House Of The Dead 4 ReviewApril 26, 2012
Sega is doing a grand job of bringing back the nostalgia factor of arcade games. They’ve recently re-released classics such as Daytona USA and House Of The Dead 3 in HD. This month, they’ve brought back House Of The Dead 4, a game that was only released in arcades in 2006. No one in America has been to an arcade since the late 90’s, so this game is brand new to us.
House Of The Dead 4 is a sequel to House Of The Dead 3, but actually takes place between HOTD 2 and 3. That might be a bit confusing to some, but the idea is still the same: shoot everything that moves, as quickly as possible. Gamers weaned on next-gen consoles may scoff at such simplicity, but there’s a reason these games were so hot in the 90s- they’re fun as hell. Especially when played with a friend, and the PlayStation Move, you really get to relive the arcade experience. As with HOTD 3, drop in/ drop out local play is supported, but there’s still no online play, which is pretty disappointing.
The gameplay is pitch-perfect, and once you calibrate your PlayStation Move controllers, it works flawlessly. It should be noted that I played with the PlayStation Sharp Shooter, which makes for an even cooler arcade-like experience. House Of The Dead 4 gives you the ability to play with a standard DualShock, but honestly, that’s not a very sexy option.
House Of The Dead 4 throws a few minor curve balls at the player. This time around, the zombies will get in close and jump at you, and you’ll frequently need to shake the controller to throw them off of you. Not only that, but in this game you need to shake the controller just to reload, which is very often. I have no idea why Sega didn’t map reload to a button, as shaking the controller as much as I did on my playthrough is not only annoying and tiring, but honestly, can’t be good for the controller. I would’ve preferred the usual shoot-off-screen method (which I actually tried when I first started playing). The Sharp Shooter’s pump action reload is supported, though, but playing with the standard Move was very tiring. In HOTD 3, the Move button could be pressed to reload, but in 4, this button throws grenades, which is a cool idea, but reloading is the much more prevalent command. There isn’t even an option to remap it.
While the voice acting is, predictably, awesomely awful, the graphics in House Of The Dead 4 are much improved compared to HOTD 3. The shooting mechanics work just as well (minus the aforementioned reloading issues), so if you have to choose which port to spend your hard-earned money in your PlayStation Wallet on, go for House Of The Dead 4. Anyone who had fun blasting baddies in the arcades with light guns can easily justify this purchase.