The House of the Dead: Overkill

[Review] House of the Dead: Overkill (PS3)

It seems that ever since the Walking Dead started airing, zombie fanaticism has increased ten-fold, even though zombies have been the subject of countless movies, tv and other media for decades. Like the vampire phenomenon from a couple of years ago, the popularity of zombies has surged, and now we see them everywhere on a daily basis. In fact, I was at Value Village just the other day, and was amazed at all the zombie outfits people were buying for Halloween.

Zombies, the undead, the infected, whatever you wish to call them…have been the subject of video games for a while now, and here’s hoping zombies will continue to be long after the Walking Dead ends (oh, please never end…).

No doubt, there is some real appeal to having zombies in our virtual cross-hairs, and one gaming franchise exemplifies this in a fun and entertaining way – the House of the Dead franchise. My first exposure to it was through a friend of mine who lent me her copy, House of the Dead 2 and 3 for the Wii. I honestly didn’t take a huge liking to it. It was a very unforgiving game to play, especially in co-op. My husband had bought House of the Dead: Overkill for the PS3, and even though I didn’t like its predecessor very much, I accepted his invitation to play the game in co-op, and was pleasantly surprised!

The story tells of this millitary experiment where a serum was made to make superhumans, but the experiment failed. As the story goes, the formula fell into the wrong hands, and now the territory is full of mutants infected by this serum. Meanwhile, a set of detectives, along with a pair of strippers (yep, you read that right) are hell-bent to find those responsible, and kill any mutants that stand in their way before they themselves become infected.

The game itself is considered a rails shooter, where the game basically leads the player along on a pre-determined path, sort of like you were on a ride at Canada’s Wonderland. Each scene is different, and it only allows you to play pre-determined characters in the scene; they switch up depending on the plot, so sooner or later you could eventually play every character if you wanted to. You are given a weapon to use, so as the game leads you into the path of mutants, you can use your controller to shoot ’em up. Of course, the end of each scene has a boss fight where you are fighting some disgusting creature. So much fun!

My husband and I played using the PlayStation Move controllers which I highly recommend. Two-player co-op is a dream – no split screen, and you can shoot up any area of the playing field you want. The game looks great, and sounds even better, with a funky Curtis Mayfield/ Isaac Hayes-sounding soundtrack. The script read by the characters in the game is quite vulgar – a lot of eff bombs – so if you are sensitive to that, you may not like that aspect. Then again, if you are offended by eff bombs, having two scantily-clad exotic dancers packing heat may shock you ahead of the eff bombs (just sayin’…).

House of the Dead: Overkill is so much fun, and I highly recommend it – just in time for Halloween!

House of the Dead: Overkill (PS3)
Publisher: Sega
Released: 2011