House of the Dead is Sega's latest arcade to PC port,
unfortunately most of Sega's PC ports don't quite live up to
their arcade counterparts, but lets see if HOD can break the
mold. Something has gone terribly wrong in the DBR
Corporation's research facility, lab technicians are missing and
hideous monsters have taken over the compound. You play the
role of a cop and must rescue all the missing lab technicians
from the foul monsters, your only weapon your trusty handgun.
Just like Virtua Cop 2, the 3d card graphics still leave
quite a bit to be desired. There is no 3dfx or OpenGL support,
its just d3d. The background graphics look very one
dimensional and it looks like you are looking at a paper model.
The monster animation's are done nicely, the gore is realistic
and adds to the creepy atmosphere. Some of the background
art is good, but when you move around you can see how it is
one dimensional and it definitely makes the game seem stupid.
I used both a mouse and gravis game pad to play, I
found the mouse to be the most accurate. After about 15
minutes my hand was so sore I stopped playing, due to all the
clicking I had to do. The sound effects are bland, creepy organ
music and more moans and groans from the monsters would
be a nice touch.
Fun factor can only be judged on a 15 minute scale,
after that the game just gets repetitive. For the first 15 minutes I
played I had fun, but it just got boring after that. There is only
four levels, and this offers no replay value. To try and add
replay value Sega added "PC mode" and "Boss Mode" both
are pretty lame, and offer an added 5 minutes of replay value.
Multiplayer is non-existent, except at the same computer,
making the replay value even less.
I'll admit this game is fun for a little while, but after a
couple levels it just goes downhill. I can't see why anyone
would buy this game, there is NO replay value at all. Once you
beat the game there isn't much else to do, I beat the game in
28 minutes on easy level. Basically you move from screen to
screen and shoot whatever comes at you, that's all there is to
it. To top it all off the bosses are extremely lame and do the
same actions over and over. Another complaint, why isn't there
any different guns? Shotguns, ak47's, grenade launchers and a
nice glock 9 would have really helped this game. In my
humble opinion House of the Dead doesn't break the crappy
Sega arcade to PC mold.
Oh joy, another title from Sega's arcade hits finally graces its
presence onto the PC. This time its another shooter like the
Virtua Cop series, but with a horror theme behind it, and also
much harder. If you've never seen this game before in arcades
or never bother to go to a video arcade, then you're missing
out. The story behind House of The Dead is that a laboratory
has been overun by hideous monsters, and you must take them
out. What made House of the Dead popular was the fact you
usually had to kill each enemy with multiple shots instead of
just the usual one shot and they're dead theme behind most
shooters. You are also given the ability to choose multiple
paths during the game, depending on what you did on split
Graphics: [17 / 20]
Sega finally gets it right. Instead of having to wait months for
a Direct 3D patch to come out, the game already has it already
incorporated. With this implemented, everything is just
beautiful. The game's engine uses a new polygon based
engine that seems to be in the beta stage, so at times some
things are kind of disfigured and doesn't have the fluid, life-like
movement as other previous shooters, but this problem was
noticeable in the arcade version too. It seemed almost exactly
like the arcade version visually. The cutscenes that are all
throughout the game were also ported over from the arcade
version, so you would know what the story was behind the
game, and how it would progress through the game. The only
problem is, at split seconds it would clip in minor parts of the
game, and the blood factor seemed to of been toned down
compared to the arcade, which was a minor setback.
Sound: [12 / 15]
The game has all the voices & sound effects, but no music is
available. The only small problem during the game was that at
times, the speech during cutscenes would scratch out of my
computer speakers. Everything else from the arcade version
was ported over perfectly, from the grunts of the monsters to
the screams of the staff.
Gameplay: [21 / 25]
The game uses the same mouse point, click, shoot method
that other PC shooters have used in the past. While the
accuracy of the game was not 100% (maybe its time for a new
mouse), it was still fun to use. It's rather easy to grasp, and you
can even configure the game to have it auto-reload for you.
Fun Factor: [17 / 20]
The game is meant to be fast paced, and it never seems to
slow down. You always have to be on your toes, because you
might turn a corner, and BAM, an enemy hits you out of
nowhere. While it does only have 4 levels in total, with the
ability to choose multiple characters in PC mode and your
choice of taking on multiple paths, gives the game a higher
replay value than other past shooters. One other option
includes taking on the boss mode and attempting to beat the
fastest time. In the past, Sega was always given bad marks for
having a low shelf life (or for you others, a low hard drive life).
Sega did implement most of the suggestions of extending the
game, it would of been nice to have random enemies through
the game instead of making the game predictable after awhile.
Multiplayer: [1 / 5]
A shooter with multiplayer? You can play House of the Dead
with one person on the mouse, the other on the keyboard, but
it was found to be cumbersome. It'd be nice to have
multiplayer via modem or net, but no one has implemented
these ideas yet.
Packaging: [5 / 5]
Overall Impressions: [8 / 10]
Overall this game is well worth a look. Any fans of the arcade
version or any action games looking for a rather decent game
should give this title a try.