The House Of The Dead 4 Review
From the arcade, to your living room.
I’m not a hardcore fan of the House of the Dead series, but I have played my fair share in the arcade, so when I saw that House of the Dead 4 was coming to the PS3 I was very interested to see how it would translate from the arcade to the console.
The House of the Dead 4 is actually a prequel, as the “story”, if you want to call it a story, falls in between the events of House of the Dead 2 and 3, with House of the Dead 2 star James Taylor, and series newbie Kate Green trying to escape an AMS building that has been overrun by Zombies and other crazy creatures. These games are about killing things with plastic guns and cheesy dialogue, not following an interesting story and House of the Dead 4 stays true to that formula. It’s mindless fun, with high scores attached to it.
Being an on-rails shooter, you can use either the PS Move Controller or a regular PS3 controller, but I would highly recommend using the Move controller as it’s far more superior in accuracy and fun. I didn’t like using the regular controller at all so I would think twice before buying this one if you don’t own PS Move, or go buy the PS Move because it’s definitely worth owning, even beyond this game. Regardless of which controller you use, you aim the cursor and fire while the game moves your character for you, shake the controller to reload and throw grenades by pressing O. You’ll also have to shake the controller to perform different actions such as opening doors and shaking off an enemy if they grab you. It controls well, and for fans of rail shooters, it’s a great addition to your console collection.
New to the series are branching pathways, which vary in difficulty and may be longer or shorter than each other. House of the Dead 4 has four different endings and based on your performance in each chapter, you’ll see a different ending. Ranking in the game is based on your accuracy, critical hits and your score on each level. House of the Dead 4 includes a combo system, which combined with head shots, ranks your kills from Good, Excellent, Amazing and Perfect. The better you do, the more points you’ll earn and the higher the rank you’ll receive at the end of each level, and if you performed well enough, you’ll be rewarded with extra lives. The four endings add to the replay value, which isn’t much as I beat the game in two hours on normal difficulty.
The game is made up of only six chapters and then two bonus chapters that are unlocked once you beat the orignal six, and all of them are fairly short, with repetitive boss battles at the end. The two bonus missions are actually from House of the Dead 4 Special, which is a massive arcade setup of two 100 Inch screens and rotating chairs. I’ve never seen it in person, with only a few locations in the entire world to feature it, so these chapters are a treat for long time House of the Dead fans that may not have played it either.
The House of the Dead 4 can be played cooperatively with a friend, but only locally. This would have been pretty cool to be able to play online, but unfortunately that is not an option with House of the Dead 4. It always bugs me when a great co-op game is local only, and House of the Dead 4 is definitely more fun to play through with a friend.
Long time House of the Dead fans and even just fans of rail shooters will enjoy this new entry in the series. It’s a ton of fun to play with the Playstation Move, but not so much with the regular controller. The lack of online co-op and the overall short length are disappointing, but if $10 for a few hours of shooting Zombies with plastic guns sounds like a good time to you, then House of the Dead 4 is your game.