I first played this at an amusement arcade in Majorca. One of those big things with a rear projector screen and the cheapo plastic guns. I must have spent a fortune on it with my brother. Although very much an "on the rails" shooter the points within the game in which you can alter the course you play are quite tricky to master... for instance right at the start of the first level where you have to shoot a monster thatís carrying a hostage; hit the monster and go the easy way, miss and go the hard way... or hit the hostage and lose a life!
Following my trip to Majorca I went out and bought this for PC. Although a lot easier than the arcade version it kept me playing till the end. And it does get rather tricky. I quite like the on-the-rails shooters (Iíve just got Resident Evil Umbrella chronicles for wii and love it) and HOTD certainly has a place in my heart as my first!
The graphics for the time were really something, although the level of gore means it aint for kiddies! Itís the first game I can remember where it mattered where you hit the zombies. Headshots are always a good start. LOL.
The game is divided into chapters which are ended by the level guardian. Each guardian has a specific weak spot which you have to keep hitting to kill him. Although the baddies do get tougher through the game, once youíve got the weak spot just right he doesnít stand a chance and barely gets a blow in. Although not a huge array of enemies is in this game, the ones that are, are quite well weighted. The fat guys that chuck barrels, the big guys that take quite a few hits, the monkeys that are pretty fast and the green slug things that are small and tough to hit. You do of course still have the essential "normal" zombie also.
If I'm honest once I completed this game I donít think I ever really played it again. Although I think that can be said for most games that arenít of the new online-multiplayer ilk. If youíve never played it or like zombie shooters like resident evil or on-rails blasters like virtua cop. You will love this. Itís a true classic. Itís definitely not for the squeamish though.
Summary: A classic. Outside the arcade it is not done justice but as the arcade versions are few and far nowadays I'd settle for the download.
Written by: ~dorento1
For people who have never heard of this game, The House of the Dead is a first-person shooter where the main character is attempting to storm through a mansion populated by the undead and a few other bio-engineered nightmares as well.
The game-play is quite original, with a realistic zombie damage system where the location of your shots determine how quickly your targets fall and a "hostage" situation where one must rescue the various fool hearty scientists who are attempting to avoid being eaten by their creations. Also, the variety of enemies is rather good and keeps the player on his or her toes. Lastly, there are a wide variety of paths one can take in the game, depending on what actions the player takes (i.e. who or what the player shoots). All in all, a very solid game that is worth an attempt at a PC port.
For those who miss the arcade version, this is a solid PC port of Sega's classic shoot them up. The graphics and paths are identical as far as I can tell, which is certainly a good thing. The varying paths that the player can take keep the game fresh for quite a long time. There are a multitude of options for just the arcade mode alone, such as number of lives, auto reload, etc. Also, there are several new modes for the computer version, such as boss mode, where one can choose which boss to fight or simply take them all on sequentially.
The "PC Mode" is worth mentioning here as well. In it, you have the chance to choose from several different characters, each with his or her own gun capacities, bullet damage levels, and reload times. You can even choose to be one of the female scientists that you are always bailing out of trouble in the original, or the infamous pseudo-love interest Sophie. Unfortunately, these don't change the cut scenes between the levels, where the same generic main character says the same lines again and again. Still, it's an interesting spin on the original.
In short, I highly recommend The House of the Dead in general, and this PC port is no different. The game-play and graphics are as solid as the first. If you can get your hands on it, definitely do so. It's always wise to train yourself for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Written by: ~dorento1