The House of the Dead is a shoot em up game that uses a light gun in the arcades but mouse in the PC edition. The story is based around the disappearance of experimental subjects created by an eminent scientist Dr Roy Curien, along with two AMS agents who are assigned to find them. Curien has become quite mad so producing all kinds of weird and dangerous characters. The characters have been released into the general population so our agents have their job cut out for them.
The game begins as the agents meet a dying man who gives them vital information about the doctors creations plus their points of weakness. The couple will face many enemies or opponents along their journey including The Chariot an undead sword carrying foe, The Hanged Man an ugly vampire bat like entity, a massive spider called The Hermit plus Curien’s piece de resistance The Magician whose mastery of all things fire related is awesome.
The ironic thing is The Magician is the creature that eventually destroys his creator leaving the agents to embark on their last final heroic battle to destroy it. One superb feature is the players ability to change the ending of this narrative. At the start of the game Sophie who is the fiancée of one of the agents gets kidnapped and is badly wounded by one of the creatures. You have the choice to have Sophie come back recovered safe and sound or to have her turned into one of the undead creatures, its all good fun.
The player faces all kinds of obstacles while also completing missions in The House of the Dead. As an example of how your actions will determine how the game progresses, at the start of the game a citizen is about to be thrown over a bridge. It is up to you to save or not save him. If you save him you get to go into the house the easy way via the front door. If you don’t you have to go in via the sewers then work your way up. There are other civilians to save so depending on how many you do save you will gain bonuses plus extra lives near the end of the game.
Of course the game is awash with zombies so fans of this genre will love this one. In parts it is very violent but not so that it scares you half to death it is more in a fantasy sort of way making it suited to adults and even young teens alike. I like the graphics they are quite atmospheric and well drawn with scary looking zombies plus heroic looking characters that are believable. The sound effects are fairly gruesome and entertaining giving the piece credulity along with good voice overs and musical accompaniment.
House of the Dead is a good start to what looks like being a great series of games for PC so I look forward to playing the next follow up with enthusiasm and anticipation.