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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Frank's Deadpan Snarker personality in the face of such horror a sign he's become a genuine Jerkass or has he simply suffered so much trauma that he can't relate to the horror in any way but bad jokes? Is his claim they have to do it for a big fat paycheck simply a coping mechanism for the fact no matter what he does, the truth never gets out? Or is he simply a huge Psychopathic Man Child and Sociopathic Hero this time around?
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After Dead Rising 3 got flak for being a lifetime Xbox One exclusive note , Dead Rising 4 will only be exclusive to Xbox One for a year.
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    • Shortly before the game's release, Capcom Vancouver announced Frank Rising, a DLC expansion for the game which reintroduces the time limit from previous installments, which was one of the most controversial changes that 4 made to the formula. It also retconned the unpopular ending of the main game where Frank dies.
    • After receiving negative fan feedback about the game, Capcom Vancouver announced a "fan-improvement patch" that fixed the game's numerous glitches, added side missions including escort missions, and gave the maniacs their own weapons, theme songs, and improved boss battles. Finally they announced a new DLC called "Capcom Heroes" that allows Frank to dress and play as several Capcom characters, and allows him to wear his outfit from the original Dead Rising. Both the update and DLC were included in "Frank's Big Package", and given to current owners for free.
  • Broken Base:
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    • The new Zombie types have been of some debate, with some disliking the addition of mutated Evos, and modern "fast zombies" to a series that generally stays close to how Romero depicted zombies.
    • Unlike previous entries in the series, Dead Rising 4's main story has no time limit, making it a more traditional "sandbox" game. Some people like the idea, some don't.
    • While a good number of fans are glad to see Frank West return as the main protagonist in a canonical sequel, his voice actor change has gotten a mixed reception from older fans. Jim Sterling said the replacement of T.J. Rotolo (Frank's voice in almost every appearance he's made up to this point save for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom) is on par with David Hayter being replaced by Kiefer Sutherland in Metal Gear Solid V.
    • The fact that there is a separate co-op campaign, unlike in previous installments where co-op was just the single-player story with multiple players. Some think this helps balance out the game, as co-op made Dead Rising 2 and 3 incredibly easy, while others are upset that they will have to experience the main story alone.
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    • The replacement of the traditional Psychopath bosses with Maniacs and their gangs somewhat divided the fans, as the Maniacs are also people who have gone insane from the outbreak or groups of people who commit atrocities. On one hand, the Maniacs do have interesting designs and weapons such as Knights, high school sports teams, pirates in a mall and a Bad Santa known as Sadistic Clause. On the other hand, they lack the cutscenes, boss music, backstories and unique personalities that the Psychopaths had. Maniacs are also accompanied by hostile survivors, who fight with them but have no unique dialogue and are generic; by contrast, only certain Psychopaths were accompanied by soldiers or guards in previous games.
  • Catharsis Factor: With unlimited time to go wild, an insane amount of enemies onscreen at once, and a plethora of weapons and vehicles, this trope is where the game really shines.
  • Designated Hero: Frank really behaves in an appalling manner throughout the game. He acts like the payday for exposing stories is the only reason to investigate Obscuris' experiments, he leaves a prisoner tied up in a combat zone (which gets him a What the Hell, Hero? moment), and he constantly makes bad jokes in tragic situations.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Tom Pickton is popular with many players due to his creepiness and the fact that his boss fight felt like a traditional Dead Rising Psychopath, unlike the other Maniacs present in the game.
  • Game-Breaker: The game more or less throws the Blambow's blueprint at you right when you reach the mall, and making it is easier than you think, since a lot of masked cultists carry crossbows. A direct hit with a Blambow arrow is a one-hit kill on any standard zombie or human opponent, it inflicts a lot of damage to bosses, the explosion is lethal even at medium range, and the arrow still sticks and detonates if it strikes a wall or floor. It's probably the single best weapon in the game for clearing out zombie hordes and if you can stay downrange, it's a boss killer.
  • Genius Bonus: Barnaby's cat's name was "Mr. Flamel." Nicolas Flamel was a French manuscript seller who, two hundred years after his death, became the subject of legends that told he had mastered alchemy and achieved immortality.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Due to the fact that, unlike the Psychopaths in previous games, Maniacs aren't in their own isolated areas that get sealed off until you defeat them, it's possible to lead Maniacs into an area full of zombies or soldiers outside their designated arenas and have them get killed by them.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: A common criticism for the game. It's by far the least challenging experience of any Dead Rising game, which is doubly weird considering how difficult the first two games could be.
