Dead Rising 4 is about creatively slaying zombies, but it's also about consumerism

Dead Rising is an ultra-violent videogame series about slaying hordes of zombies with ridiculous weapons. It's breezy and stupid, and sometimes (heck, most of the time), it's good when games are dumb. Dead Rising 4 won't change that tone, but according to Capcom Vancouver head Joe Nickolls, there's more to it if you want there to be.

Noting that the studio has recruited a specialist videogame narrative writer for this instalment – and that only 10 percent of players are likely to scratch beneath the surface of the story anyway – Nickolls told that the theme of Dead Rising 4 dovetails neatly with this time of year, wedged as we are between Black Friday and the Christmas rush.

"The message behind the game is around consumerism and Black Friday, and we're asking: who is the monster? The zombies running around, or is it what caused everyone to fight each other and demand these products and services?

"I often say this is not the thinking man's game, but there are some messages in there that might make you think a little bit more than usual." Later on, Nickolls admits that most players won't seize on that theme. "I think a lot of people will miss the whole consumerism thing. They'll say: 'It's a Christmas game with zombies' and they won't go that deep."

It's an amusing premise, and I'll be the first to admit that my behaviour mirrors that of a zombie. I'd prefer it if you refrained from killing me with a feline robot flamethrower, though. Dead Rising 4 releases December 6.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.