Everyone! It's videogame tie-in time again! No, wait come back, this has zombies in it! Everyone likes zombies. Yes, even you madam. Anyway, I'll let you all into a secret. I can get a bit obssessive when I game. And earlier this year I got completely obssessed with Dead Rising 2 and it's "alternative universe" re-release, Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. And I played them for weeks, which considering all you do is kill zombies using everything from chainsaws to motorbikes to chainsaws welded to motorbikes, you would think the repetition would get a bit much. Achievements, I blame chasing those buggers. Ahem. This comic is set between the first Dead Rising game which saw an zombie outbreak in a shopping mall being covered by a journalist called Frank West, and it's sequel Dead Rising 2, which saw an outbreak of zombies in a casino being dealt with by a motorcyclist called Chuck Greene who had a zombie infected daughter whose symptoms are kept at bay by a medicine called "Zombrex". This story focuses mainly on aspects of Frank's faltering career post zombies that would be elaborated on in the non-canon Off The Record, as well as detailing how Chuck's daughter got infected and giving more information on the sinister doings of pharmachutical company, "Phenotrans", who are behind the temporary zombie cure "Zombrex". To kick things off, as I haven't played the first Dead Rising I'm going to be hugely lazy and quote the comic's quick summary of events in it.
"Frank West, a freelance photographer, is looking for the "scoop of a lifetime" and thinks he found it when he heads to the Willamette Parkview Mall in Willamette, Colorado to cover what he believes to be a riot. The truth, however, is far more horrifying when the riot turns out to be a full scale zombie infestation. With his journalistic instincts overriding his fears, Frank enters the mall and is soon fighting for his very life alongside other humans trapped inside the sprawling complex. As the zombie threat grows so to does Franks knowledge of who is behind the disaster. - it is a deliberate outbreak caused by Carlito Keys as revenge for the infestation and ulitmate destruction of of his South American town Santa Cabeza by U.S Special Forces following failed U.S. Government experiments in the area."
Now see I could have been even lazier and scanned that paragraph in. But I typed it with my own fingers just for you. Now let us crack on with the story proper.
|Fancy a bite, Frank?|
He mumbles about the booze supposedly helping him with the bad dreams and goes to the bathroom cabinet where he injects himself with Zombrex, the anti-zombification drug. Listening to the radio he hears a report from a Rebecca Chang who is being dispatched to a suspected zombie outbreak. She reports that military containment is tight and she can't get any information from them about what is happening.
|Frank gets serious.|
Frank: "Dammit, I've got a Pulitzer prize and a New York Times bestselling memoir, man! I've been in wars zones and survived a full on zombie attack, for Christ's sake!"
His agent says that's as maybe, but conspiracy nuts are old news. Now it's all reality TV. Frank bellows down the phone at him that "Terror is reality!" And hangs up. This gives Clay an idea for a show and he proposes it over the phone to the unseen "TK."
|Chuck Greene and family.|
Chuck: "And after tonight our lives are gonna change like you won't believe..."
We then move to a town called Coyote Springs where a zombie outbreak is indeed occuring. The army are slowly but surely wiping the hordes out. The commander calls in an airstrike to hit the town with.
|PEW PEW PEW.|
Outmanuvered she walks away and gets a call from Frank West. He wants to meet up. He says he's been wanting to get back into the field and the cancellation of his show has given him impetus to do so. They could compare notes on the whole zombie thing. Meanwhile the zombie rights organisation C.U.R.E has started picketing the military. Rebecca says they can meet later, she has an appointment with a contact in Fortune City.
|The organisation of eeeeeevil.|
Curnow: "I just couldn't be a part of it anymore. Turning all those innocent people into zombies... all the deaths. It... it's just wrong, don't you see?"
Mallon calls him a hypocrite for being a part of it for so long. She says the need for Zombrex has helped the company grow. They will continue to release their bees to infect people. They make zombies and Zombrex, a vicious cycle they profit from. Singh then breaks Curnow's neck. Mallon says nothing must stand in the way of "tonight's operation in Las Vegas".
Back with Frank, he and Rebecca are meeting as Curnow stood Rebecca up. She asks him what happened with Isabela Keyes who escaped the mall outbreak with him. Frank says Homeland Security picked her up and he never saw her again. They both think the Keyes are being made scapegoats for something the government might have a hand in, and as Curnow's contact came from Phenotrans she also suspects they have something to do with the zombie outbreaks as well. They decide to join forces to investigate further.
|Rebecca and Frank hypothesise.|
The bees get to work and soon the whole arena is full of zombies. Pam has also been stung. Chuck wins the race, but instead of celebration, when he removes his helmet he is greeted by a scene from hell. Rebecca gets word of what's happening and calls Frank to come join her and investigate.
|Not the bees!|
Katey: "What about mommmy? Isn't she coming too?"
Chuck: "Mommy? Oh Pam... No Katey. Mommy is not coming with us."
|Zombie Pam gets a lobotomy.|
In Vegas, Chuck drives to a 24 hour pharmacy. He smashes the van through the front to squish the zombies lurking outside. Rebecca and Frank contemplate the blockade and how fast it was set-up, "like they were ready for something to happen." In the pharmacy a hysterical Chuck finds some Zombrex and injects it in a sleepy Katey. It temporarily does it's work and stops her turning permanently. She perks up and he gives her a big hug while apologising to her.
|Katey is temporarily saved.|
Text Message: "I KNOW U R LOOKING 4 ANSWERS RE: PHENOTRANS/ZOMBIES. I CAN HELP RE: SECRET PLANS/EXPERIMENTS. MORE INFO SOON. A FRIEND."
Frank says he has no idea who it is from. Rebecca and Jamie set the broadcast van while Frank gets ready to snap some photos. Rebecca says that if that text message was legit, they just "got their first big break."
Inside Vegas Chuck gets himself and Katey back in his van. They head for Still Creek, the town that was infected earlier, and where the small prequel game "Case Zero" took place. Director Mallon listens to Rebecca's broadcast with glee. The death toll could be as high as a million, and she calls it their "first major harvest". As she says to Singh, the military aren't asking any questions so "who can stop us?" And the comic ends.
|You can't stop the media!|