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House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii) Review

zombie-game-house-of-the-dead-overkill-wiiJust when you thought House of the Dead was dead and gone, the Nintendo Wii brings it back to life – Grindhouse style!

House of the Dead: Overkill is the latest rail shooter for the Nintendo Wii, and as zombie games go, this one’s got a lot of personality and packs a lot of fun. As a rail shooter, players don’t have to worry about moving the character around – like the arcade shooters of old, you simply point at the screen and shoot. Sound simple? It is. That’s the fun of it.

House of the Dead:Overkill features two badass protagonists: clean-cut, sleek Special Agent G (What’s the G stand for? He’s not telling) and hard-hitting detective Isaac Washington (who talks like he’s right out of a 1970’s blacksploitation movie). Together they hunt down the nefarious Papa Caesar, the man responsible for Overkill’s zombie outbreak – taking out countless zombies on the way.

Out of quarters? Not a problem.

Out of quarters? Not a problem.

The Good:

  • The simplicity of the game’s rail design makes it easy for rookie players (like this zombiephile’s girlfriend) to jump right in and start blasting zombies.
  • The game’s weapon purchase system will keep goal-oriented players coming back for more.
  • Fairly decent graphics, especially given the Wii’s limited hardware.
  • Hilarious dialogue. Example: After Detective Washington uses the word “zombie,” Special Agent G admonishes him, “Mutants! I told you, stop using the z-word!”
  • An outrageous amount of swearing. In fact, House of the Dead: Overkill supposedly holds the Guiness World Record for most swearing in a video game. Any way you hack it, this game deserves it’s “M” rating.
  • Loads of achievement-based unlockables to keep players hooked.
  • Fantastic soundtrack full of funk, blues and rock songs that’ll get stuck in your head.
Two player is where it's at.

Two player is where it's at.

The Bad:

  • Frustratingly short window to shoot bonus items.
  • Without the shotgun, it can be very difficult to get a “goregasm” – 25 consecutive kills wihout missing a shot.
  • Somewhat weary gameplay for hardcore zombie gamers – if you’ve played Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes the whole rail-shooter thing just gets a bit drab.

The Verdict:

House of the Dead: Overkill is the perfect example of how the Nintendo Wii dominates over other consoles – the simple ability of the player to point the controller at the screen brings back memories of the Nintendo Light Gun and Duck Hunt. Except in this game, the ducks are brain-craving zombies.

The game’s 1970’s style “Grindhouse” format is a lot of fun and totally wins over most players; like Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror,” the sheer audacity of the style has a strange allure that grows on you the longer you’re exposed to it. If you liked Grindhouse, you’ll love House of the Dead: Overkill.

Looking for the perfect gift for the zombiephile in your life? Consider picking up a copy of House of the Dead: Overkill - it's on sale!

Ads of the Living Dead.