The House of the Dead: OVERKILL Extended Cut PS3 Review

Publisher – SEGA – Developer – Headstrong Games – Genre – Action – Players – 1-4 – Age Rating – 18+ – Other console/handheld formats – Wii

Zombies, I’m sick of them.

The Walking Dead are everywhere – you just can’t get away from them. Zombie boxed games, zombie downloadable games, there’s just no safe place from those flesh eating monsters. I’m so sick of them, that I just want to shoot them and keep on shooting them. Lucky for me, then, that’s nearly always the objective of such games.

The House of the Dead: OVERKILL may not be a new zombie game, having first been released on the Wii back in 2009. But the game is new to the PS3, and it also has some content that will be fresh to those who have already played through the Wii version. Quite simply, if you have both a PS3 and a Wii, this is the version to go for.

The House of the Dead: OVERKILL’s story is truly crazy. The game’s central characters are Agent G (what does the G stand for? You may or may not find out) and Detective Isaac Washington: a misfit pairing who are fighting to stay alive in this zombie (or mutants, as they’re called here) infested world. The two characters are constantly bickering and the oddball humour and intentionally cheesy voice acting is all really likeable. OVERKILL also held the title of the game with the most swear words in history, before Mafia II came along to take the vulgar crown. Certainly with Washington, he can barely string a sentence together without saying something that rhymes with the word book.

The game itself is an on-rails shooter that has you doing nothing else but culling zombies (with or without another player). You can opt to make use of a controller or Move to play the game. I chose the latter and found it to be an instantly playable and precise manner in which to play the game, proving once again that such motion controllers can really add to the experience in such games.

The game is very simplistic in nature, although there’s a combo system included which is sure to delight a certain player. Combos build up by stringing shots together, without missing enemies, and you’ll hear a voice announce “extreme violence” right up to “ultra violence”, which makes you feel like the ultimate zombie slayer if nothing else. Not forgetting to mention that this version now includes online leaderboards, which will be appealing to all the high score chasers out there.

Points in The House of the Dead: OVERKILL can also be used to respawn if you are killed during the game, and because of this most will find that getting from the start to the finish is very easy to accomplish. Bosses are decent enough, but also very easy to do away with, particularly when you start purchasing the better weapons (weapons can be purchased and upgraded between levels).

But this is definitely a game that will find an audience with those who love competing for high scores. Also, when you beat the main game, you then unlock the tougher Director’s Cut mode, and beat that and you’ll unlock the headshots-only Hardcore mode, which is brand new to the PS3 version. Not forgetting to mention that there are a number of bonus modes for up to four players also in there. There’s a fair bit to do here, and certain players will want to improve, returning to it time and time again.

This PS3 version also includes a generous helping of extra content. I already mentioned the Hardcore mode, although the main campaign is also beefed up by two extra levels, with the seven levels of the original version now expanded to nine. The two new levels features the pairing of Varla Gunns and new character Candi Stryper, with the latter being the very definition of a blonde bimbo stereotype. Also included is a brand new Classic mode (the Magnum will remain your only weapon for the entire duration in this mode) some new weapons and collectibles, with all this extra content certainly making it worthwhile for even those already familiar with the game.

Visually, the game is obviously a step-up and now presented in HD, but they’re still poor by PS3 standards. The game does have quite a distinctive look with its film grain effect, but those hoping for a massive upgrade will be disappointed. There’s also support for both anaglyphic and stereoscopic 3D, with the former only requiring a pair of red and blue 3D glasses and the latter; well you’ll need an expensive TV and a pair of very special glasses.

The House of the Dead: OVERKILL Extended Cut is a very playable on-rails shooter. The Move controls are wonderfully precise, the story likeably madcap, and there’s more to do when compared to a typical game from this genre. The PS3 version is definitely the one to own, and if you’re sick of zombies like me, then here’s a game that allows you to keep on shooting them again and again.