I've played enough of Dead Rising 4 to form an opinion on it.
It's not a bad game, it's fun to play and offers alot to do
But it's not a good dead rising game.
First off the psychos. I mean "maniacs", god did those get screwed up. The human looter enemies have no character what so ever, even the guys in dead rising 2 had an introductory cutscene.
And the maniac bosses are just awful, Yeah they responded to criticism to the Dead rising 3 psychos (many of whom were too over the top in my opinion) but these psychos have virtually no real personalities. in the other dead rising games we get a cutscene before each psycho telling us who they are, what they do, and let us in on their personality. we never get to have that pre-battle interaction with the maniacs here, the maniac bosses are just the regular human enemies with more health wielding a combo weapon. The closest I've seen to a developed psycho is a pirate named captain black friday, who ranged about murder and discounts as I raided his hip but thats about it. I saw in an interview that the developers wanted the maniacs to feel like they belonged in the world, but then the first maniac I encounter is an evil santa who literally teleports in with an army of elves. That doesnt fit into the dr universe at all.
Then theres frank, Frank has never been my favorite dead rising protagonist but he had his moments, especially in Off The Record here he's a washed up has-been who put on weight. But in DR4 he's just an asshole. Frank was supposed to be an every-man kind of guy that the player can identify with, but i didn't identify with half of frank's decisions, or the sense of humor the writers gave him. Only 5% of his jokes and quips were actually funny.
Remember how in DR3 you could only make combo weapons if you had the blueprints, removing the experimental feel of discovering a new combo weapon in dr2? That shits back. But they got rid of the bottomless weapon locker that made you too overpowered because you could withdraw twenty bomb sledgehammers and never need to scavage for weapons.
Storywise DR4 is meh but storytelling was never Dead Rising's strong suit, it was more about the mystery in the first two games and there is a pretty decent mystery in Dr4. Theres also this tone problem, wherethe game can't decide if it want to be serious with humorous undertones (dr2 style) or serious and funny at the same time, to the point of slipping jokes into awkward places.
New brad: Look at this picture from the outbreak
Frank: Thats a selfie.
New brad: Oh.... How kooky of me. He he also theres a shit ton of body bags there. How morbid.
Character-wise this game is seriously lacking, partially because of the lack of psychos. In terms of friendly npcs you have a small roster of characters who spent most of my current playthrough somewhere I couldn't access. Where is new brad? He just disappears after the mall. Then theres a podcaster who is the stacey/Rohnda of this game, sending you tips about the awful psycho battles. The survivor npcs are randomly generated people who once you save will drop a combo weapon before running off to the nearby shelter. Its good I don't have to escort them but put into these characters, why can't the survivors be more like the obama look-alike from Dr2, who had a personality and an active role in cutscenes despite being a minor character.
Maybe this is why they remastered the other dead rising games, to distract us from the flaws of Dead Rising 4, the 2nd worst dead rising game but still better than Dead Rising 3 in a number of aspects.