Written by Jason Nawara, @JasonNawara
Dead Rising 3 was arguably the best launch title across both next-gen systems with it’s fun but well-worn zombie-decapitating gameplay, deep re-playability, and general uniqueness. It was great, even if it was simply the next iteration in a familiar series. Its first expansion was delayed and rolled into a massive (13GB!) patch that improved the frame-rate and general stability of the game, which is nice.
However, as Pee Wee Herman once said, “everyone has a big ‘but.’”
At $9.99 for each individual episode, or $30 for the Season Pass, Operation Broken Eagle is fighting up a hill of zombie carcasses if it wants to be referenced with as much love as the game it expands upon. Operation Broken Eagle clocks in at just over two hours playing time if you do everything, and doing everything doesn’t really include anything new.
All of the action that can be found in San Perdido is here to a fault. There are no new locales, and really very few new features to experiment with. It’s almost made for the player who played Dead Rising 3 once and forgot about it, which isn’t the player who will spend their cash on this middling DLC.
Broken Eagle has a forgettable story, sans a handful of fun tie-ins from the main campaign that you may recognize from previous adventures. Basically, the arc of the story is tied in with the subplot belonging to the President and her needing to be rescued.
As Adam Kane, you’re a member of the task force Nick kept running into in the main campaign. Aside from a few near-misses and crossovers from some familiar characters, you’re simply playing fetch for two hours, and what’s worse is that players whose characters have reached the level cap won’t be able to accrue any additional PP or new items outside of a couple of DLC specific drops.
The game is also confusingly blocked off as far as accessibility. If we know that Nick is out and about at this time in the game, yet for some reason, Adam Kane can’t open the same doors Nick can. Why are so many places locked for you, Adam? Is it because of the black void you have in place of a personality? It’s little things like this that keep me from loving this expansion. I guess they want to keep you on the very linear path that this DLC provides, but at least throw something new or interesting in here. Anything. Please. You’re better than this, Capcom.
The graphics and frame-rate have been vastly improved, thanks to a massive 13GB patch. A slew of bugs have been fixed, and if you haven’t played the main game, this patch should be enough to entice you to pick it up. The patch makes me happy to return to Dead Rising 3 because it’s genuinely fun and mostly bug free. Unfortunately, the lack of co-op in this expansion makes it difficult to recommend.
That’s right, no co-op. That’s a glaring omission. Capcom said they left out the co-op so they could focus on the single player experience, but if that’s the case, they blew it. These aren’t deep experiences, and they certainly don’t offer anything that makes up for not having the option to play it with a friend.
If you’re a fan who wants more Dead Rising, then sur, get it. Just be warned. This is essentially for completionists only.
Our fearless leader, Adam Dodd was surprised I gave this as high a score as I did, so before purchasing, keep this in mind: At its essence, Operation Broken Eagle is super fun. DR3 is great. It’s hard to equate a score that isn’t completely influenced by the price and length.
It has the next-gen Dead Rising experience — it’s fun killing, addictive leveling and crafting, so for that it has to have a baseline score, as everything it technically sets out to do, it does well, except it does it too little and with little inspiration.
Here’s to hoping the next 3 episodes for the planned Dead Rising 3 DLC are a little ( a lot) deeper than this bare-bones release.
The Final Word: This could’ve been a great addition to the Dead Rising lexicon of releases, but instead, it feels like a rushed piece of content that simply isn’t worth the singular price, and barely worth the Season Pass price of $30. Yes, the frame-rate is improved, the game plays better than ever, and it’s super fun, but that is DR 3, and this is Operation Broken Eagle, and as it is now, clocking in at just over 2 hours of play time, it’s next to impossible to recommend this bit of DLC until it goes on sale or something.