The House of The Dead: Scarlet Dawn
|a game by
|Sega AM1 R&D Division
|7.5/10, based on 3 reviews, 2 reviews are shown
|7.8/10 - 13 votes
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|Horror Games, Arcade Games, Rail Shooter, The House of The Dead Series
This zombie-based franchise is arguably synonymous with arcade games these days. The House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn returns to the roots that made this series so famous with an arcade game that will bring you more of the same. Guns, action, gothic architecture, and loads of the undead. It's a glorious return to the gameplay that made the franchise special.
The House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn is a light gun, railed shooter that pits up to 4-players against the zombie hordes that infest your screen. It's hard to believe it's been 13-years between these arcade titles, but it seems like we were long overdue for a classic title. We can safely say it's kicking up some arcade nostalgia, and we're eager to grab those guns and start blasting again.
Pennies to the Pistol
Arcade games are never really meant to have a strong narrative because it's hard to pay attention to them. However, The House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn makes a valiant effort to immerse players with a little more story than tradition dictates. You, as players, are sent on an undercover mission to stop a zombie outbreak in Scarecrow Manor, and you'll have to deal with a few twists and turns along the way.
However, the narrative does little to impact that traditional shooter arcade gameplay. You are given three lives, a pistol, and a few directions on what to do on screen. Now, you will have to shoot at zombies strategically to avoid losing lives and progress as far as possible before you get hit one too many times. Die, and you'll have to insert more money to continue!
Like other games in the franchise, The House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn is not accessible despite simple mechanics. The ever-growing hordes of enemies and their diversified combat set mean you will have to be quick on the draw to succeed. Combat is based on your cognitive skills, so success means ramping up your ability to shoot quickly and accurately - something that's not been required for a while!
The House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn tests physical and mental resolve, and it's refreshing to play an arcade game like this again. As frustrating as it can be, the game brings the fun back into primary railed shooters again. Although you might want to keep a bit of cash on hand if you expect to finish the game, progressing is challenging even with more players at your side.
Keep Calm and Carry on Blasting
One of the alluring factors of The House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn is that it takes practically zero skill to jump onboard. You can have fun with the game even if you don't know how to play it - all you need to do is point at the screen and pull the trigger. Mastering the art of gunslinging brings a profound level of satisfaction.
The House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn is one of the best arcade shooters since Time Crisis 2, bringing all the classic elements of the genre with an enhanced visual aesthetic. Should you be able to find one of these boxes in a local arcade or entertainment center, you won't be sorry to give it a try.
Round-Up - Pros & Cons
- A classic arcade game that retains what made it great
- Visuals provide more immersion than ever before
- Easy to pick up, hard to master
- Intentionally made to be frustrating
- Coordinating with other players to strategize is hard
Download The House of The Dead: Scarlet Dawn
For those of a certain vintage, rail shooters are the epitome of arcade gaming. The joys of going to the arcade and enjoying shooting down all manner of enemies using a light gun is fun personified. However, you might be surprised to know that rail shooters are still in vogue – and that includes the most famous series of them all. 2018’s The House of The Dead Scarlet Dawn is one of the latest releases in the rail shooter category, and it is a very impressive title for what it is.
Yes or not?
As the fifth title in the long-running series, can the Scarlet Dawn edition of HotD live up to the nostalgia we all have for such titles? A new House of the Dead experience, with the same old strengths and flaws.
This version of the game, developed on Unreal Engine 4, looks and feels much smoother than House of the Dead 4. This fifth instalment of the series has you playing as Kate Green, joining forced with Ryan Taylor, the brother of her former partner, James, to take a trip to Scarecrow Manner and work out what is going on. As you might imagine, there are all manner of untold horrors waiting to jump you in the manor.
The aim is simple – to stop the outbreak by way of many, many bullets. The game comes with a selection of endings, too, which are quite different from what you would expect. Depending on your performance, you can get a variety of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ endings, so there is enough replayability to keep you coming back.
The game contains four bosses, including a couple who return from previous editions of the series. If you have never played a The House of The Dead title, then Scarlet Dawn plays most like the recent Alien light gun games. In truth, though, it is simply a modernisation of the formula that games like Time Crisis perfected.
Simple fun with the usual hang-ups (6.5/10)
So, The House of The Dead Scarlet Dawn is a fun title. It is best enjoyed with another person alongside you. But it is what it is – it’s an arcade-themed rail shooter. For a 2018 release, the visuals are pretty mediocre and the action has not really moved on any since the original games in the series. Sure, everything looks a bit fresher and smoother, but you are using many of the same weapons and set-piece events from previous The House of The Dead Scarlet games.
There is fun to be had here, though it is definitely a title to play with others. If you take this for what it is, then The House of The Dead Scarlet Dawn is a fun rail shooter that can be good for enjoying yourself in an arcade. If you were to treat it as a serious title, though, the plot and the gameplay fall short of what you can find on most consoles today.
- Nostalgia factor helps The House of The Dead Scarlet Dawn to shine
- Interesting co-op fun that relives the old arcade shooter in some style
- Repetitive and lacks any kind of major innovations from previous titles
- You play The House of The Dead Scarlet Dawn for the gameplay, not the story