Like the shuffling zombies you get to blow apart, Sega’s House of the Dead series has never been known for its brains (unless splattered by shotguns or eaten by peckish zombies) and it knows it.
Overkill presents itself as the most cliché-ridden grindhouse budget horror flick imaginable – all grainy footage, bad special effects, non-stop swearing and wooden acting. It also revels in its cops, zombies and strippers themes. It’s puerile, shameless and far from PC, but it’s a game that has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek and knows that no-one could take it seriously.
Like previous House of the Dead games, it’s an old-fashioned, on-rails shooter. The game handles the movement, so players can focus on the fun part: blowing zombies apart using an analogue stick or PlayStation Move controller while grabbing collectibles, health packs and power-ups.
It’s not packed with surprises (or, in fact, anything actually scary), but there’s enough variety within its levels to maintain interest beyond the immediate attraction of filling zombies full of lead.
It’s also better with friends, although online multiplayer isn’t an option. Up to two people can take part in the main story modes while up to four players can try out the three mini-games. The first two mini-games are enjoyable, with one challenging players to protect civilians by gunning down zombies, while the other has you fending off zombies for as long as possible. Only the last one – a dull fairground shooting gallery lacking in undead targets – disappoints.
But while House of the Dead overflows with basic gory fun, its lack of depth and longevity, plus its status as an updated Wii game, make its £50 price seem a bit steep, even with the addition of high-definition and 3D visuals, extra missions and Move support.