Dead Rising 2: Off the Record plays out a what-if scenario, retelling Dead Rising 2 with Frank West as the main protagonist, replacing Chuck Greene. Frank enters Fortune City, hoping to regain some of the fame he found after breaking the story on the Willamette zombie crisis that took place in Dead Rising. Instead of riding slicecycles through zombies, Frank enters Terror is Reality to wrestle zombies. When the zombies are set free, and the town is caught in another outbreak, Frank, considering himself lucky, readies his camera, determined to break the story.
The game isn't considered canon, since most of the main cast is drastically changed to keep the game interesting. Chuck Greene appears as one of the psychopaths, his daughter Katey does not make an appearance, and Stacey and Sullivan have new allegiances, for example. The game mechanics and goals are the same as Dead Rising 2: Frank must follow and complete cases within a certain time frame or the truth will vanish, he can escort survivors back to safety, and needs Zombrex to keep from becoming a zombie. This time, Frank needs Zombrex, and does not have to return to the Safe House to inject it. Off the Record returns photography to Dead Rising, and adds a new section of Fortune City, Uranus Zone. Additional combo weapons can be made, Frank's hand to hand fighting style differs from Chuck's, and Chuck Greene is the second player in co-op games.
Another new feature in Dead Rising 2 is the sandbox mode, where players can roam Fortune City with no time restrictions and no need for Zombrex. Levels, skills and money gained in the sandbox mode carry over to the story mode, same as the money Chuck made in the TIR games in Dead Rising 2 saved to the story mode. There are also challenges spread through out the map in sandbox mode.