Sega's iconic light gun arcade game is back with The House of the Dead: Remake but does it cut the mustard? Reload and let's find out.
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A light gun legend
I consider myself a connoisseur of light gun games with a collection ranging from NES and Master System classics to PlayStation oddities like Vampire Night and Elemental Gearbolt. I have my fair share of The House of the Dead games as well with The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return on Wii, The House of the Dead III and 4 for PlayStation 3 with a couple of Move guns, and the ridiculous The House of the Dead Overkill: Extended Cut complete with 3D glasses which makes it even more radical, dude. So, I hoped that The House of the Dead: Remake lived up to these titles. Now that I've played it, I must say that it definitely doesn't but it's still a lot of fun to play. v1d30chumz 3-235-186-94
More of a fan game
If I were to describe The House of the Dead: Remake as briefly as possible, I'd say that it feels more like a fan-made game than a faithful remake. However, that isn't necessarily a bad thing because there have been many fan-made games that actually ended up being more enjoyable than the games they were trying to emulate. In this case, the magic of the original titles is mostly missing but there's still a lot of mindless zombie-slaying fun to be had. Specifically, everything comes across as more in-your-face as opposed to giving the impression that you're playing a role in a B-movie which is something that I've always loved about The House of the Dead series.
You can play The House of the Dead: Remake via button or motion controls with the latter being far more immersive. I particularly enjoyed pointing the Pro Controller around as I tapped ZR to shoot and ZL to reload. With that being said, the aiming frequently shifted thus forcing me to recalibrate often which took a lot away from the overall experience. Also, you can reload with virtually no downtime or repercussions so I found myself tapping ZL almost as often as ZR in order to keep my gun topped-up which just felt weird.
As I mentioned, The House of the Dead: Remake is missing the magic of the original but it still boasts an over-the-top setting that makes blasting zombies fun. The zombie designs are threatening so it's satisfying shooting their limbs and heads off and watching their corpses turn into ooze is pretty cool, too. Meanwhile, the audio is well-accomplished with gratifying effects and the new soundtrack is okay even though it merely echoes the original's vibes without actually reinterpreting any of the tunes. Were there licensing issues or something? Whatever the case, it may be a far cry from the first game but The House of the Dead: Remake still looks and sounds good.
I always love exploring the multiple paths in The House of the Dead games and this title features plenty of them so whenever you bite the dust, it's great that you can have a slightly different experience the next time you play through. It may not be as fun as the sequels but I found that replaying in order to discover more routes, unlock achievements, and fill out the gallery of defeated enemies to be a rewarding endeavour nonetheless. As you hone your skills and sharpen your reflexes, making it further and further in the campaign is satisfying stuff that any light gun fan will enjoy and unlocking more goodies at each attempt adds even more reward to the process.
I enjoyed my time with The House of the Dead: Remake but it's certainly not as fun as the classic games. It does a lot of things exceptionally well while failing at others so it ends up feeling more like a fan-made adaptation than a true remake.
- + Over-the-top light gun action that thoroughly tests your reflexes
- + Presentation is mostly well-done
- + Enjoyable replay incentives
- - Plenty of frustrating moments with various control problems
- - Magic of the original is missing
- - Simply not as fun as the sequels