Game Name: The House of the Dead: Overkill
Developer(s): Headstrong Games
Genre(s): First Person Shooter
Release Date(s): February 10, 2009 (Wii)/October 25, 2011 (PS3)/October 29, 2013 (PC)
ESRB Rating: M
Horror has been unleashed in the south as mutants begin walking the Earth. Agent G has joined Detective Isaac Washington to hunt down Papa Caesar who seems to be behind the outbreak. When Papa Caesar causes the death of Jasper Guns, Jasper’s sister Varla joins the hunt for Papa Caesar, but Papa Caesar’s involvement in the outbreak might not be all that it seems.
The House of the Dead: Overkill (or ザ・ハウス・オブ・ザ・デッド オーバーキル Za Hausu obu za Deddo Ōbākiru) is the fifth game in The House of the Dead series and follows The House of the Dead 4 from 2005. The rail first person shooter game was initially released for the Wii and featured controls utilizing the Wii-mote, but has since been released on PS3 with PlayStation Move (in an Extended Cut version) along with alternate versions for the PC (packaged with Typing of the Dead). This review primarily focuses on the Wii version of the game.
The House of the Dead: Overkill has a problem…Left 4 Dead. Released in 2008, the first Left 4 Dead really revolutionized the first person zombie shooter by combining aspects of these rail games with fully motioned characters. The rail games like The House of the Dead: Overkill still have validity, but you might find yourself itching to play something like Left 4 Dead instead.
The gameplay is quite simple and it is easy to pick-up and put down The House of the Dead: Overkill (something I do like). The game is set up as a movie (like Left 4 Dead as well) and each level is a sequence that runs probably twenty to thirty minutes. In the level, you shoot and blast your way through zombies (they don’t use the “Z-word”…something rather cliché now) and each level (“Papa’s Palace of Pain”, “Ballistic Trauma”, “Carny”, “Scream Train”, “The Fetid Waters”, “Jailhouse Judgement”, and “Overkill”) ends in a boss. With a limited number of levels, the game is a quick play though there are more levels available depending on which version of the game you are playing.
The nice thing about games like The House of the Dead: Overkill, there is no tedious “learn the controls” level and you are thrust right into the game. You can be playing and shooting in minutes and the game features a multiplayer mode so you and a friend can go on a shooting rampage together.
The game has redundant characters (but I actually think they are maybe a little less repetitive than the characters of Left 4 Dead since they do have bosses), but I do think there is replay ability in this game. As you play, you get scores and the scores give you cash which allows you to upgrade your weapons (which is definitely necessary). You can have a swap out weapon in the game and with unlimited ammo, just shoot and have fun. Finishing the game does unlock a more difficult uncut version that only allows three continues…which can be difficult near the end of the game.
The graphics for the game aren’t the best for the Wii. It does show improvement on other systems, but it definitely doesn’t have the same quality level as similar HD games. I will say that people who complain that the Wii is too kid based will be shocked by this game with has the Detective Washington character dropping F-Bombs every other word. The style is like that of grindhouse films (and even has a “missing reel” like Planet Terror) but it does get a bit tedious at times.
The House of the Dead: Overkill is a nice quick play for those who have finished Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 but aren’t finished wiping out zombies. The game is goofy and quite easy for anyone with any skills, but also keeps moving if you just want to have some fun shooting at a relatively cheap price.
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