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of the Dead III
Score: 7.8 / 10
When I first load up a game, I always spend
the first half-hour or so exploring the menus, the extras and various
options. One extra included with House of the Dead III (HotD3) is an
extensive look at the upcoming House of the Dead movie.
Throughout the clip, I couldn’t help cringing and emitting an “Oh my!”
as the “Coming in 2003” flashed on the screen. If the clip is anything
to go by, the whole videogame to movie curse will continue – and in the
goriest way possible. I’ve never seen so many exploding heads in my
life! Although some of the action looks slick, the acting seems suspect.
Ron Howard’s brother, who hasn’t had a good role since Tex Murphy:
Overseer, makes an appearance along with some wu-whooooo! women blasting
the sweet potatoes out of a veritable army of rotting corpses. Plot?
They shoot zombies – lots and lots of
zombies – sometimes in slow motion, sometimes at full speed. And things
explode. Lots of explosions. Boom! Boom!
Basically, it looks to confirm yet again that movies based on
videogames, are hit and miss, miss, miss at the best of times. Anyway,
that’s one of the extras on the disc…
HotD3 is the best-looking
House of the Dead game to date. It’s cartoony, gory, and downright
gorgeous. And there’s never a hint of slowdown – the animation is
fantastic. Part of this is the predefined pathway. Essentially, you’re
on a rail and you simply blast away using the on-screen reticule to aim.
This is the cause of some repetition even though there are multiple
pathways to take though a given area.
Control is pretty darn good with the basic controller. It takes about
all of five minutes to get a complete handle on how everything works. (I
have no idea how it plays with the Blaster since Armchair Empire was
unable to wrangle a unit from MadCatz.)
And although the gameplay is simple and to the point – shoot zombies
before they get you – it’s hard to put down, especially when playing
with a partner. Blasting zombies is a timeless pastime. The upside is
that you don’t have to really think, you simply react, which can be
quite relaxing after long days at the office. The downside is that those
looking for a deep, involving gaming experience will probably be
disappointed, but even before opening the package you should be able to
discern that deep and complex gameplay isn’t what HotD3 is showcasing.
HotD3 is actually a two-in-one package. House of the Dead II can be
unlocked for even more zombie killing fun – just in case you didn’t get
enough playing through HotD3.
Before closing I should probably pay some lip service to the audio (like
every other review you read). It’s excellent. And even though it’s a
comic book cliché, “Nuff said.”
If you’re looking for beautiful non-stop zombie killing, you can’t do
better than House of the Dead III!