Dead Rising 4: Capcom Vancouver’s Joe Nickolls on why the timer’s been removed
Frank's about to face an entirely different sort of pressure.
Speaking with Stevivor, Capcom Vancouver’s Joe Nickolls elaborated on the decision making process that removed the countdown timer from Dead Rising 4‘s regular play.
“We give you a kind of a toolkit and a sandbox to make stuff, but it’s the accidents that happen in the game that are the most fun,” Nickolls said. “With so much stuff in the game, and we’d be kind of pissed if people didn’t get to see seventy percent of what we put into the game.
“When you have a timer, it’s great for time and for pressure, but what we found is that people — the OCD, the completionists, all those kinds of people — they want to complete everything. If the timer gets in their way, a lot of the times they don’t want to have to go back and play the whole thing again.”
Rather than using a timer to build tension and pressure, enemies and scenarios have been designed to do just that.
“Our new kind of pressure means you’ve got to survive against the things that are attacking you,” Nickolls said. “We’ll give you situations where you’re not going to have enough power to get through this kind of thing, you’re going to have to run and find a weapon to pick up, and these dudes are chasing you like kind of 28 Days Later speed down the road. You’ve got to run and stuff and try not to die.
“There’s so much stuff to discover in this world because, if you look straight down on it, it’s about the same size as Dead Rising 3, but there’s way more stuff to do and multiple levels. We have a sewer system and a bunch of connected basements and craziest jump, and we have the mall which is a two-level mall with another basement in the mall which is huge. There’s so much more stuff to explore, you feel kind of ripped off if you didn’t get to find all this cool stuff because the timer gets in the way.”
For those who can’t live without, the timer does make a reappearance in online multiplayer.
“The way that we get the timer back into the game is when you play online multiplayer, and the best way I describe it is like you’re in the movie The Matrix,” Nickolls began. “You’re all in there and you’re doing your things, fighting the albino guys and the twin guys, and then you’ve got to find a phone booth, right?
“It’s the same kind of thing in Dead Rising with online, so you and three friends can go do these specific missions that are only online, and you’ve got a timer to get them done. Then at the end of the mission, and then you’ve got a certain amount of time to get to the safe house. As soon as you’re running for the safe house, and of course that’s when we unleash everything to stop you from doing that. It’s a real time pressure there, because we don’t expect you to do a lot of exploring in the online mode, that’s for the single-player mode.”
Dead Rising 4 heads to Windows PC and Xbox One on 6 December.