720th played so far

Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platform: Wii
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Headstrong Games
Publisher: Sega

I’m jumping between installments of The House of the Dead to cover different options. For this one, I obtained a copy in an office move some time ago and in my quest of getting rid of oddly shaped boxes, I figured I’d play Overkill before part two of the series or its typing variant that will wait until the end.

It’s a variation on the rails shooter that we covered recently on Dead Space Extraction and before that in Silent Scope and other arcade games we played at the same time. At home, the choice of playing is through the Wiimote or, in our situation, the PS Move controller.

Our Thoughts

As with some of the other shooters, the House of the Dead series is about killing a lot of zombies. And this game, in its first chapter, dumps you in a house overrun with them, and you make a long journey through its different rooms (which seems to connect as a real home, with a pretty deep basement and some weird lifts, but it works). It’s a pretty standard setting and follows a lot of the tropes, but it plays these in a very satisfying way. There’s a lot of shooting at the right level while offering a good number of collectibles throughout. Sadly, the boss fight in the house doesn’t live up to it, becoming repetitive and quite boring after you figure out the pattern – it’s still a slog to get to the end, and I felt that happened with all of them. Some variation or changes would have been nice.

The later levels switch up the settings quite well, with a level taking you to a strip club (although only in the extended version we played), then to a hospital, carnival and other settings that feature in horror movies. It really creates the mood of a exploitation movie and the tropes, parodies and references (whatever you want to call it) suit well to create the right atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

There’s no amazing story here. The game sets the mood of the movies it wants to emulate and the rails shooter means you can focus on what you need – shooting in the direction monsters are coming from – without worrying about finding them. Although they won’t pop up behind you gameplay wise, the control the game has of your camera means that it can still surprise you, but in a directed way. It does what it knows it wants to do and does that well.