned to Los Perdidos to capture the President of the United States. Hemlock claims the President caused the outbreak by not going after the illegals who didn't get the government-approved Zombrex chips installed. An RPG sends the chopper spiraling out of control, prompting Kane and his men to parachute into the zombie-infested city. Alone and surrounded, Kane must link up with his comrades and carry out the mission.
From beginning to end, there's not much to the story, which is told through in-game dialogue and cut scenes. You should pay attention to the scenes that bookend the episode, but even then, the plot is pretty predictable. If you wanted to get more insight into things that occurred surrounding the Los Perdidos incident, you won't find it here.
If you're expecting the gameplay to change due to the inclusion of a new character, prepare for some disappointment. For the most part, you play exactly like Nick does. You're equipped with dual combat knives, but those are finite in their lifespan. Anything and everything that can be picked up can be used as a weapon, and you can even combine weapons to make new ones. That even applies to vehicles, rendering Nick's special ability not so special anymore. There's nothing unique to Adam, so he just feels like Nick, but with a different skin and a military demeanor.
From a gameplay perspective, Operation Broken Eagle is rather straightforward. The chapter-based missions only fall into two categories: obtaining special items and clearing assigned areas of hostiles. The presence of zombie hordes still makes each main mission difficult and fun, but otherwise, there's nothing here you haven't done in the main game.
The side-quests are more cut-and-dried this time around, since you need to either hack into ZDC cameras or find your missing squadmates. The former has you finding the camera and hitting a button to hack it, and the latter has you locating soldiers when your communicator says they've been spotted. Finding a soldier means having him tag along if he's alive or killing him and taking his dog tag if he's become a zombie. The fights feel like busy work, a feeling that's strengthened when you discover the campaign only lasts two hours if you start at level one without any upgrades.
There's also a side-quest that requires you to infect illegal hideouts, a move that's supposed to make you horrified at what Adam is doing. However, all you see is him placing a canister near an air vent and hearing zombie groans, so it's not too horrifying when compared to everything else you see in the main game.
So far, the DLC seems bleak, but there are some positives. The first are new items that can be taken back to the main game. New melee weapons include the aforementioned dual combat knives and an ax/riot shield combo. For guns, you have an automatic shotgun, a vulcan machine gun with faster spin-up time, and a launcher that lobs nitrogen grenades to freeze zombies for a short time. For vehicles, the Armadillo is an armored assault vehicle with a machine gun on top; it's the perfect tool for mowing down the hordes. As for blueprint items, you can construct a mini-bike from a forklift and motorcycle or just two motorcycles; it features a turbo boost and side-mounted extended blades. There's also a chainsaw shotgun combination that offers a good balance between melee and close-range firepower.
The sharing of levels and experience is the second positive feature of the DLC, and it can be considered both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, if you're starting the game fresh or jumping into this without finishing the main game, all the leveling you do here can make the main game easier. On the other hand, if you've already maxed out Nick in the main game, Adam will be a juggernaut and make the short campaign even shorter. With no level cap changes in this DLC, it'll also feel meaningless since there's no bigger goal beyond finishing the campaign.
One thing players will find disappointing is the lack of co-op in this DLC. Capcom has gone on record stating that it wants the DLC to be more of an experience for solo players, but the argument doesn't hold much water. Without much of a story in the first place, the presence of a second soldier in the field would've made the experience more palatable, especially since you're not visiting any new ground.
Dead Rising 3: Operation Broken Eagle is sort of just there. The story doesn't offer anything interesting to shed a different light on the main story. The gameplay remains unchanged, and the side missions — even ones that are meant to be revolting — don't feel challenging. It's also rather short, and the omission of co-op is baffling since the main game offers that option. However, the inclusion of new weapons and vehicles is nice, as is the ability to take experience from this DLC and apply it to the main game. As standalone DLC, it isn't worth the rather high cost of $9.99. If you haven't gotten the Season Pass yet for $29.99, it's best to hold off and see if the other DLC packs justify the cost, and you could consider this a bonus mission.
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