E3 2011: House of the Dead: Overkill - Extended Cut

By Jeff Mattas, Jun 15, 2011 2:15pm PDT

QUICKTAKE: Back in February of 2009, the on-rails zombie-shooter, House of the Dead: Overkill, was released for the Wii. Its grindhouse presentation--complete with a film-grain effect, buckets of gore, and enough f-bombs to level a small village--made for an intense, often funny experience. House of the Dead: Overkill - Extended Cut is a high-definition reboot of the game in development for the PlayStation 3 that incorporates PlayStation Move and 3D support, as well as two new and exclusive levels.

THE DEMO: After donning my 3D glasses and grabbing a Move-equipped "Sharp Shooter" rifle, I emptied clip after clip into an infestation of zombies in a decrepit hospital, finally confronting a stringy-haired ugly called 'The Screamer.'

DETAILS: If there's one type of game that lends itself perfectly to both 3D presentation and motion controls, it's the on-rails shooter. In a game where enemies routinely pop out every conceivable location and move towards the player, the new sense of environmental depth that 3D provides really improves the experience. As one would expect, the high-definition treatment also adds a lot of nice detail to Overkill's core activity: shooting zombies in their faces. However, the game's trademark film-grain visual overlay seemed a little odd, giving the sense of peering into an old filmstrip. It just doesn't make much visual sense in 3D.

Playing the game with move controller seated in the "PlayStation Move Sharp Shooter" peripheral also proved to be the most fun way to play. Using the pump-action reload mechanic was fun (though a little odd when my character was using a pistol), and grenades could be launched easily via a below-trigger button press.

While I didn't encounter any during the demo, a "new baby mutant threat" will apparently have to be dealt with in the Extended Cut of Overkill. Trophy support and a new crossbow with explosive bolts, as well as a hardcore difficulty setting and "single weapon mode" round out the list of enhancements.

All in all, I really enjoyed my brief time with the game. Even knowing what to expect from the 3D and Move-controlled enhancements, I was still very impressed with how well they delivered.

House of the Dead: Overkill - Extended Cut is set to bring undead mayhem to PlayStation 3 on October 28, 2011.

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