Dead Rising Mobile Hands-On Preview and Video

Console gamers have been going nuts this week with Dead Rising 2, a high-octane sequel to the 2006 zombie action game. Dead Rising Mobile on the iPhone, however, will trim out a lot of the original game’s features and everything in the sequel, making this a game about one basic idea: Killing zombies in a mall.

Let’s go over what didn’t make the cut: Boss fights, escorting survivors, combining weapons, taking photos, driving vehicles, and dressing up in goofy costumes are all out (though costumes could be added in a later update). What’s left is a miniature shopping mall with benches, trash cans, and other everyday items that you, as photojournalist Frank West, can use to take out the shambling undead. You can also fight with your fists, plus the occasional firearms.

Missions will be based around killing zombies in a particular section with a time limit or required kill count– it doesn’t appear that this will be a story-heavy adventure. You can still level up, though, and there’s an interesting twist when you die in the game.

When you succumb to zombies, you can post a rescue request automatically through Facebook or Twitter. This will give your friends a special code, which, when they enter it in their app, will reveal to them the location you died. If they find you, you can revive without a penalty via another Twitter or Facebook code.

While we are intrigued by the concept, it remains to be seen how practical this social networking aspect will be. After all, we might prefer to reload immediately without penalty instead of waiting for a friend to rescue us.

Dead Rising Mobile will be a real resource hog, even if we didn’t find more than a handful of zombies in any one hallway or store, so it will not run on older devices like an iPhone 3G. It will, however, have Retina support.

To spare you any disappointment, don’t try to compare Dead Rising Mobile to Dead Rising 2. Instead, look to last year’s Resident Evil 4 for iPhone, which attempted the same kind of retooling of a massive console game. Dead Rising Mobile will be available this holiday season, by the end of the year.