The House of the Dead: Overkill

House of the Dead enters the relentlessly vulgar world of low-budget Grindhouse cinema with Overkill, a crusty, hyper-grisly homage to 70's exploitation horror films like "I Spit on Your Grave" and "Cannibal Holocaust". It's basically a video game equivalent to Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez' "Grindhouse". The good news is that the game still plays like a regular House of the Dead game-the dev team just cranked up the abundance of gore, f-bombs, and cleavage shots.

THE VERDICT by Patrick Shaw Patrick Shaw's Avatar Fans of House of the Dead and horrendously cheesy 70s horror flicks will definitely get a kick out of House of the Dead: Overkill, a flawed but tremendously fun shooter for the Wii.

Grindhouse of the Dead

Overkill takes a more novel approach to pumping bullets into the rotting flesh of zombies, one that embraces the aesthetic of sleazy gore movies of the 1970s. As soon as you boot up the game, a grainy video plays where a stripper gyrates around a pole to cheesy porno-esque music (which also happens to be how the movie Grindhouse begins). This opening cinematic pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the game.

Levels in House of the Dead: Overkill are broken up into chapters that work as mini-horror movies, each with their own hammy title and theme like Papa's Palace of Pain, a mission where you storm a dilapidated house swarming with zombies, and Carny, a mission that takes place inside a Carnival inhabited by undead clowns and other zombified carnival folk. There's also a Louisiana swamp, a hospital complete with decomposing wet nurses, and a prison level where you have to take out both zombie prisoners and zombie guards fully-clad in riot gear.

Zombies Ate My Wii Remote

The level design in Overkill is also one of the game's biggest strengths. No two levels are alike and there's an impressive amount of variety in the enemies you face in the game. Each mission also ends with a boss fight, and while the vast majority of these battles are a bit too easy, most of them are quite memorable. The carnival-themed level, for example, ends with a showdown against a grotesquely deformed freak with a small creature growing out of its belly that resembles Quato from Total Recall. And for horror movie buffs, without spoiling the final boss fight in Overkill, I'll just say that it features an obvious tribute to Peter Jackson's splatter classic Dead Alive.

I also liked the variety of firearms at your disposal, including two types of shotguns, an assault rifle, and more. Each of the weapons in the game can also be upgraded for more ammo capacity and damage. There's also a power-up in the game, called the "slow-mofo" that briefly slows down the game to a snail's pace a la Max Payne, giving you plenty of time to get those headshots in and watch a zombie's face slowly explode into chunks of goo, brain and skull fragments.

Dead Or Alive

There are a few aspects of House of the Dead: Overkill that didn't work for me. My main grumble is the Detective Washington character who does a bad Sam Jackson-impression from Snakes on a Plane throughout the entire game. Washington is funny but he eventually starts to grate on your nerves. I also encountered some lag and slowdown when the screen became cluttered with enemies. I'm hoping they tweak that out when the game releases because it definitely cut into the gameplay. Despite these issues, Overkill is one of the better on-rails shooters I've ever played. It's a solid game and should please any horror movie addict who owns a Nintendo Wii.

PROS: A refreshing cult-horror movie twist on classic House of the Dead, great zombie types
CONS: Humor gets annoying fast, game gets laggy at times, limited replay value

Comments [16]

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slime

YES THE WIIS FIRST TRUE MATURE GAME falls flat on its face 2.5/5 PERIOD.

TripleO

slime wrote:

YES THE WIIS FIRST TRUE MATURE GAME falls flat on its face 2.5/5 PERIOD.

You attempt to make two points and they're both wrong.

Not the Wii's first true mature game by any strecth of the imagination.

You obviously can't read ratings correctly.

slime

(cough) Nintendo Fanboy (cough) (cough) The game sux live with it.

TripleO

slime wrote:

(cough) Nintendo Fanboy (cough) (cough) The game sux live with it.

Sorry, but your attempts at stating 'facts' suck. Gamepro scored it a 3.5/5, moron, not 2.5. IGN gave it an 8.3/10. Your mom gave it '4 fistings out of 5'.

PatrickShaw

Wha? The game doesn't suck. You should play it slime if you like on rails shooters.

It's not quite as good as Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, but it's still one of the best light gun/on rails games out there.

denveraic

TripleO wrote:

slime wrote:

(cough) Nintendo Fanboy (cough) (cough) The game sux live with it.

Sorry, but your attempts at stating 'facts' suck. Gamepro scored it a 3.5/5, moron, not 2.5. IGN gave it an 8.3/10. Your mom gave it '4 fistings out of 5'.

Nicely put triple o.

neogigames

PatrickShaw wrote:

Wha? The game doesn't suck. You should play it slime if you like on rails shooters.

It's not quite as good as Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, but it's still one of the best light gun/on rails games out there.

On rails like as in Ghost Squad? I'm just curious. I've never heard the term before.

StormKing

slime wrote:

YES THE WIIS FIRST TRUE MATURE GAME falls flat on its face 2.5/5 PERIOD.

(A)...it's not the Wii's first true mature game (I think that honor belongs to Manhunt which did fall flat on its face), and (B)...it scored an 3.5/5 (unless 2.5 is the score you'd give it even though you've yet to play it).

AANTHUNDER

Patrick Shaw, how does " I spit on your grave " tie into this game? ' I spit on your grave " is a 70's flick that a young woman get brutally raped in her cabin. She gets revenge on her attackers by cutting off the penis of one rapist and killing the others in similar fashion. Don't tell me there is castration in Overkill.

donkeykong57

Now I really regret selling my Wii.

I love rail shooters and played Ghost Squad, Resident Evil: UC, and House of the Dead 2&3 constantly. I'll definitely get this once I get another Wii

I recommend the Nyko Perfect shot.

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