House of the Dead: Overkill - Nintendo Wii
Once upon a time, the light gun genre was popular enough to flog a console all on its own. The likes of Sega’s sublime Virtua Cop series, and Sony’s Time Crisis titles consistently stood tall in “game of the year” lists, and offered some of the greatest gaming thrills available.
But as games became more and more complex, short-lived on-rail shooters died an unfortunate death. Sega however, has had an incredible brainwave and given the long running House of the Dead series a brand new Grind House feel, and brought us one title that truly does deserve the “18” certificate plastered across the front.
Seriously, in terms of language and gore, this is right up there with the very best/worst (depending on your affection towards blood-soaked goodness) of the latter, and by far the most bad language-packed title you’ll find on the shelves. Expect a number of f-bombs and even worse as you sit looking at the basic game menu.
Disregarding the heavy style that Sega has seen fit to grant House of the Dead: Overkill, this is as standard as light gun blasting fare could ever truly be. There are no major twists on the genre standard, or brand new gameplay twists to shout about on the back of the box. It’s just excellently created gore-packed shooting brilliance.
Set firmly on rails, and with the game taking total control of your character’s movement, all you truly need to worry about is keeping the zombie hordes at bay. Aiming your Wii Remote at the screen and stabbing the “B” button sends the bullets towards your enemies, with a swift flick upwards or press of the “A” button slapping in a brand new round to waste.
A score multiplier tempts you to keep your aiming straight and true, with constant hits urging your tally ever higher. Not only will frequent play-throughs be the norm due to an addiction to score-based showing off, the more points you bag (which are slashed in half every time you require a continue) the more you have to upgrade your weapons. And once you bag yourself a well made shotgun you’ll be sending guts across the screen quicker than you can say zombie.
Overkill is a fantastically technically created title too. The Wii may lack the high definition of the PS3 and Xbox 360, but that doesn’t prevent Sega from offering a real visual treat. Mainly thanks to the sublime art styling rather than gloriously dazzling visuals. There will be a few moments when you witness the game start to stutter as the zombie hordes get a little too much for the Wii to process, but that doesn’t prevent this from being just about the most fun the Wii can offer.
Not only can the 3-hour single player campaign be played in multiplayer, but the game offers a variety of mini games for one or more players to tuck into. One mode which offers a constant stream of zombies is the best example, with a fun fair style target shooting gallery undoubtedly the one you’ll spend little time with. We’re all here for the zombies after all.
One word of warning: don’t buy this if you’re easily offended. While many “18” rated games are awarded as such due to obscene gore, Overkill packs the lot. The first boss in particular is in such bad taste that if you’re so inclined you may very well be tempted to turn this one off. For most it will just be down right hilarious, but don’t leave this one on when your Grandma pops round for tea.
VerdictOverkill might be no more than a light gun game, but it’s done in such a stylish manner that it brings new life to the genre.
Thanks to the supreme replayability, and mass of multiplayer options, this offensive thrill ride is one that any Wii owner certainly needs to pick up. Effin brilliant.