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What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Finally, a Wii game that speaks my language. From the racy striptease opening sequence to its profanely incestuous conclusion, House of the Dead: Overkill fully embraces its mature rating. If you're averse to excessive swearing and gore, close your eyes and put on your earmuffs – Overkill drops more F-bombs than Christian Bale when a DP walks through a scene.
Like Grindhouse, the Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez homage to the forgotten pulp genre, Overkill employs campy narration, cheesy dialogue, intentionally poor direction, and retro music to create a comical gorefest that keeps you laughing throughout the four-hour bloodbath. The ludicrous story serves as a prequel to The House of the Dead; Super Agent G teams up with foul-mouthed Detective Washington and curvaceous stripper Varla Guns to hunt down Burt Reynolds look-alike Papa Caesar, who is linked to a rash of mutant outbreaks in the bayou. When Caesar escapes the initial arrest, the unlikely team tails him through a mutant-infested hospital, carnival, train, swamp, and prison. Along the way, the revenge-driven Detective Washington drops enough F-bombs to send the FCC scrambling for a SWAT team.
Under the stylish and profane veneer lives an able-bodied rail shooter that takes few chances. The by-the-basics shooting gallery rewards players for paying attention to their surroundings - shooting golden brains imparts score bonuses, and hitting the green glowing icons unleashes Mo-Fo time, a time slowing device that makes it easier to rack up headshots. Stringing together several headshots earns players point bonuses and cash, which can be used to improve your weapons or to purchase new toys like an SMG, shotgun, or assault rifle.
The short-and-sweet campaign features two-player co-op. Once you've witnessed the jaw-dropping finale, Overkill unlocks a new Director's Cut with longer levels and a new Dirty Harry-type handgun that turns zombie clowns into blood mist. Overkill also includes three four-player minigames that offer modest replay value.
The star of The House of the Dead: Overkill is the unabashed writing, which finds gold in spoofing the genre with a brazen effectiveness. The parade of F-bombs and one-liners fit in perfect harmony with the grindhouse presentation. Tarantino fans shouldn't miss this clever, curse-heavy shooter.
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House of the Dead: Overkill is sanguineous and profane, twisted and appalling; a blood-spewing, F-bomb-abusing goregasm of pulp horror. It's shocking and over-the-top, but the intent isn't to offend you to the point that you write your senator. The content in question is used for comedic purposes. Profanity replaces nearly every adjective, yet most of the jokes are intelligently written and original. Comedic material also flows through the gameplay, turning a typical rail shooter into a laugh-out-loud blast. The dismemberment-heavy action doesn't offer much of a challenge, especially once the assault rifle is unlocked, but the gameplay mechanics are rock solid. While it delivers the sensation of shooting fish in a barrel, the experience never wavers from being entertaining. Director's Cut mode, co-op, and dozens of unlockables give players reason to come back for more. Video game comedy is rarely done well, but House of the Dead: Overkill handles it with bloody aplomb.