If Quentin Tarantino tried to produce a pulp-horror zombie movie and accidentally made a video game instead, it would probably resemble House of the Dead: Overkill.
This gore romp for the Wii offers a refreshing alternative to the typical family-friendly titles, though it might be considered family-friendly if your surname is Manson. If you appreciate the poetry of bloodlust and lack taste, shame, and moral fiber, this game is the perfect cure for trigger-finger itch.
Players are not confronted with the same moral dilemma as Mario when he must decide whether or not to ground-pound a goomba’s head. Instead players need only follow a simple rule of thumb: if it moves, shoot it.
This first-person shooter serves as a prequel to the House of the Dead series, and it features the AMS agent G as well as a new character, Detective Washington (think Sam Jackson with a dirtier mouth). Stylistically, House of the Dead: Overkill contains all the charm of a 70’s B movie, complete with cheesy dialogue and film grain speckled across the screen.
Technically the title is a bit of a misnomer since very little of the game takes place in an actual house, and the bullet-catchers are in fact mutants, not zombies (as G repeatedly reminds you). The subheading Overkill, however, is taken very seriously. Excessive gore and vulgarities flood the senses, and the game provides hints of incest as well as full-frontal mutant nudity. Nothing is sacred. Even newer features have off-color names such as “Slow Mofo-Time” and “Goregasm,” which, depending on the person, provide both shock and delight.
When you are not being showered in zombie blood, cut scenes display a plot that is as entertaining as the F-bombs are plentiful. Overkill also features an awesome soundtrack with surf guitar licks, brass funk, and drum grooves that fill you with a feeling that says, “I know I’m badass.” Weapon upgrades intensify that feeling and allow for variations in blood splatter, and headshots are rewarded so zombie slaying becomes a deranged sort of art form.
Completing the game is simple enough, but mastery comes with time. For the Annie Oakleys of the zombie world, Overkill boasts several unlockable features, including different game modes and a soundtrack playlist (which, for fans in the know, contains a song titled “Suffer Like G Did”). Depending on your threshold for offensive frivolity, House of the Dead: Overkill is a rewarding escape from tact and pacifism.
It is a game to be shared between friends who don’t know the meaning of the word moderation. If you spent your childhood lighting things on fire, this game is a must have. Oh yeah, and if you can help it, try not to shoot the civilians.