The House of the Dead: Overkill

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The House of the Dead: Overkill review
Professor Layton


A great light gun game for the Wii


The year is 1991. Special Agent G - the protagonist of The House of the Dead series- has been given his very first assignment. Teaming up with another character, Detective Isaac Washington, his mission is to investigate stories surrounding disappearances in a rural area in Louisiana. Little does he know what truly awaits him in this small town. Zombies, zombies, and more zombies.

Overkill contains a lot of vulgarity. The dialogue between characters is fairly well written for the most part, but to me, the consistent use of the F-word really subtracts from the game. Yeah, some may like the over-the-top swearing, but personally, I hated it.

Something else I should mention is that the game’s interface is very stylish. The game is overflowing with huge poster art, character cut-outs, film scratches, and the like. I personally thought that the game’s style helped separate it from other games and really put it over-the-top.

On-rail shooter

Like past installments in The House of the Dead series, Overkill is an on-rails shooter playable by one or two players. Character movement is pre-determined and shooting is executed using the Wii Remote. Simply pointing the Wii Remote at the screen will cause the reticle to move. By pointing the Wii Remote at the edge of the screen, the camera will move slightly in that direction.

Players can also build up a combo meter, which is filled by killing zombies. Further points can be obtained by shooting enemies in the head, shooting bonus pick-up items, saving citizens, and attaining multiple kills without missing any shots. Whenever you die, points can be cashed in so that you can continue playing. At the end of a level, a grade will awarded depending on your score, accuracy, and how often you've died.

Story mode

The House of the Dead: Overkill features seven levels, each consisting of an abundance of enemies and plenty of gore. Each level offers a decent amount of playtime and differs from other levels. One level, for instance, has you facing zombie nurses and doctors, instead of just run of the mill zombies. When it’s all said and done, Overkill provides players with plenty of areas to explore.

When it comes to boss battles, I found myself enjoying every minute of them, but overall though, I thought Headstrong could’ve done a better job. For the most part, bosses are way too easy. A little more difficulty and a little bit more quirkiness would definitely helped the game out, but hey, I still found myself having fun.


Though you can easily complete the game in about four to five fours, Overkill still has plenty to offer. One thing you can try and accomplish is to unlock and level up all your weapons. You won’t earn enough cash the first play-though, so if you want to maximize all your weapons, you’ll have to try and complete the story mode again.

While replaying the story mode, why not try and collect all the brain icons? Their primary purpose is to allow you to gain access to unlockables such as special movies. If you put your mind to it, you’ll be rewarded tremendously in the end.

Topping everything off is the higher difficulty level that’s unlocked by completing the main story mode once. Known as the Director’s Cut mode, it adds more areas to each level, and increases the difficulty level. If you manage to beat both difficulty levels, you’ll be rewarded with yet another unlockable mode, known as Duel Wield. In this mode, one person can use two wii-motes together to fight off the zombie horde.

Everything comes with a price tag

With all the enemies on the screen and blood flying everywhere, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to find out that there are constant frame rate dips. On the brighter side though, the game looks great and there’s lots of detail in environments and characters.

House of the Dead: Overkill is a great game but has a couple of minor flaws. The constant dips in frame rate are its biggest problems, but on the bright side, the game provides players with one of the best experiences on the Wii. Headstrong Games really hit the nail on the head with Overkill, and if all goes well, SEGA’s other two hardcore games -The Conduit and MadWorld- will do that as well. Those looking for a gory, gruesome, and fun game on the Wii should look no further. The game overflows with style and personality, something that many Wii games don’t do a very good job with. At the end of the day,Overkill definitely doesn’t disappoint.


fun score

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