When House of the Dead: Overkill was released on the Wii it broke headlines for its content, but I applauded SEGA and Headstrong Games for releasing a game of this nature that was actually fun to play with a fair amount of tongue-in-cheek humour involved.
On the SEGA forums, there became demand to have it released for the PS Move and now we have it. HOTD: Overkill Extended also comes with a fair few extras to that of its Wii counterpart including two new levels as well as some more extra content to collect.
Is it enough to warrant a second purchase for those that already have the Wii version? I answer that with a resounding, hell yes!
HotD: Overkill Extended Cut takes all its cues from the b-movie horror genre, more specifically from the fantastic grindhouse horror movie scene, and you can definitely see it in the overall presentation of the game. The introduction of each level is stylized in this manner, as well as using the old fashioned film grain effect throughout the game.
HotD: Overkill Extended Cut is actually a prequel of sorts to the very first House of the Dead game. The setting takes place in Bayou City which has been overrun by zom… er… mutants as Agent G prefers you to call them. You are tasked with investigating the sudden mutant outbreak as well as a man known only as Papa Ceaser, a great 70’s pimp name if I ever heard one, who has a connection with the events.
You control Agent G, a man on his first AMF assignment who teams up with foul mouthed, badass cop, Isaac Washington, who is intent on revenge for the murder of his father. Along the way you will also run into Varla Guns, a sassy kick ass, big busted stripper you don’t want to mess with. Ask for a lap dance at your own risk.
Varla is who you will play as in the two new levels Naked Terror and Creeping Flesh. In the two new levels you will meet Varla’s fellow friend and stripper, Candy, who the second player will control. Candy is touted as the typical blonde and extremely dumb sex on legs, not to mention she has a leg brace as well.
The added two levels fill in what Varla gets up to when she is not meeting up with Agent G and Isaac. In Naked Terror you trawl through a strip club filled with mutant strippers and punters – rumours that this is Diamond Dolls is unfounded. From there you head across to a bar where you will finally meet up with one fat ass stripper boss and her midget mutant friend.
One of the best lines in Naked Terror is during the introduction where the narrator hits out with “Adults only. Keep both hands on the controller”. Yes, it may be a cheesy, tongue-in-cheek one liner but it made me laugh and the game is full of them.
Creeping Flesh takes place in a slaughter house with plenty of mutants and skinned bodies to take care of. The boss of this level is Meat Katie who is a mutant cow! Yes, cow. It has to be one of the best boss creations of any House of the Dead game and has a rather interesting weak spot. The additional two new levels add about an extra 20 minutes or so to the final game.
For those who already own or have played the Wii version, the boss battles have changed slightly. While the majority of the fights are the same, Headstrong Games have added an extra section to boss attacks which see you trying to shoot moving targets on screen to avoid certain boss attacks. If you don’t shoot them in time, then the attack will strike you.
Also, where you used to shake the Wii remote to get out of the grip of a certain mutant, these targets pop up over his body for you to shoot instead of shaking the PS Move controller.
As HotD: Overkill Extended Cut is a lightgun title, the only way to really play is using the PS Move, however you can also use the PS3 controller. The game is an on the rails experience and does lack the multiple path choice that is familiar with other House of the Dead titles but Headstrong Games has made up for this with a host of features that greatly expands the replayability of this terror-ific title.
While the Story mode will have you shooting through it in about 4 hours or so, you unlock the Directors Cut which is slightly longer.
This version will take you to new areas of each level as well as being more difficult with a lot more zombies. The normal Story mode uses point deduction for continues while in the Directors Cut you are only given three.
Other options include adding more zombies, Hardcore mode where you can only kill by headshots and a classic mode where you are only able to use the AMF pistol. ‘Shoot the Sh*t’ mode is fun for your first play through as it has you shooting the swear words, giving a beep when they are spoken.
There are also a host of weapons that can be used and upgraded, including the all new explosive tip crossbow which is a lot of fun when building up a Goregasm. A Goregasm is built up by getting a long period of consecutive hits one after the other; it sounds easy but is actually harder than it sounds. Get it though and watch that score go through the roof, but how long can you keep it going is the question and can you give multiple Goregasm’s?
There are also a host of collectables from soundtracks to 3D models which are obtained by shooting the many hidden items throughout each level. One collectable that is included is the comic which was given away with the collector’s edition on the Wii.
It’s no easy task as you need to have a quick eye as they can only appear for a split second on the screen.
Graphically, Overkill has had a face lift; not a major one but the small polish of the HD treatment does complement parts of the game. There is still the hair clipping through bodies but on the plus side it doesn’t suffer the frame rate issues of the Wii version, especially when there is a hoard of mutants after your brains. For the most part, the game runs a lot more smoothly on the PS3 with just the rare pause to load, and that’s just me nitpicking.
When it comes to 3D, I am not very convinced that this is the way for gaming, however I do applaud SEGA and Headstrong Games giving support for both Stereoscopic and Anaglyphic 3D, which is great news for those who don’t own an expensive 3D TV. This really is something SEGA should keep up and something other companies should follow suit with.
I am slowly being won over to the 3D market as it does add another dimension to the lightgun genre and I was more than happy yo pick up my good old cardboard 3D glasses and immerse myself in a bit more terror.
It is the sound department that the game really comes into its own, filled with some great funky tunes and some memorable songs. A prime example and one of my favourites, because I’m just sick in the head, is One Night In Bayou. This is a song about getting it on with the dead and the lyrics are just hilarious. This game really does have one of the most original soundtracks in a game and unlocking the bonus tracks really does make the game worth replaying alone.
If you have a PS Move then this game is a must buy, especially if you are into the whole Grindhouse horror genre and are up for some tongue-in-cheek, slapstick comedy. The game steps over the boundaries every way possible with content including incest and songs about making out with the undead, but it’s all in good fun.
This game still has an ending that well… is just insane. I won’t spoil it but you really have to see it for yourselves and yes, you will be left asking how the hell they got away with it.
For those like me who has and have already played the Wii version to death, it still makes a great buy. It fixes everything that was wrong with the Wii version in terms of the frame rate issues, difficulty has been increased, and most of all, extra bonus content as well as two new levels.
HeadStrong Games have shown that there is still a market for lightgun shooters and that it can still be a successful genre. I feel they have done well to try and expand the replayability with extra modes and also the online leaderboards. Perhaps if you go buy this then maybe SEGA will start porting over other great lightgun shooters from their catalogue, and just maybe we will finally see House of the Dead 4 or a sequel to this title.
+ It’s everything a lightgun game should be.
Plenty of bonuses to collect.
Superb replay value with online leaderboards and various modes and mini-games.
two new levels and the famous missing reel have been found.
– The main game can feel short at only just over the 4 hour mark.
+ The film grain effect really does compliment the Grindhouse horror feel.
Fixed the frame rate issues that the Wii suffered.
– HD makeover has only been small. Still see clipping in cut scenes but it’s still an improvement.
+Funky tracks tie in with the Grindhouse setting.
Has one of the best soundtracks in a game, especially in this genre.