They met as adversaries...
The Nintendo Wii is blessed with yet another original on-rails light-gun shooter (without the Light-gun) in the newest outing of the House of the Dead series titled House of the Dead: OVERKILL. SEGA left the developing responsibilities to UK developer Headstrong Games for the first House of the Dead game not created by the Japanese publisher house itself. The game is a prequel to the original House of the Dead released all the way back in 1996 and is the first in the series to skip an Arcade release.
Overkill features two protagonists in the form of Agent G, a square clichéd Government Agent with the full expe cted getup with black suit and black shades. Alongside him, foulmouth african american detective Isaac Washington packed with deadly heat and an array of F-bombs and observational humor. This deadly duo teams up when Agent G is sent out to investigare a series of missing persons in a small town somewhere in Louisiana,
Overkill follows the tradition of on-rails shooters before it, where the player has no control over the character's movement through the levels and are left to concentrate solely on doing the shooting, in this case blasting away mutants upon mutants. The firing mechanism has been put on the B trigger located under the Wiimote seemingly a logically correct descision since the Wiimote itself that way more accurately mimics a light gun but a choice I personally dislike. First of all, firing with the B trigger is a much more tedious task than using the A button and I feel it strains my hand in a more rapid pace than if the a button had been used instead. Also, keeping the Wiimote steady when rapidly pressing the B trigger is quite tricky and I find myself unvolunteraly shaking the Wiimote in success when mashing away foes and this complicates the fine aiming which is required in Overkill and shooters like it becomes harder to master. It would have been nice to have had some customization here, where the player could switch which buttons to use.
The A button is used for reloading your equipped weapon of choice. The - button is used for throwing grenades at the enemies, and the 1 and 2 buttons lets you toggle between your primary and secondary weapon that you are allowed in each level. That's about it for controls in Overkill. Easy enough, and very pick up and play, and it it refreshing to be able to unhook the Nunchaku controller for games like these.
Overkill is a fun game. It's basically just shoooting, shooting and more shooting, but the game moves in a great pace, cobbled with comedic cut-scenes and some other small ways to keep it interesting. Throughout the levels you find spoils which you can shoot to gather extra points, also first-aid boxes which gives you, well health ofcourse. Lastly, there's small, green, target shooting targets found in the levels which put you into Slow Mo-Fo mode, where everything slows down considerably for a period of time, where you get more time to aim for those headshots you so want.
The Story is quite well crafted and dialouge is better than what I expected and the levels looks good and make sense in the context of the game, atleast most of them do. The biggest letdown is the bosses, they are easily defeated and they are not very variying in terms of how to defeat them. Just shoot and shoot and they die. It would have been nice with some more context-sensitive type of action in these moments, they sure could have been done.
House of the Dead: Overkill also fetures alot of extra content. When the game is completed you can play using two Wiimotes at once, also there's a Director's Cut mode where you can play through "deleted scenes" from the levels you already played. there's also shooting gallery type Minigames for you to partake in. There's more here than just the Story Mode to finish which by the way is a little short, but replayable since there's points to earn and weapons to upgrade.
You're going to have fun with this game. It's the best light-gun shooter for the Wii,not to say that Umbrella Chronicles isn't a pretty fun little thing as well, but Overkill is just a little more fun and easier to get into. Overkill might just be worth a rental to many people, and that's fine, but there's alot of content here for it be worthy of a purchase with all the extra content thrown in the game. The longtime House of the Dead should absolutely pick this one up, but I feel it appeals to a more casual gaming audience as well. Hey, casuals can enjoy mindless pick up and play gory violence fun as well as minigame collections right? Enjoy.