The House of the Dead Overkill
|a game by
|Playstation 3 (2009)
|7/10, based on 1 review
|7.5/10 - 4 votes
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|First Person Shooter Games, Zombie Games, Rail Shooter, The House of The Dead Series
Combining the House of the Dead series of arcade machines with a grindhouse style is a match made in zombie heaven. Being the first of the series to only be released on home console, The House of the Dead: Overkill is highly recommended to fans of the House of the Dead series, as well as other exploitation-inspired games like Wet and Manhunt.
While other entries into The House of The Dead series may have eagerly taken in the camp and corny with open arms, none quite match the attitude and bombast of Overkill. Using a grindhouse film style that doesn’t take itself seriously, The House of the Dead: Overkill is a profanity-filled, tongue-in-cheek adventure that is as hilarious as it is exciting.
Players are put through an on-rails shooter through the eyes of Agent G and Isaac Washington, two stereotypical grindhouse heroes that make the game a joy to play. Isaac is a particular fan favourite, with him spouting instantly meme-able phrases every other moment.
Wearing its grindhouse inspiration on its sleeve, The House of the Dead: Overkill wastes no effort in covering each and every inch of the game with cinematic references and aesthetics. Each of the game’s 7 levels is presented as its own unique film, throwing out allusions to some of cinema’s most beloved tropes.
There’s a Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspired home filled with zombified hillbillies, an infested hospital with obligatory nurse zombies, and of course, a secret underground bunker.
Improvements on the Formula
With many previous games under the series’ belt, it’s no surprise that the gameplay is smooth and satisfying. Accuracy is pinpoint, especially when playing on the Wii, and laying bullets into endless hordes of zombies never becomes unsatisfying. That said, in busier sections there are noticeable issues in the game’s performance such as frame drops when shooting a shotgun round into a crowded room as the game struggles to keep up.
A new ‘Danger Cam’ mechanic allows the player to actually move their peripheral vision along the predestined, on-rail route. This really adds a great sense of control for the player, and it gives the House of the Dead series a much needed layer of panic and degree of player choice.
Of course, it can’t all be perfect. Some of the audio is a bit messy, with various glitches or awkward sound effects breaking the immersion of the admittedly crude grindhouse stereotype.
Similarly, some of the game’s half a dozen plus one bosses aren’t particularly engaging or exciting to battle, apart from the visuals on screen. Repetition of character models is also frequent, and players might find themselves battling a room filled with zombie clones.
The House of the Dead: Overkill certainly managed to win over many new fans to the series. By throwing away any sense of self-importance or seriousness, Overkill creates a balls-to-the-wall zombie shooter that is just as fun as it is short. Whether you like zombies, campy movies, or both, there’s no denying that The House of the Dead: Overkill is one of the best games that the series has offered so far.
- Hilarious and exciting to play during every moment
- Controls well and adds new mechanics to the classic House of the Dead formula
- Offers a mature and gory game on the Wii
- Not recommended for younger players due to profanity and violence
- Frame pops and stuttering during busier sections of gameplay
- Some of the bosses aren’t very engaging