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The House of the Dead: Overkill Review - -

Gameplay 9.0
Graphics 9.2
Sound 9.3
Value 9.2
Distributor: SEGA
Eddie Millarion


The House of the Dead: Overkill

The classic SEGA series “House of the Dead” returns on the Nintendo Wii which throws a whole new spin to the franchise and gameplay. The game pays homage to the exploitation movies of the 70’s and more specifically, Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror with its over the top characters, scratchy film-like effects and excessive violence.


  • Pulp Funk Horror. Zombie cool, one of the most popular shooter classics injected with a whole new retro b-movie look.
  • An utterly in-your-face zombie-dismembering blast. Non-stop light-gun style action on Wii, blow apart zombies for high-score thrills.
  • Superb co-op action on Wii. Bring a friend and play the game as intended in your own buddy action movie as two of the meanest characters in video gaming.
  • Relentless, gore-drenched, over-the-top action. Only the coolest, most cold-hearted agent’s going to keep his head against the zombie flood. Use “Slow-Mofo Time” to make the perfect head-popping shot and “Evil Eye” to spot moments of opportunity that’ll send the whole environment up in flames.
  • Wiimote reactions. Get knee-deep in the dead with motion-sensitive Wii-controls. Shuck a shotgun and when the zombies get too close, pistol whip jaws off or cave some heads in with the stock of your pump-action – all in stomach-churning close-up.

The House of the Dead: Overkill is truly a revolutionary game for this console. Rated “XXX”, it’s actually MA15+, the game has a real retro feel to it from the perfect soundtrack, enjoyable gameplay and ironically, the most swearing I have ever hard on a SEGA game.

Depending on which version of the game you purchase, either one with the handgun or without, the game comes with a great retro-inspired comic of the characters involved in the game that just proves how much gaming love has gone into creating this addictive and highly entertaining title.

Although it does offer some “new” gaming features such as the combo system or using the environment to your advantage, the different modes of “violence” that begin from extreme violence and ends with goregasm, just makes this title that so much better. This can be achieved by ensuring that every shot you fire hits your intended target... sounds easier than it is.

At it’s core, Overkill features an excessive amount of violence and strong language that would make Quentin Tarantino proud, however the storyline contains a healthy dose of humour which although does not take itself seriously at all, increases the ambience of the game.

The story revolves around Papa Caesar, a nefarious underworld criminal who has crossed the line for two individuals which include the foul mouthed Isaac Washington and Varla Guns who both wish to bring Caesar to justice in their own particular ways. Washington is also teamed up by the clichéd and straight laced Agent G who the gamer plays in the single-player mode.

The game is divided into “seven” episodes with some great cutscenes between episodes to assist in the clichéd and sadistic tale of Para Caesar. The banter between both partners is great as are the cutscenes that really lend themselves well to the game and the genre as Zombies come thick and fast.

Unlike first person shooters, Overkill is based on those classic light gun games which means the game controls where you are moving, however there are some places where you can move the gun to offer some control.

To reload the gun, you simply point the gun in the air and bring it down or you can push the “B” button. I must admit that with the gun, it makes the game a truly 2009 gaming moment in reference to how accurate and enjoyable the gameplay is.

Although the Story Mode in Overkill is relatively quick and most gamers could probably knock this game over in a weekend, the developers have added a variety of interesting elements in the game that allows you to earn money which can then be used for guns and upgrades.

Each episode takes around 20 – 30 minutes to successfully compete and should you die, you can use your cash that you have made from the level to continue. Once you have finished the Story Mode, it then unlocks the “Director’s Cut” which gives you new areas and more powerful enemies with a catch, you can only continue three times which makes the game quite difficult at times… thankfully in an enjoyable way.

Match that with some great mini-games, an unlockable dual-wield mode for single-player if you complete the “Director’s Cut”  and some online leaderboards, SEGA have truly added a variety of great longevity presents.

The control system on the Wii works perfectly and all you really need to do is insert the Wii remote into the gun and presto, you are ready to play. The accuracy is sometimes a little out, however by configuring your Wii and getting use to some the nuisances in the game, this should be no problem to the gamer. Speaking of guns, the game contains a variety of different weapons at your disposal with my personal favourite being that of the shotgun which is quite devastating.

Graphically, the title is a visual treat on the Nintendo Wii that really captures the exploitation films of the 70’s and that horrendous “B” grade movies. The special effects are brilliant in the movie which involve the scratch film and the subdued colours that almost make this game look like it has come from the 70’s.

The characters, both our heroes and villains are extremely well made and move with a real-world grace, unlike the zombies who look quite eerie at times. As the game is quite graphically intensive, gamers will experience some slowdown, especially when the camera pans and there are quite a few enemies on screen at once, however this is a small price to pay for the highly detailed graphics on the Wii.

To compliment the gameplay, Overkill has a truly amazing soundtrack that is almost “period” dated with that classic 70’s music. Match that with some great voice acting that is way over the top, however is perfectly suited and a variety of sound effects from the grunts of zombies to huge Hollywood explosions, Overkill is a perfectly designed game.

In conclusion, SEGA have a true winner on their hands that is probably the most fun I’ve had on the Wii in quite some time. The game is clichéd, entertaining and best of all a blast to play which has truly moved this franchise to the next level. A tacky and enjoyable story, Overkill is a must have for all gamers, provided they are over 15 as it is quite violent at times.

Needless to say, brilliant!


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