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The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut Review

A Dated On-Rails Shooter That Still Hits Its Mark
by Jeff Marchiafava on Oct 25, 2011 at 07:45 AM
Reviewed on PlayStation 3
Publisher Sega
Developer Sega
Rating Mature

House Of The Dead: Overkill shocked Wii owners with unabashedly mature content not often seen on Nintendo's family-friendly platform. Almost three years after the original release, PS3 owners are getting an extended cut with better graphics and two additional levels. While the upgraded visuals and extended campaign are certainly appreciated, the selling point remains the same as its Wii counterpart: a fresh take on the light gun genre complemented by hilarious writing and non-stop action make Overkill one of the few titles worth owning a PlayStation Move for.

Despite having an appreciation for the genre that harkens back to the arcades of yesteryear, recent light gun games haven't had the impact on me they once did. I enjoy mindlessly shooting a screen full of zombies or soldiers (or zombie soldiers) as much as the next gamer, but innovations in on-rails shooters have been few and far between. Overkill's grindhouse presentation is exactly the kind of twist the genre needed to pull me back in. From the cheesy new FMV intro to the hilarious narration and obscene one-liners, Overkill is a game that doesn't take itself seriously and is all the better for it.

At the heart of Extended Cut's extra content are two new levels, which take place in a strip club and meat packing plant. These two levels are spliced into the main campaign, but follow the exploits of the late Jasper Guns' sister Varla, and his stripper girlfriend, Candy Stryper. Some of their dialogue is groan-worthy even for Overkill, and the duo doesn't live up to the hostile banter of Isaac Washington and Agent G, but the narration hits its mark, as do the grotesque boss battles. The levels are equally memorable, and add a little more length to what is still a pretty short game. There are also some added collectibles and extras, but the experience is largely the same: Shoot zombies with a buddy and laugh at the stupid and outrageous dialogue. I can think of worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.

If you played the original Overkill on the Wii, I'm not convinced the extended cut is worth paying for again, even with its forgiving $40 price tag. Despite being by far the superior version of the game, the upgraded HD visuals don't overcome Overkill's age and wouldn't have been impressive back in 2009. The two new chapters are solid additions to the action, but you'll still see pretty much everything Overkill has to offer in an afternoon of gaming. If you didn't play the original, or you just want a reason to justify last year's Move purchase, Overkill Extended Cut is a great introduction to the best light gun game in recent years.

Bring Overkill's over-the-top antics to a system capable of HD graphics, plus throw in a little extra content
A major improvement from the Wii version, but this still looks dated
The hilarious voice acting is intentionally bad and all the guns make loud noises
The Move performs admirably and puts the Sharp Shooter peripheral to good use
Overkill won't exercise your brain, but plowing through the campaign with a friend is a lot of fun

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The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cutcover

The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut

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