People moaning and shuffling around a shopping centre in December would normally be called “Christmas shopping”.
However, the figures walking around Bloomsbury in London on Monday night looked like they had been digging through earth rather than bargain bins.
Xbox officially launched Dead Rising 4, one of the most popular zombie game franchises of all time, with a special event that included undead actors and a choir, festive lights and a chance to play the highly anticipated game.
Dead Rising 4, developed by Capcom and published in partnership with Microsoft, takes place 16 years after the original game and tells the story of photojournalist Frank West. West has returned to Willamette, in Colorado, to investigate a new zombie outbreak and soon realises that this latest incident is linked to a government conspiracy and a military operation.
“We wanted to tell the story of where Frank was and what he’s been doing, because it’s the 10th anniversary since the first Dead Rising came out,” said Joe Nickolls, Studio Director of Capcom Vancouver. “He is teaching journalism and is goaded out of retirement by one of his students. He thinks he’s going to play mini-golf and she takes him to the zombie apocalypse.”
Fans of the series took to social media and interacted with a cryptic Facebook Live stream of a zombie hand suspended above a button at the Brunswick Centre on Monday. Xbox followers could move the hand downward to press the red button – and then all hell broke loose.
An undead choir emerged to entertain the crowd, while zombies roamed the area and nine panels of Christmas lights lit up in sequence to reveal a short story about surviving a “Walking Dead”-style apocalypse – the first time a videogame trailer had been created in this way.
Adrian Simons, Director of Global Windows and Devices at Microsoft, said: “Most Christmas lights are switched on by celebrities, but in this case the honour went to Xbox’s global fanbase. They brought to life a new form of game trailer, which we believe is a world’s first.”
Meanwhile, a short demo of the game allowed players to take on the role of West in the streets of Willamette and fight of hordes of zombies using an electric axe, a crossbow that fired fireworks and street signs – all while wearing a bionic suit.
“The hardest part is coming up with weapons we haven’t done before,” Nicholls added. “We work backwards; we look at what we want to happen to a zombie and then we back it up. So, for example, we thought: ‘OK, we want to blow that zombie up; so do we blow him up with dynamite or a rocket or a grenade? OK, how do we want to use that grenade? Do we want to throw it, launch it, attach it to something? Let’s attach it to a sledgehammer, because that’s a totally safe thing to happen…’
“We figure out what are the funniest things we can do to zombies and we work backwards from there; and we try not to recreate any of the hundreds of weapons we have already done.”
The creators have also removed the controversial timer for this latest instalment’s main campaign, giving players much more freedom to explore the vast maps.
“The reason we got rid of the timer was because this is a much deeper game than we have made before,” Nicholls said. “There are a lot more places to explore, a lot more story to uncover, a lot more of the mystery to solve. There’s so much side content, so much stuff to do, that if we kept the timer in it you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the whole product, you wouldn’t be able to solve the mystery. So we took it out of the main game and put it in at the end where you have some very time-specific things to do.”
Dead Rising 4 standard edition is available to buy now on Xbox One at MS Store. A Digital Deluxe Edition – available from MS Store – includes a copy of the game and the Dead Rising 4 Season Pass, including exclusive bonus content. The Season Pass grants players access to new ways to play in Willamette, including the Stocking Stuffer Holiday Pack, Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf, and Dead Rising 4: Frank Rising content packs.
Halo: Combat Evolved is releasedNovember 15, 2001
Xbox launchesNovember 15, 2001
733 MHz x86 Intel Celeron/Pentium III Custom Hybrid CPU 233 MHz nVidia custom GeForce 3 NV2A DirectX 8.0 based GPU 64 MB DDR SDRAM at 200 MHz dual-channel 128-bit configuration giving 6400 MB/sRead more
Xbox Live is launchedNovember 15, 2002
Halo 2 is releasedNovember 9, 2004
Xbox 360 is launchedNovember 22, 2005
New controller 3.2 GHz IBM PowerPC tri-core CPU codenamed “Xenon” 500 MHz ATi custom Radeon X1800 DirectX 9.0c based GPU codenamed “Xenos” 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM @ 700 MHz 22.4 GB/s, 10 MB EDRAM GPU frame buffer memoryRead more
Gears of War is releasedNovember 7, 2006
Halo 3 is releasedSeptember 25, 2007
Gears of War 2 is releasedNovember 7, 2008
Halo Wars is releasedFebruary 26, 2009
Xbox Live adds Xbox 360 games for downloadAugust 11, 2009
Redesigned and thinner Xbox 360 is launchedJune 14, 2010
Xbox 360 Kinect is launchedNovember 4, 2010
