You know it's going to be an interesting presentation when somebody uses the phrase "magical pixie dust."
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record apparently got its start when people at Capcom, including their eponymous Vancouver studio formerly known as Blue Castle Games, was kicking around the idea of further DLC for Dead Rising 2. Frank West is a popular character, both with fans and with Capcom executives, so they were discussing ideas for what to do next.
In DR2, Frank West was caught outside of Fortune City when somebody sabotaged the holding pens for the "Terror is Reality" game show. The zombies that they'd intended to be slaughtered for the cameras got loose, and DR2 ensued. Frank was only able to get back into Fortune City during the evacuation attempts three days later, after the events of the main game, and that's where DR2: Case West starts.
Off the Record is an alternate universe where Frank has fallen on hard times, and instead of investigating the Phenotrans corporation with Rebecca Chang, he's actually in Fortune City as a competitor in "Terror is Reality." After showing off his wrestling moves against some unlucky zombies, Frank winds up in Fortune City for the outbreak and decides to investigate.
Capcom has gotten a lot of criticism since Off the Record was released, since most of what they'd talked about for the game sounded like something that could've been done in a relatively inexpensive DLC patch. Off the Record, however, is a full retail release, albeit one that's going to be at least $20 cheaper than the standard $60 price point.
In its defense, this isn't simply Dead Rising 2 with Chuck removed and Frank added. Many survivors and psychopaths will reportedly react differently to Frank than they did to Chuck, Frank's point-collecting photography minigame is back, and the aforementioned "magical pixie dust" has resulted in at least one new area being added to Fortune City. This area, a '50s-sci-fi-themed amusement park complete with a roller coaster, was the setting for the E3 show floor demo.
Frank has also picked up Chuck's ability to tape things together, and that gives you a few more improvised weapons to find and create. In the demo, this included a flaming tennis ball launcher, a stick pony with a bunch of fireworks attached to its head, and a big green rubber alien mask with laser beams built into its eyes.
As for Chuck himself, he's been confirmed to be in Off the Record. Capcom readily admits that he's the second player in a co-op game but remains silent on what other role, if any, he plays. Stacy is confirmed as another returning character and keeps her mission control position in the Fortune City security offices.
The general theme for Off the Record seems to be that it's taking itself a great deal less seriously than the previous Dead Rising games ever did, with goofier weapons, more deliberate humor, and Frank getting exasperated at having to rescue survivors at all. It's pretty much a fan service expansion pack and a relatively cheap way to slaughter a few thousand more zombies.
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