The House Of The Dead: Overkill Hands On

I’ve never owned a Wii and have not been too impressed so far with many of the Kinect or Move titles out there, but on-rails shooters are a tried-and-tested use of the technology which seem like a win.

I have a Sharpshooter controller for the PlayStation Move and have used it with Killzone 3 and SOCOM, but both of them are reasonably awkward. It’s just hard to get your head around moving about the place with one of your thumbs while simultaneously moving the gun about the screen for direction.

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The technology is very cool, there’s no doubt about it, and I imagine if I persevered with the Sharpshooter on those titles it’d be like re-adapting yourself from a hand controller to a keyboard and mouse set-up, with very beneficial results.

Having a go on House of the Dead: Overkill on the Move was immediately easy-to-use and fun. Years ago I remember playing Lethal Enforcers, both in arcades and at home on the Sega Mega Drive, and like most other gamers my age the earlier Time Crisis titles gave me a lot of joy. Little has changed in the basics of on-rails shooters over the years and this is a good thing. They're nice and simple and very fun.

House of the Dead: Overkill is set to be the next at home, point-gun-at-screen and waste enemies title I’m about to thrash.

You can say what you will about the 2007 Tarantino / Rodriguez double feature Grindhouse, but one thing that project did was propel exploitation cinema way up the mainstream’s ladder of ‘things that are cool’. Call of the Dead, the zombie DLC pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops, went to town with the Grindhouse vibe. Now we have another zombie videogame getting right into it.

The font in House of the Dead: Overkill is either the same or one very similar to Rodriguez’ Planet Terror, load screens are film reel looking stills with “Reel Missing: Management Apologises” messages displayed and then there is the music. The soundtrack was definitely one of the highlights of the preview for me, in a super cool Grindhouse kind of way.

The game wears its gore on its sleeve as a badge of honour, pushing it to ridiculous levels at times. It does the same with the swearing, filling many of the characters’ sentences with obscenities including multiple C-bombs (although the preview version I saw did censor these). There's a truckload of lame, bad taste jokes as the zombies are killed too.

There’s also a kind of a lurid feel to it all, which is sure to be cranked up to 11 in one particular mission. Playing as Varla Guns and her scantily-clad companion Candy the mission, appropriately dubbed ‘Naked Terror’, will direct you through the eerie backstreets, strip clubs and bars of Bayou City following the zombie outbreak.

The preview I played was also on a nice big 3D TV as well, and the use of 3D in the game is great. All the usual gimmicky stuff – blood and entrails flying out of the screen at your face, creepy witch type creatures jumping out at you... I didn’t see a dislodged eyeball fly out of the screen at me, but I hope to in the full game.

We’ve been approaching critical mass with zombie pop culture for quite some time now, especially in the videogame world, but I think there’s room in many gamer’s collection for House of the Dead: Overkill. It’s far from a serious shooter or a survival horror – it’s arcade fun packed with cheap thrills that will be ideal for blowing off steam after work on a Friday, or enjoying with a bunch of mates and a couple dozen beers.

I look forward its release just ahead of Halloween on October 28.

- Daniel Rutledge, 3 News

+ Packed with cheap - but fun - thrills.
- Is the zombie genre overdone?
"The game wears its gore on its sleeve as a badge of honour."
- The House Of The Dead: Overkill - Extended Cut
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Comments Comments (2)

The Host of Chaos
Posted by The Host of Chaos
On Tuesday 23 Aug 2011 6:02 PM
Yeah, can't wait, love the Wii version and this looks set to sh*t all over it!
Posted by ZombieRawkMachine
On Tuesday 23 Aug 2011 10:04 PM
The wii version was too easy, a HotD game shouldnt be easy, but it was still a great game lets hope they keep up the trend.