Xbox 360 Kinect claims a Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling consumer electronics device ever, after selling eight million units in its first 60 days.Read more
Gears of War 3 is releasedSeptember 20, 2011
Windows version of Kinect is launchedFebruary 1, 2012
Surface RT is releasedOctober 26, 2012
The Surface RT was launched alongside Windows 8Read more
Halo 4 is releasedNovember 6, 2012
Surface Pro is launchedFebruary 9, 2013
The Surface Pro featured a higher-resolution screen, a Surface Pen stylus for touch input and a full version of Windows 8.Read more
Surface 2 available to buyOctober 22, 2013
Features an NVIDIA Tegra 4 Processor, 10.6-Inch ClearType Full HD Touchscreen Display, 2 GB RAM; 64 GB Storage Capacity (47 GB Available), Windows RT 8.1 and 24W Power Supply.Read more
Surface Pro 2 is releasedOctober 22, 2013
Compared with the original Surface Pro, the Surface Pro 2 has improved hardware specifications, such as a next generation Haswell Intel Core processor and an increased number of storage options, improved versions of the kickstand and cover accessories.Read more
Xbox One is launched with new controller and new KinectNovember 22, 2013
1.75 GHz AMD x86-64 eight-core CPU codenamed “Jaguar” 853 MHz AMD Radeon HD 7000 series DirectX 11.1 based GPU codenamed “Durango” eight GB of DDR3 RAM @ 2133 MHz 68.3 GB/s, 32 MB ESRAM GPU frame buffer memory.Read more
Surface Pro 3 is releasedJune 20, 2014
The Surface Pro 3 was announced on May 20, 2014, at a New York City event, pre-orders were opened on May 21, 2014, and the first models were released on June 20, 2014 in the US and Canada, with the Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i7 models released on August 1, 2014. The Surface Pro 3 was launched in 25 additional markets on August 28.Read more
Surface 3 available to buyMay 5, 2015
Microsoft Surface is built around a durable magnesium body that’s incredibly light and thin, so you’ll feel confident taking it anywhere. With up to 10 hours of video playback, a beautiful 10.8″ display and integrated Kickstand, Surface 3 is perfect for hands-free entertainment wherever you go.Read more
Surface Hub releasedJuly 1, 2015
The Surface Hub is a wall or roller-stand mounted device with either an 84 inches, 120 Hz 4K or a 55 inches 1080p touchscreen with multi-touch and multi-pen capabilities and runs Windows 10.Read more
Surface Pro 4 is launchedOctober 26, 2015
Surface Pro 4 is ultra-thin, fast and versatile, the perfect balance of portability and power. With 6th generation Intel Core processors and up to 1TB of storage, it’s built to run professional-grade software. And the PixelSense Display has stunning colour and contrast that comes to life with Surface Pen and touch. Simply connect your Surface Pro 4 to Surface Dock and use up to two high-resolution monitors, a full keyboard, mouse and any other accessories. The built-in Kickstand lets your screen rest at almost any angle – even while docked – so your Surface Pro 4 works great at your desk, on your lap…Read more
Surface Book available to buyOctober 26, 2015
Surface Book is a powerful, thin laptop computer with a full-sized, backlit keyboard for fast and natural typing. The 13.5” PixelSense display detaches easily from the keyboard to become a thin, light tablet that works perfectly with OneNote and Surface Pen. Turn the screen around and reattach it to use Surface Book like a creative canvas. By reconnecting it…Read more
Halo 5: Guardians is releasedOctober 27, 2015
Halo 5: Guardians is releasedRead more
Xbox One S is launchedAugust 2, 2016
Blu Ray / DVD RAM: 8GB DDR3 Clock: 2133MHz Bandwidth: 68.26 GB/s + 32MB eSRAM / Bandwidth: 204 GB/s(102 In/102 Out) 8GB flash memory CPU: 8 Core AMD custom CPU / Frequency: 1.75 GHz GPU: Clock Speed: 853 MHz / Shader Cores: 768 / Peak Throughput: 1.31 TFLOPS Storage: 500 GB (5400 rpm) hard drive non-replaceable, external hard drive support available Backwards compatibility HDMI input and output (4K support) API: DirectX 11.2Read more
Gears of War 4 is releasedOctober 11, 2016
Surface Studio launchedOctober 26, 2016
Surface Studio is an new device designed for the creative process. Its roomy and adjustable 28-inch PixelSense Display provides a huge canvas for all kinds of work. Position it upright to sketch, paint and edit photos, or lay it flat to draw on it like a drafting table.Read more
Surface Book i7 releasedOctober 26, 2016
Surface Book is a powerful, thin laptop computer with a full-sized, backlit keyboard for fast and natural typing. The 13.5” PixelSense display detaches easily from the keyboard to become a thin, light tablet that works perfectly with OneNote and Surface Pen. Turn the screen around and reattach it to use Surface Book like a creative canvas. By reconnecting it to the keyboard, you unlock its full creative power in a pen first mode. With an optional discrete graphics chip, Surface Book can handle even the most intensive creative tasks. Use the multi-touch PixelSense Display and Surface Pen to create with all the desktop software you already use, like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Surface Book is the creative professional’s laptop, designed to be…Read more