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Gory and exciting on-rails shooter
While this adaptation of Sega's classic arcade light gun-based shooter may lack the sheer visceral thrills of gunning down endless swathes of mindless zombies with a plastic piece of heavy duty weaponry, it remains an immensely enjoyable slice of action gaming. It is the first in a successful series which mixed the undead slaying of Resident Evil with the intense blasting of classics like Operation Wolf, and which brought the on-rails shooter to a whole new level. The plot revolves around the kind of conspiracy that Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine regularly find themselves involved in with the Resident Evil games, with mad scientists, spooky mansions and of course hordes of shambling zombies. As Agents Thomas Rogan (and G in the two player mode), players must enter the mansion and other assorted environments with the aim of ending this nightmare, which basically means putting copious amounts of bullets in everything that moves. A neat feature of the game is the inclusion of several choices at certain points which impact on the route taken through the mansion and which increase the replay value. House of the Dead is a generally excellent conversion of the arcade original. It is of course lacking in depth or complexity, but more than makes up for it with its sheer outrageous and over-the-tops thrills. Blasting zombies with a mouse is not quite so satisfying as with the original's fake pistol, but it is still immensely entertaining. The graphics are decent with plenty of blood and guts, the controls are tight and responsive and the dialogue is cheesy in classic B-movie fashion, so in House of the Dead, you have all you need for a great night of action gaming. Check out the sequel House of the Dead 2 for more of the same.
On rails shooter that marked a generation
The House of Dead is the definitive on rails shooter for the DOS platforms. It has an interesting, zombie infested story to tell, it uses many of the tricks that make fast paced, scary rail shooters fun, and it is highly replayable. Along with Virtua Cop it created interest and focus on this genre that was much more well seen in arcades. The style of gameplay is very simple. You will be moved automatically through each level, and your controls will be minimized in terms of interactivity options to aiming and recharging your pistols, shotguns, and other guns as well as ask of you to make sure you are never caught off-guard. From this respect, the spawning and the way the enemies corner you, the game would sure love to take you by surprise, but, at the same time, it also asks of you to stay on your feet and learn where the enemies will come from next. The high score and the simplicity of the design is what will make you return time and again to the game. With great graphics, reminiscent of early 3D but good enough, you will have a trip back in time, and an adventure to remember. I highly recommend you play this on rails jewel.