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.