House of the Dead: Overkill


By: Morgan Bates    On: Nintendo Wii
Published: Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 10:00 AM
 
 
 
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The House of the Dead: Overkill is the latest in a long line of zombie-hunting titles that date back to the Saturn. It tells of the series' roots in one of the goriest games to hit the Wii.

In this instalment, you - and a friend, via cooperative play - can take the role of Agent G and foul mouthed cop, Isaac Washington, who swears so much that this title broke the record of most swearing in a videogame. Suffice to say, this isn’t one for the stereotypical Wii player.

The House of the Dead: Overkill provides a fresh take on light gun controls, sitting somewhere between mouse and light gun control due to the sensitivity of the Wii remote; instead of aiming a gun at the screen you’re merely moving a curser to target the incoming zombies. Although it would have been nice to have 1:1 motion control, the advantage of the less convincing controls is that no one will ever get a sore arm playing this, nor will they accidentally break anyone’s jaw.

The initial story mode is tailored toward newbies and continuing after a death will only knock a few points off. There are fewer zombies, and the bosses - while still posing a challenge - go down with minimal effort. It consists of seven levels designed to look like b-grade horror films, and each one has a boss battle at the end and its own theme. The first level is actually the only one that takes place in a ‘house’ - then it’s on to a hospital, train, and other locales.

After you’ve finished the main story mode you can play through the ‘uncut’ version in Overkill mode. It offers up more zombies and limits the amount of continues to three, making it much harder. Although as hard as it gets, just like the previous story mode, you earn money to upgrade guns - even if you don’t make it past the first boss.

Before each level you can take a look at the gun shop which features a selection of shotguns, pistols and automatics. Each one can be upgraded in various areas including their recoil reduction, firing rate, clip size, damage and reload time. Should you need a bit more firepower you can switch between guns on single controller, get a second and dual-wield, or play co-op.

Visually The House of the Dead: Overkill is one of the goriest titles on Wii; the blood comes gushing out in excess and zombies will break up in a bloody mess. The violence is mildly censored by a ‘film’ effect on the camera designed to give you the feeling of playing a 1950’s horror flick. Although it looks great, the visuals are on the blurry side with low resolution textures, and the frame rate dips occasionally.

The inconsistent frame rate can be a problem when collecting pick-ups scattered throughout the levels, such as the brains - necessary to unlock movies and music. Other pick-ups which have a direct impact on gameplay include the health packs, and ‘slow mo-fo’ which turns on a bullet-time effect.

On the multiplayer front The House of the Dead: Overkill packs three mini-games to play with up to three friends. First we have Stayin’ Alive, in which players shoot through waves of enemies and see who survives the longest. Next is Victim Support, in which players have to rescue as many civilians as possible before the time runs out. Last is Money Shot II, a simple target shooting game – shoot targets, avoid hitting bombs.

When the last zombie limbs fall, the additional multiplayer modes are passable in the face of cooperative play in the story mode – dual wielding is great too. The only thing letting this down are the frame rate dips. This is a great single and multiplayer title, worth a rent at the very least.


The Score

House of the Dead: Overkill
"The House of the Dead is back on Wii!"
8.0
Great
Rating: R16   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 5 Min

 

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Comments (13)

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The Host of Chaos NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 12:33 PM Posted by The Host of Chaos
[quote]Although it would have been nice to have 1:1 motion control, the advantage of the less convincing controls is that no one will ever get a sore arm playing this[/quote]
I beg to differ! This is a definite sore-arm inducer! At least it is with the handcannons. I haven't played it with the remotes only.
 
 
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Munkah NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 1:44 PM Posted by Munkah
31 March 2009, 12:33 PM Reply to The Host of Chaos
[quote]Although it would have been nice to have 1:1 motion control, the advantage of the less convincing controls is that no one will ever get a sore arm playing this[/quote]
I beg to differ! This is a definite sore-arm inducer! At least it is with the handcannons. I haven't played it with the remotes only.
Haven't used the handcannons but with the wii remote it's like pointing the remote at your TV, nothing even remotely (hehe) sore arm inducing about it.
 
 
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dman
On Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 3:13 PM Posted by dman
too bad its not on any other platform
 
 
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Koopa18 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 3:16 PM Posted by Koopa18
I really want to give it a rent, but only want to play it with the guns it comes with.
 
 
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PandaJenkins NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 4:16 PM Posted by PandaJenkins
this game is great with the guns :)
 
 
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Hato-kun
On Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 4:33 PM Posted by Hato-kun
31 March 2009, 04:16 PM Reply to PandaJenkins
this game is great with the guns :)
HELL YEAH. The double gun mode seems awesome.
 
 
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Liam
On Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 4:53 PM Posted by Liam
This game rocks! I'm a tad surprised though that the review didn't mention the annoyances with the camera and how it can kill your Goregasm by flicking around at the most inconvenient time.
 
 
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ChatterboxZombie
On Thursday 2 Apr 2009 11:26 PM Posted by ChatterboxZombie
Thus the power of skepticism
 
 
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bahamut_zero NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 3 Apr 2009 11:07 AM Posted by bahamut_zero
dual wield is awesome. and the handcannons are so worth the extra price tag.they look cool and are easy to use. My arm does get a bit sore using them for too long though as they're kinda heavy...
 
 
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The Host of Chaos NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Saturday 4 Apr 2009 5:55 PM Posted by The Host of Chaos
3 April 2009, 11:07 AM Reply to bahamut_zero
dual wield is awesome. and the handcannons are so worth the extra price tag.they look cool and are easy to use. My arm does get a bit sore using them for too long though as they're kinda heavy...
I never unlocked dual wield. Might have to put down RE5 and go back to this for a while.
 
 
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bahamut_zero NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 4 Apr 2009 6:50 PM Posted by bahamut_zero
4 April 2009, 05:55 PM Reply to The Host of Chaos
I never unlocked dual wield. Might have to put down RE5 and go back to this for a while.
lol, i found it hard to put down RE5 to be honest. I've played it more than twice to get all the emblems, costumes, weapons etc. I've finally weaned myself off it now. But yeah, dual wield is good fun..
 
 
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swordoflight
On Thursday 9 Apr 2009 10:39 PM Posted by swordoflight
This is serious game play,I have too go buy this and play and find out for me!
 
 
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Davesto_Brolinga
On Tuesday 21 Apr 2009 3:25 PM Posted by Davesto_Brolinga
9 April 2009, 10:39 PM Reply to swordoflight
This is serious game play,I have too go buy this and play and find out for me!
I must say this is one of the few value for money games for me. And the handcannons are so well designed that you do feel you are wielding real guns. Much better than the Zapper. But yes it is a bit heavy after awhile, especially actions are intense in this game
 
 
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