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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

Yes
No
Maybe
Hope to Receive it as a Gift


Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Sega
DEVELOPER:
Wow Entertainment
GENRE: Shooter
PLAYERS:   1-2
RELEASE DATE:
October 29, 2002
ESRB RATING:
Mature
IN THE SERIES
House of the Dead: Overkill

The House of the Dead 2 and 3 Return

Typing of the Dead II

The Pinball of the Dead

Zombie Revenge

More in this Series
 Written by Ryan Smotherman  on September 30, 2002

First Impressions: All we need is an Xbox enabled keyboard and we'll also have ourselves a Typing of the Dead 2!


I don't think many would argue that the light-gun based shooter is a quickly dying breed of games. What started for many with the NES' Duck Hunt and then continued into the modern day with Namco's Time Crisis series and Sega's Virtua Cop and House of the Dead games, just isn't offering us much these days. A lot has to do with the status of the world today. With terrorist attacks and so much violence about, many companies just won't take the risk of bringing out a light-gun for the current consoles, with a strong fear of being scrutinized by the nation and public at large. Another factor in play here is that light-gun games have been breed to work best in the arcades, as they usually offer simple gameplay and not much replay value. But you don't think this would stop Sega and developer Wow Entertainment do you? Of course not. The third addition of their highly popular House of the Dead series is on the way, and ?Only On Xbox.?

Naturally, this third addition is very similar to the previous installments, but full of all the necessary enchantments that make up a worthy sequel. We find the two protagonists of the story, Lisa Rogan and G (from HotD 2), in post-apocalyptic hell, where zombies, not to mention other horrifying creatures, roam about looking for some brain pie. The basic gameplay elements from the other versions are still intact here. You'll go into action blasting any and everything that moves as you follow the set rails that guide you throughout the game (yup, still no free roaming here). But not to worry, the game will also feature many different branching paths as well as secret areas to find. This go around your character's default weapon is set as a pump-action shotgun, instead of the standard pistol, and for the first time your weapon is actually seen on the screen; though, it is not known yet if this will bring any sort of innovations into play. By the looks of things you're going to need all the firepower you can muster up, as enemies come at you wave after wave, requiring you to have a speedy trigger finger and precision accuracy. Speaking of a trigger finger, the question comes to mind ? will a light gun be available? Thankfully, the answer is a big fat yes. The Mad Catz Blaster will be available just in time for the game's release. And I must say, it's looking like a fine gun. But for those who can't afford the extra peripheral (or two), the standard controller should work fine, but more than likely won't offer as much fun.

Besides your standard romp through the levels, you'll once again find that boss battles play a very important role in The House of the Dead. Set at the end of each level, these massive behemoths make fighting zombies look like a walk in the park, or a very zombie filled park anyways. Each boss features a weak point that when hit does maximum damage and by the looks of things every encounter isn't going to be the typical stand there shoot as fast as you can routine. For example, one impressive showdown featured a freakish club-wielding monstrosity who proceeds to pursue our heroes as they blast away while running backwards. It looked very intense, not to mention fun!

On the visual front, everything is looking quite impressive. Wow has put the Xbox to good use, creating super creepy looking monsters, and very dimly lit, disturbing environments. Obviously it's come a long way since they decided not to got the cel-shaded path, and it looks to be the scariest House of the Dead yet. I'm willing to bet this game will have you jumping out of your seat with fear as you turn a corner and see the soulless stare of a zombie and it's rotting flesh all in your face. Of course, you'll react by blasting it to pieces, which in itself is impressive, as huge chunks of zombie parts go flying every which way and bullet impressions are seen as holes through their bodies. Bad looking stuff, but in a very good way. Mood setting tempos, the blasting of gunfire and that B movie voice acting we all know and love completes the game's audio presentation. But then again, this is House of the Dead, anything else just wouldn't be right.

Final Thoughts
For the most part The House of the Dead III is shaping up to be an incredible title; featuring action-packed gameplay, lush visuals, and a zombie killing good time. The only thing really stopping it is the fact that it's such a niche' title. But if you're willing to plop down $50 for the game and another $70 for a couple light guns, this will probably be the most fun you and a friend are going to find on the Xbox. It's certainly looking like another winner from Sega, and you can expect to see it hit store shelves late next month. Just in time for Halloween!


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