The House of The Dead Remake is a reimagining of the classic game with the same name from 1996. While we will never get a PC release of the original game due to Sega losing the code, this is possibly the best way for everyone to experience the game. Unless you emulate it, are lucky enough for your arcade to have it, or you can spend thousands of dollars to get a cabinet to go and play the game.
I myself have never played the original but there was a cabinet that was at the arcade where I live. To this day, it’s one of the biggest regrets in my life for not experiencing the classic - I did watch a few lets plays on the game, however. One thing I should note is that while I do like some of the changes present in the remake, I do have a few issues with them that I will explain later on in the review.
Also, this is the only The House of The Dead title in the mainline games to actually take place in a house rather than a city.
Pros and Cons
- Cheesy voice acting that the game is known for
- The classic House of The Dead gameplay
- Multiple paths for you to take at each level
- Lots of collectibles for you to find in the four levels
- Beautiful graphics on each and every level
- The soundtrack is merely ok for the most part
- Some of the enemy models looked better in the original release
- The price is a little too high for the amount of content present
Dr. Curien has gone into insanity in his pursuit of life and death and unleashes biologically engineered creatures on his staff at the Curien Mansion. Two days later, after getting a distress call from Sophie Richards, AMS agent Tomas Rogan decides to go to the creature-infested mansion.
The story is rather simple and straightforward, nothing has changed from the 1996 version, and everything remains the same. There is nothing to really talk about in terms of story as it’s quite short, fitting for an arcade release. The cheesy voice acting is there, although while they are still good I am a bit more used to Curien’s and Hangedman’s voices from the original.
The House of The Dead is an on-rail shooter, you follow a straight path where you will have to shoot zombies and save scientists. Saving scientists will reward you with points and sometimes a health kit, be careful however, if shot, your health will go down by one tick. Your score will determine the ending you get after a run, with a total of three endings to get. At the end of each level you will fight a boss, each having a weak point that the game will show you, with the exception of the final boss won't show you its weak point.
There are a ton of collectibles for you to find throughout the levels that will help increase your score. If you save all of the scientists in a level, you can unlock a different weapon to use, however, you must find these weapons in the levels, which require you to replay the game. Although in my opinion, I go the classic route and only use the pistol to fight my way through the mansion.
There is also a Horde mode that you can play which will increase the number of enemies that you will encounter. There are few different difficulty options you can choose, such as playing the game on the original arcade difficulty.
There are multiple paths that you can take throughout the game, these will have different enemies for you to face and different scientists for you to save. The story does not change when taking these different routes, but they have their own interesting ways of going through it all.
The original House of The Dead had one of the best soundtracks that I have heard in gaming history, and I was hoping to get something that was just as good and updated. However, that was not the case here. We got entirely new music for the levels that do make nods to the original in a few ways. Although I can’t fault the devs on this one with the little research I did, it turns out the reason the original soundtrack was not included appears to be unknown but I assume it was due to legal issues.
My overall thoughts on the whole soundtrack are that it’s ok for the most part. It will never beat the original and I do wish that it was included but oh well.
Here is the difference between both soundtracks:
Graphics and Performance
The House of The Dead Remake has a very beautiful aesthetic capturing the gothic horror theme very well. Although I should note that the game had a much better graphical feel in the arcade version than what we get here. This also applies to some of the enemy models that simply had better designs. With this said, the designs provided here do have charm and still look good.
The game ran fine for me, but I did hear of some performance issues that others have experienced. I may have come across something when I recorded my video on it but I have yet to confirm this.
Here is the original intro of the game, the remake has an ok one but it will never capture the feel from the arcade one.
I am not going to lie here, I had low exceptions on this remake, as the original did a great job at what it accomplished. However, I am glad that I am wrong, somewhat. While I do have a few issues with this remake, it’s not entirely the game's fault or even the dev team's. I do recommend buying this game but maybe wait for a sale. While the nostalgia factor is there, you only get about 30 mins of gameplay out of this title. To me, that’s not worth the asking price of 29.99 CDN, a 50% off sale would be perfect for the game to go and pick it up though.
I have heard that the sequel The House of The Dead 2 will also be remastered as well and by the time of my writing, it’s apparently halfway done. I’ll definitely try that game out when it releases.
If you want to see a look into how the game is played, then check out the video I made, note that there may be some performance issues from the game in my video.