Wii was ripe for the resurgence of light-gun on-rail shooters, and The House of the Dead: Overkill came out late in Wii's lifespan. The game was notable for having an M rating and more F-bombs than the average Quentin Tarantino flick, and it had a grindhouse aesthetic and a funky soundtrack, and a mature style that was unique for being so opposite to Wii's otherwise family-friendly image.

As for the game itself, although I had enjoyed playing The House of the Dead 2 and 3, I found this edition to be fairly dull. This iteration doesn't stray much from the formula of the previous games, and lacks the branching paths of 3. The story wasn't as over the top as 2 and 3, and although there was plenty of swearing, there weren't as many awesomely quotable one-liners as the other two games, e.g. "Suffer the way G did!" from HOTD2, and "A security guard? You gotta be kidding me!" from HOTD3.

The game has a scoring system that rewards unbroken streaks of hits, an upgradeable weapons system, and a bevy of achievements to encourage repeated playthroughs. Beating the game unlocks a "Director's Cut" mode, which is a hard mode that also extends each stage with additional content. Although the default game mode is quite easy, increasing the length of the stages in the hard mode feels unnecessary and just makes the stages drag on. The locales and enemy designs are fairly ho-hum, as are the bosses.

There wasn't much I found really memorable about the game in general, aside from its better-than-average, funky soundtrack and one particular, disturbingly hilarious moment in the epilogue. The game did remind me that I should go back and play more of HOTD2, which is the most difficult of the three by far.

Shoot down these The House of the Dead: Overkill links:
- Somewhat surprisingly, Kotaku included it on their 12 best games on Wii list
- FAQ at GameFAQs, includes a run-down of the achievements

Add comment

Security code