When I had first heard about House of the Dead Overkill made by Headstrong Games and Kuju Entertainment, I thought I would be having a great time going around shooting mutants (which are really just zombies) in a grindhouse style. What I got was a on rails shooter with shoddy aiming, repetitive bosses, a plot twist at the near end that feels weird. There is also the downright cringe worthy over the top dialogue that made me groan much more than it made me laugh. The mindless shooting is fun but the enjoyment to be had with the title is brought down with the flaws in this game.
Developer: Headstrong Games, Kuju Entertainment
Reviewed on: PlayStation 3
Also Available On: Wii, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows
Release Date: Out now
You play as Detective Washington and Agent G in gun toting mutant slaughtering adventure while trying to stop the crazy Papa Caesar from taking over the southern town with the nasty undead creatures. Coming with the director’s cut on the PlayStation 3 you have two extra levels where you play as a biker and a stripper named Varla Guns and Candi Stryper respectively but didn’t really add much to the story overall and Varla ends up getting kidnapped anyway so I felt those two levels weren’t needed.
Washington and G go chasing Papa Caesar through a hospital, trailer park, carnival, and other places killing every locale themed mutant in your way. While chasing Caesar you run into this prison warden named Clements and after making every mutant eat lead in the prison you find Clements with Caesar and Varla in a electric chair and he kills Caesar robbing you of the chance to end the life of the man you have been chasing this whole game which sucks. Clements then tells you that he made the mutants in order to keep his mother alive, which he has an incestuous relationship with gross I know. You track Clements down kill his mother and save the world and all that good stuff.
The bosses in HOTD Overkill are all different but they gameplay wise are the same. What I mean is that all you do is wait for them to attack and you shoot them in there weak spot and you repeat that until they are dead. Sometimes you have to dodge attacks from them that involves shooting some targets that come up on the screen that is just as easy. The boss fights are not the hardest thing in the world to do and can get pretty boring but the good thing is that there aren’t a lot of them and this game isn’t long at all clocking in at about four to five hours long so the feeling of repetition was there the game isn’t long enough to where it becomes a bore.
With that being said HOTD Overkill did have something going for it as there was a ton of collectibles littered around every level to get and there were mini games you could play that can be some fun. What bothered me about getting the collectibles was the camera would go by some of them to fast before I even had a chance to notice they were there which was annoying at times. The mini games on the other hand had some fun to be played with and having a friend join in with you can have some enjoyment to it.
The aiming in this game left a little more to be desired and at times had me frustrated with the game. There would be times where I felt like I was hitting the mutants head, or this poster on a wall, or a statue by a shelf and when I tried to move the cursor over a little bit would move jerk it past the thing I wanted to shoot and I would get hit by a zombie or missing the collectible. Now that wouldn’t be a problem if you could just change the sensitivity in this game but alas you can’t so you just gotta get used to if your playing with a controller or do what I did and just rely on body shots to get you through the game. You will probably have better luck with aiming using the PlayStation move with the light gun accessory, but I don’t have one of those so I’m stuck with the controller.
The characters in this game came off as goofy, over the top, and cringeworthy more often than not with their cheesy dialogue and interactions with each other. It didn’t help that the voice acting for this game falls very flat. These characters could of also benefited from some character development in this game being as there really is none to be had. I mean you find out that Caesar killed Washington’s father and besides that there is no development. Detective Washington spends most of the game just shouting the f word at making annoying comments about the mutants that got on my nerves most of the time. Agent G is not as talkative as Washington but still seems as cut and dry as any cookie cutter protagonist and can be replaced with just about anybody. Varla was sorta interesting but then she just turns into a damsel in distress that you end up having to save.
Surely it’s fun going around and blowing away mutants with the assorted weapons in the game and the bunch of collectibles in the game can make replaying somewhat worth it and you can even do it with a friend, but this game doesn’t really have much to offer other than that but if you’re looking for a fun forgettable time time shooting mutants and crazy grindhouse action this game is for you.