Following in the footsteps of previous Dead Rising installments, players control new protagonist Nick Ramos in 3rd person. You start by searching for supplies and weapons in order to fight the undead and complete missions. Dead Rising 3 is set in a vast, open world environment which is reportedly larger than the worlds of Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2 combined. According to developers, the game can render three times as many zombies on-screen at once as its predecessor.Unlike the first two games in the series, Dead Rising 3 does not feature a time limit. Players will also be allowed to save their progress anywhere, as opposed to limiting saves to bathrooms. The game will include a "Nightmare Mode" for those who prefer the traditional time limit and save options. The game will not have load times.
Dead Rising 3 expands upon the crafting system introduced in Dead Rising 2. Players retain the ability to create "combo weapons", but without the need for a workbench, allowing them to craft weapons on the fly. Dead Rising 3 also allows players to create "combo vehicles", such as combining a motorcycle and steamroller to form a "RollerHawg". Each combo vehicle includes two seats and a secondary attack to support cooperative gameplay. According to Capcom Vancouver, driving vehicles will be "a critical part of exploration" as players navigate the city of Los Perdidos. Players will be able to discover and unlock blueprints for new combo weapons and vehicles.
Dead Rising 3 will utilize both the Kinect and Xbox SmartGlass. The optional Kinect feature gives zombies a certain level of situational awareness. Loud noises from the player could potentially trigger a rush of zombies; however, the player can also use the ability to shout at zombies through the Kinect in order to distract them. According to Executive Producer Josh Bridge, the microphone sensitivity will be tuned to "a threshold that makes sense," so that attracting zombies will feel like an intentional decision. The Xbox SmartGlass feature, which is also optional, can be used to locate specific items, find abandoned storefronts, and set waypoints for mission objectives. It also provides players with exclusive missions that unlock apps within the SmartGlass, giving them the ability to call in airstrikes, drone support, or area-wide flares for fending off or drawing the attention of the undead.