The House of the Dead: Overkill Preview at Eurogamer Expo

The House of the Dead is one of SEGA’s longest running IP at the moment of writing this preview and the publisher is looking to continue the series with a port of its successful Wii title The House of the Dead: Overkill this time for the Playstation 3. Being developed by Headstrong Games, SEGA had a short demo available for play at the Eurogamer Expo featuring the second level of the game Ballistic Trauma, click the break to find out how the game fared when I got to have a playthrough!

Perhaps not so surprising, The House of the Dead: Overkill had formed a line of participants wanting to try out the on-rail shooter of what resulted in perhaps around 20 minutes wait for myself and it bodes well for SEGA’s fortune in the title. SEGA had four set ups, 2 for two player co-op and 2 for single player gaming and thankfuly, had light gun accessories attach to the Playstation Move controllers to make the experience feel closer to the arcades. The play area was interestingly on the other side of the expo and I will admit I missed it first time if it were not for my guide for the day pointing out were exactly the title was.

The demo had two weapons available, the AMS handgun and the shotgun. Both guns played exactly the same as they did in the Wii version however after a brisk usage of the shotgun I had decided to stick with the handgun, feeling using such an item would help to keep the title closer to it’s arcade roots. Players will also, like the original, find grenades through out the level to help them clear rooms full of zombies with ease and the game’s “Slow Mo-Fo” its own name for the bullet time mode players can active by shooting the various power up found through out the stage.

As expected, the game is largely the same for the Playstation 3 port of the title with the major difference being the upgrade in the graphics. The title definitely benefits from the addition horsepower to graphics, helping to give edge undead monstrosity extra detail for them to stand out, whether it be the boss or the minions found throughout the stage, the move to HD has helped the title standout slightly more than its bland colour scheme, or bland compared to the series mainline titles. The technical graphics will not be winning any awards but the presentation certainly allows the title to come to life easier than previously.

The level structure of the demo was mostly the same as the original, with the exception of a few moments (That the demo humorously called a missing reel) which I could hazard a guess was taken out to make sure the demo did not last too long to ensure limited queue lengths. The level was filled in with same enemies and none of the newer zombies that have been announced for the title. The boss for Ballistic Trauma (A female screamer) remains the same and has exactly the same attack pattern as seen previously. However there is an added short ingame cutscene that occurs if you could not stop her approaching you that was created solely for the purpose to exploit the 3D effect. Overall however, nothing has been changed in the boss battle, but the graphical facelift the title has received has allowed for the boss battle to become slightly more memorable from the original boss battle.

In conclusion, The House of the Dead: Overkill feels like an excellent port for the Playstation 3, perhaps a while late, but with the added detail provided by the extra graphical horsepower and with extra levels, it seems SEGA will have yet another fantastic lightgun game being released for next month. That covers this preview but be sure to come back tomorrow, as I will be looking at another SEGA published title, Platinum Games’ Anarchy Reigns.


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