  • Pandering to the Base: Some have complained about how the game's focus on Frank and revisiting Willamette (albeit not the same mall) feels like it's aiming specifically to please people who preferred a number of elements of the first game over any of the sequels.
  • Porting Disaster: A number of Steam reviews report frequent crashes and graphical errors, even at the recommended specifications.
  • Replacement Scrappy: The Maniacs, being seen as very lacking replacements to the Psychopaths, due to factors like being more or less just being generic enemies with more health, and being rather one-note in all regards. Almost any negative review for the game will criticize them.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The developers consistently proclaimed that they are "going back to their roots", but then most players and critics noticed that Frank West appears and behaves nothing like how he did in past titles and how the majority of the features that had made the Dead Rising series unique from other zombie apocalyptic games has now been completely removed.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Vick to some due to her hypocrisy concerning Frank when her actions are arguably much worse. The fact she has several Kick the Dog moments and almost gets Frank killed on multiple occasions before being Easily Forgiven as well as serving as a Karma Houdini doesn't help.
    • Some have argued that Frank himself became one with him turning into a Jerkass who only cares about money, does not seem interested in really helping people and frequently makes jokes at the worst possible time.
    • And there's a camp of fans who just find both being just as annoying as each other, with the story going out of its way to make both look bad.
  • Sequelitis: While only some Dead Rising fans go so far as to call the game bad, the game has earned the dubious honor of beating out Dead Rising 3 as the weakest installment in the franchise from both the fanbase and professional critics. Refer to Broken Base, They Changed It, Now It Sucks!, and more for elaboration.
  • So Okay, It's Average: General consensus is that it's an alright game and does try to evolve the series. But 4 is hurt by its lack of focus and polish of the previous three games. Yes, killing zombies is still the name of the game, but the story and removal of some features that fans were used to as mainstays gave the left the game feeling unfinished and rushed. The patches at least mitigated some of the complaints, but only a little.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Some critics think that Vick would have made a more interesting protagonist than Frank, as her She Who Fights Monsters tendencies may have been given more depth and exploration had she been the main focus of the story. Also, it's been noted that Vick fits the Letter Motif of each Dead Rising protagonist having their name end in 'K', and some have wondered if that was in fact the intention at an early stage in the game's development.
    • Obscurus lacks the punch of the previous series antagonists who all at least did their outbreaks for either ulterior motives (a bank robbery (DR2), finding Patient Zero (DR3) or producing more queen wasps to keep making their miracle cure (Both games) or at least well-intentioned (exposing the government of their crimes (DR1). Obscurus' reason?: They want to use zombies as a cheap labor force, which even Frank finds completely and utterly stupid.
    • Caldur at least has something of a interesting backstory though his role is generally squandered due to his short screen time to really explore his character.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Revisiting Willamette seemed like a pretty cool idea, bringing the series full circle back to its roots (and a whole city to explore, even). But the plot has few ties to Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 3. Many were even hoping Isabella would've returned considering she pulled a Face–Heel Turn in 3 and behind the outbreak in that one. More then enough reason to make her a Big Bad in this game. But nope, she doesn't appear at all and is only mentioned in passing. The Frank Rising DLC doesn't add anything to the story other then turning Frank into a zombie for most of the game and getting out of dodge before the city is destroyed.
    • Likewise many found Frank and Vick's conflict to be utterly forced with really no reason the two couldn't have just helped each other through the entirety of the game rather than at the tail end of it which feel surprisingly sudden.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Throughout the game Frank is demonized by Vick for not caring enough about the zombie experiments conducted by the government in the prologue, instead discussing with her how it's going to be a big story that will make him famous again. Frank's Character Development is learning to care about something besides his own ego. But he's only doing his job like he's supposed to. He comes off as callous, but he's a freelance photojournalist, he is supposed to get the story, get credible evidence of it happening, and then sell it to a publication. It's not like he's talking about selling the pictures back to the government, he is always talking about getting a Pulitzer, the biggest award for legitimate news reporting. Vick never explains how else she expects the story to get out otherwise. Furthermore, Vick gives Frank grief for not trying to sabotage the experiments, but a professional journalist does not make themselves a part of the story.
    • Vick knew exactly what she was doing, she pulls a gun out the second Franks' back is turned right at the start, that kind of makes it clear that she was planning some eco-terrorist crap, probably before she even picked up Frank.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: There's a command in the camera mode to take a selfie. Now granted, Off the Record did this almost a half-decade before this game came out (albeit as an ability you had to unlock first), but with the radical changes to Frank's personality making him come off as something of a Manchild, this game mechanic has become something of a point of contention.
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