Sole Survivor or Hero?
When you got to the end of Dead Rising and beat the asshole on the tank with your bare hands (let me repeat that: your bare hands), did you feel like you’d won? I felt like I’d lost. I didn’t save everyone, I merely survived. Did I play Dead Rising to be the sole survivor or to be the hero – even though the latter is impossible? Maybe the only reason you get to live is because a sequel has already been planned and gamers want to connect to a particular character.
Dead Rising is Zombie Groundhog Day, but as you relive those dark moments over and over again you realize you can only fix so many things. Capcom’s game is particularly challenging because you can't save everyone. You may want to, but it's just not possible because the survivors are fucking stupid and don't follow your direction, or because you're agitated by Otis calling you every 5 seconds, or because the clock is ticking away and you just want to make it to the helicopter or that soldier boy on his fucking tank.
You're not the big hero - because the big hero saves everyone he can - and many of the people that are in this game have to die. No, you’re not really that kind of person in Dead Rising; you’re just another poor slob that got out alive. But you do so with no clear vision of what your future holds. In real life would you want to live in a world where there is no humanity, being left to sauté in the emptiness of the world?
Perhaps someone will make a game where the protagonist doesn’t make it out alive and it’s not deemed a failure. What if Frank made it to the tank, beat the last guy and didn’t make it out to spread the news? What if Frank saved everyone but died in the process? These are the kinds of conditions I’d like to see more of in video games. We’re talking horror movie ending here, where NO ONE MAKES IT OUT ALIVE.