If there is any type of game that should work well with a Move controller, its an ’on-rails’ shooter; you can’t really go too far wrong. House of the Dead III has been ported to the Playstation 3, and with it comes complete Move support. It isn’t essential, but the game plays a lot better with it. I would go as far as to say that you shouldn’t even bother if you don’t have Move.
The game is a step-by-step conversion of the 2002 arcade game. You play as either Lisa Rogan, daughter of the previous games’ Thomas Rogan, or ’G’ , Thomas’ partner. The game continues where HotD II left off, with Lisa and G searching for Thomas in Dr. Curien’s facility, whilst trying to solve the mystery of the Curien Mansion. The story, acting and dialogue is terrible, falling in line with this type of arcade game from the early 2000’s. The real joy comes from laughing out loud at it all.
You are armed with the standard shotgun, which will be needed to dispatch the hordes of the undead and disfigured. The cursor on screen will follow your movements, and a simple press of the trigger will unleash your firepower. Your gun will auto load when empty, or you can press one of the face buttons of the Move controller to manually reload. You can also keep your finger on the trigger to use auto-fire. The variety of Zombies is pretty slim; big zombies, fat zombies, zombies armed with chainsaws. There even appears to be ninja zombies. You can also add some boss battle zombies to that list. These follow the ’rinse and repeat’ style of combat.
The game allows you to choose which floors you want to search and, in some cases, which direction to go. This branching means that different choices result in different endings. You can also miss out on areas if you take certain paths, which does promote multiple playthroughs, adding a little extra life to the game.
Unfortunately, there is little in the way of content with House of the Dead, with just two game modes and an Online Ranking mode. The two game modes are Survival, where you play the game normally and Time Attack, which is similar, but needs each level to be completed within a time limit. There are lots of options for each mode, though; difficulty, number of lives and number of continues, allowing you to customize the game to your own liking. The game is also incredibly short; you can get through it under 30 minutes. Upping the difficulty will add some length to that, but the game will become more frustrating. It is easy to remember that this is a port of an arcade machine; you can imagine how many quarters you would get through trying to reach the end.
One thing that has come over from the arcade version is the two-player option. With two Move controllers, you and a friend can blast the night away. This is the best way to play this game, shooting zombies and laughing at the story is an experience best shared. The port itself is pretty poor, it may have been upscaled to look good on HDTV’s, but SEGA didn’t even bother stretching the game screen out, which makes you wonder why they bothered doing anything with it at all!.
It is hard to really recommend House of the Dead III. The Move controls may be great, but the game seems irrelevant in the current landscape, bringing nothing new to the franchise, genre or console. For those looking for a nostalgia trip, there is a little bit of fun to be found, and the game is far from broken. If you do decide to pick it up, I recommend you play it with a few beers and a friend.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.