Game Over Online ~ House of the Dead

GameOver Game Reviews - House of the Dead (c) Sega PC, Reviewed by - Prolix / Prodigy /

Game & Publisher House of the Dead (c) Sega PC
System Requirements P133, 16MB Ram, 2x CD-ROM, SVGA (3D Supported)
Overall Rating 67%
Date Published Friday, June 12th, 1998 at 04:40 PM

Divider Left By: Prolix Divider Right

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.


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Divider Left By: Prodigy Divider Right

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 second decisions.

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.


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