Subtlelty is a craft, one borne through a lifetime of observation, and knowing exactly how to do something right.
House of the Dead: Overkill - Extended Edition, on the other hand, is a game with a man named Agent G and a partner who swears every other sentence. Oh and a character named Varla Guns. Plus mutants (not zombies)! And goregasms. Yup. Played on the Playstation 3, an extended port from the publisher arrived at my doorstep, allowing me the chance to weave through rooms filled with enemies and fill them with bullets.
So, if you've ever been in an arcade in your life, the chances are good that you've heard of the rail-shooter House of the Dead series. Basically, lots of bad guys, shoot the bad guys. Some cheesy plot, over-the-top gore, and that's pretty much it. House of the Dead: Overkill embraces all this by presenting it in a gritty grindhouse, exploitation-film kind of way. Cheesy voice overs, Tarantino-esque dialogue about ramifications of the anti-feminist potroyal in the game, and really cheesy music all work together to make it feel like you're watching something out of the 70s.
The gameplay is much as you'd expect: the game leads you through rooms, throwing enemies at your infinite-bullet-laden-guns, with bosses and dialogue throughout the adventure. Agent G and Isaac Washington, a detective, work together to shoot their way through hordes of mutants (G explicitly tells Washington to not call them zombies), making wisecracks and some actually funny dialogue as they do so. New to this version of the game are a couple of missions where you take the role of Varla Guns and her stripper friend Candy Stryper (yup) as they do the same.
Through each level, there are a number of collectibles to shoot, including pages from a comic book, music, models, and cash. Cash can be used to purchase and upgrade guns, eventually making yourself a walking death machine (even moreso than before). You can also apply modifiers to levels, such as adding more mutants, dual wielding, or 'shoot the sh*t' mode, where you can bleep words in cutscenes if you can shoot them fast enough.
There's enough here to keep fans of either the genre of film of the genre of game occupied, including a Director's Cut mode which gives you different paths through the levels. It's a pretty good game, though it's instantly recognizable as a port from the Wii when you see the graphics. The character models look poorly done, and the animations are fairly unimpressive as well. Though playable with the controller, I'd recommend using a Move, as it's just not as good otherwise.
Really, if you want a rail-shooter on the PS3, you can't go wrong with this game. It's rough around the edges, but it has a nice grindhouse aesthetic, a whole lot of swearing, and hordes of mutants to shoot your way through. And really, isn't that what we all want from a rail-shooter?