The classic SEGA series “House of the Dead” returns
on the Nintendo Wii which throws a whole new spin to the franchise
and gameplay. The game pays homage to the exploitation movies of the
70’s and more specifically, Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror with
its over the top characters, scratchy film-like effects and
The House of the Dead: Overkill is truly a
revolutionary game for this console. Rated “XXX”, it’s actually
MA15+, the game has a real retro feel to it from the perfect
soundtrack, enjoyable gameplay and ironically, the most swearing I
have ever hard on a SEGA game.
Depending on which version of the game you purchase,
either one with the handgun or without, the game comes with a
great retro-inspired comic of the characters involved in the game
that just proves how much gaming love has gone into creating this
addictive and highly entertaining title.
Although it does offer some
“new” gaming features such as the combo system or using the
environment to your advantage, the different modes of “violence”
that begin from extreme violence and ends with goregasm, just makes
this title that so much better. This can be achieved by ensuring
that every shot you fire hits your intended target... sounds easier
than it is.
At it’s core, Overkill features an excessive amount
of violence and strong language that would make Quentin Tarantino proud, however the storyline contains a healthy dose
of humour which although does not take itself seriously at all,
increases the ambience of the game.
The story revolves around Papa
Caesar, a nefarious underworld criminal who has crossed the line for
two individuals which include the foul mouthed Isaac Washington and Varla Guns
who both wish to bring Caesar to justice in their own
Washington is also teamed up by the clichéd and straight
laced Agent G who the gamer plays in the single-player mode.
The game is divided into “seven” episodes with
some great cutscenes between episodes to assist in the clichéd and
sadistic tale of Para Caesar. The banter between both partners is
great as are the cutscenes that really lend themselves well to the
game and the genre as Zombies come
thick and fast.
Unlike first person shooters, Overkill is based on
those classic light gun games which means the game controls where you
are moving, however there are some places where you can move the gun
to offer some control.
To reload the gun, you simply point the gun
in the air and bring it down or you can push the “B” button. I must
admit that with the gun, it makes the game a truly 2009 gaming
moment in reference to how accurate and enjoyable the gameplay is.
Although the Story
Mode in Overkill is relatively quick and most gamers could probably
knock this game over in a weekend, the developers have added a
variety of interesting elements in the game that allows you to earn
money which can then be used for guns and upgrades.
takes around 20 – 30 minutes to successfully compete and should you
die, you can use your cash that you have made from the level to
continue. Once you have finished the Story Mode, it then unlocks the
“Director’s Cut” which gives you new areas and more powerful enemies
with a catch, you can only continue three times which makes the game
quite difficult at times… thankfully in an enjoyable way.
with some great mini-games, an unlockable dual-wield mode for
single-player if you complete the “Director’s Cut” and some online leaderboards,
SEGA have truly added a variety of great longevity presents.
The control system on the Wii works perfectly and all
you really need to do is insert the Wii remote into the gun and
presto, you are ready to play. The accuracy is sometimes a little
out, however by configuring your Wii and getting use to some the
nuisances in the game, this should be no problem to the gamer.
Speaking of guns, the game contains a variety of different weapons
at your disposal with my personal favourite being that of the
shotgun which is quite devastating.
Graphically, the title is a visual treat on the
Nintendo Wii that really captures the exploitation films of the 70’s
and that horrendous “B” grade movies. The special effects are
brilliant in the movie which involve the scratch film and the
subdued colours that almost make this game look like it has come
from the 70’s.
The characters, both our heroes and villains are
extremely well made and move with a real-world grace, unlike the
zombies who look quite eerie at times. As the game is quite
graphically intensive, gamers will experience some slowdown,
especially when the camera pans and there are quite a few enemies on
screen at once, however this is a small price to pay for the highly
detailed graphics on the Wii.
To compliment the gameplay, Overkill has a truly
amazing soundtrack that is almost “period” dated with that classic
70’s music. Match that with some great voice acting that is way over
the top, however is perfectly suited and a variety of sound effects
from the grunts of zombies to huge Hollywood explosions, Overkill is
a perfectly designed game.
In conclusion, SEGA have a true winner on their hands
that is probably the most fun I’ve had on the Wii in quite some
time. The game is clichéd, entertaining and best of all a blast to
play which has truly moved this franchise to the next level. A tacky
and enjoyable story, Overkill is a must have for all gamers,
provided they are over 15 as it is quite violent at times.
to say, brilliant!