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The House of the Dead (Windows)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
57
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.4
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  *Katakis* (37838)
Written on  :  Feb 08, 2008
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars

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Summary

Run around a haunted house and deal with hilarious zombies

The Good

On December 18, 1998, AMS agents Thomas Rogan and “G” receive a phone call from Rogan's girlfriend Sophie Richards regarding a series of disappearances at the Curien mansion, whose owner is an expert in biochemistry and genealogy, and has brought the undead back to life. As Rogan, you must go through the mansion and kill any zombies you see.

You do this by hovering a crosshair over a zombie, and pressing the mouse button to shoot at it several times until it goes down. The first time you shoot at it, its head will jerk back, but to make sure that it goes down quickly, you have to go for the weak spot, which is one of its bloody limbs, entirely covered in blood. Besides killing zombies, you also have to be on the lookout for any DBR scientists, rescuing them before they are killed. More often than not, these scientists give you a health pack or a keycard that let you access other areas of the mansion. Besides killing zombies, you can shoot other things such as crates, barrels, and urns to get bonus items. While you are on a killing spree, you also run out of ammo, meaning that you need to reload when both a warning and a voice tells you do, but thankfully these reloads are unlimited. There are four chapters in which you have to make a killing.

There are multiple routes through the mansion, and what route you will take will depend on your earlier actions, but normally rescuing scientists or having them killed, or shooting certain things in the environment will make the game decide which route. When I played The House of the Dead, I replayed each chapter twice just to try out the different routes, and I was amazed what I saw on each route.

There are three game modes. Besides “Arcade”, the mode that lets you to play a perfect conversion of the original arcade game, and “PC Mode” lets you play HOTD as different characters, including Rogan, “G”, Sophie. or one of the scientists. As well as this, “Boss Mode” lets you practice killing all four bosses, so that you can dispatch them as quickly as possible when you play the other two modes. Both Arcade and PC modes have individual cut-scenes, which are good to watch as they show your character make progress throughout the mansion.

The redbook CD audio goes with what you are doing (shooting zombies inside a mansion). The sound effects are excellent.

The best thing that I like about the game is the zombies themselves. They are hilarious to listen to. The zombies you encounter are quite strong, but they make a grunting sound when they are going to chop you in half, as if using an axe or chainsaw is an effort for them. The bosses are twice as funny, especially the first and third bosses. Every time you hit his weak spot, the first boss vomits on the floor, while the third boss uses his own droppings as a weapon. All of the bosses (except the third one) make these dying sound which I'll never forget. I can even remember what it sounds like while I'm typing this review.

The Bad

Just before you go on to fight a boss, you are shown his weak spot and what type he is. For example, the first boss, the Chariot, is Type 27. What does this “type” mean? Can somebody tell me, please?

No matter what characters you select in “PC Mode”, they all sound the same.

The game is too short. If you are an excellent player, you can probably complete the game inunder an hour.

The Bottom Line

The House of the Dead is quite a fun rail shooter where you must kill a whole lot of zombies throughout the mansion while rescuing scientists that are caught inside. There are multiple routes you can take, which means that you can play the game over and over, trying out different routes as you can find. While you are playing, you can listen to the excellent redbook audio that blends well with what you are doing. Besides playing an exact copy of the arcade game, there are two other modes to play the game on, one of them which you can practice defeating a boss. And speaking of bosses, you will laugh at everything they do and what sound they make when they die.