Not all games are created equal. There is no disputing that there are bad games. There are quite a lot of them in fact. It is of course a blurred line on what is ‘bad’, with some disputing over various games and where they fall on the good/bad line. Then there are the especially bad games. The games designed to be bad, and in trying so, become amazing. I know this is a dangerous road to take, with films like Sharknado proving that meta bad productions aren’t always a winner. In response I propose to you: House of the Dead: Overkill: Extended Cut. The game fits into the specifically fun genre of a great-terrible game. Something that is done so crudely (perhaps on purpose) that it is endless fun. This genre isn’t always a hit, one only has to see the four Sharknado films to see this, but House of the Dead pulls it off effortlessly. This marvel of a game is perhaps one of the most entertaining in recent years. It genre hops, breaks the fourth wall, makes endless puns and even talks about feminism in gaming. The game is all over the place and that is what makes it great. It is so aware that it is nothing, it becomes everything.
Presented merely as an arcade type shooter, all the standard elements are there, the fixed POV view, the endless ammo, the mutant apocalypse, and two characters unexplainably sharing one pair of eyes. Due to it being the style it is, the game is very simple. Each mission is a standard walk through a certain building or area, killing the undead until a final, grotesque, boss battle. This description of the game may make it sound like the game is a standard B list game, maybe even a C list in some cases.
The developers, Headstrong Games, have, however, leaned into the troupe with all their force behind it. Thus giving a great double meaning to the word ‘Overkill’. The kills can be intensified, the creatures are parodies of themselves, and the script is beyond comical. The game is perhaps the funniest I have played in years, with the constant shouting – both from the game, and my housemate and I. Thus, I implore everyone to go out and play this game, or any other game that is so awful it is great. All games are not created equal, as all games are not equal. Like many of the terrible-great games, HOTDOEC is not equal in many regards to the critically acclaimed games, but it is equally enjoyable.