PS3 Review: House of the Dead Overkill: Extended Cut

Overkill or Underkill?

The original House of the Dead: Overkill was a decent, albeit typical on-rails shooter for Wii. Extended Cut brings the experience to PS3 via Move controls and a standard controller setup if you desire, plus some extra stages. But is it enough for the price of admission to this B-Movie shooter?

Well, if you already have the Wii version then there’s little reason to pick up Extended Cut for anything other than trophies, you can tell it was originally a Wii game as the visuals although improved to HD, haven’t had quite the attention that you would imagine. As far as story goes, Overkill is ridiculous on par with Planet Terror/Grindhouse with clichéd characters with cheesy one-liners and insane situations, it’s pretty damn funny…especially Agent Washington who just reminds me of Samuel L Jackson in Snakes on a Plane, constantly dropping F-bombs to lighten up the mood for the player.

So, the game works a lot better with the Move controller but it isn’t a huge difference of accuracy when compared to the Wii Remote. The levels are set in a variety of places like a mansion, a hospital, a strip club and a carnival to name a few. You can play with 2 players through the main game, buying upgrades and new weapons with the money earned in each level, but you can only carry 2 and each has their own advantages/disadvantages.

At the end of each level, there are boss fights which are quite irritating. This one that took me ages was the Screamer as she rushes you and if she gets too close, you freeze and she does a lot of damage. It didn’t help that I was only doing minimal damage thanks to the lack of power from my weapons. Just be prepared for frustration when it comes to these boss battles. If you die, which will probably happen…you can buy your way back into the stage for half of the points you’ve earned so far. You also earn points for secondary objectives like saving civilians and vice-versa; you lose points for shooting them.

The most memorable thing about Overkill has to be the characters which range from your typical secretive cops to seductive, angry strippers. The levels themselves are fun, but perhaps a little on the bland side. Enemy types repeat quite a bit and apart from the odd collectable lurking around, there’s nothing that stands out and no real reason to replay a stage for anything other than trying to earn trophies. There are 3 mini-games which 4 players can get their teeth into, but they aren’t that good. One just sees you trying to get civilians through hordes of zombies to exits, the second is basically just shooting wave after wave of zombies with a time limit and the third is just a shooting gallery with moving targets.

The Verdict

House of the Dead Overkill: Extended Cut is the best Move game in a long time, but it’s just a HD remake of a 2 year old Wii title with a few extras added into the mix. It’s good if you missed it first time around, but there’s no reason to get it if you already have the Wii version. It is worth grabbing if you want a good laugh though…