The House of the Dead: Remake
By Joey Thurmond,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Arcade shooter is decent but dated with violent graphics.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Task is to save innocent people from a zombie-infested mansion and prevent a mad scientist from unleashing his creations upon the world. Game has a handful of characters, but story is nonexistent. Game exists for sole purpose of pumping lead into the undead.
Positive Role Models
Both heroes aim to save civilians and save the world, but these are threadbare motives for characters with little to no personalities of their own.
Two White male protagonists with one "damsel in distress," but she isn't sexualized or a focus of the game. The scientists the player saves are an even mix of men and women. No other ethnicities present.
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Ease of Play
Several options for aiming, which is the core mechanic of the game. You can use the gyro (motion controls) or analog stick, but using either alone is frustrating for maintaining accuracy. Camera sweeps and jerks are meant to throw players off target often, yet controls could be more refined. A mix of the two options is best. Once you adjust the sensitivity options to your liking, this is a straightforward game to pick up and play.
Violence & Scariness
Players storm through halls of a mansion and shoot hundreds of zombies, which have grotesque features like boils and exposed flesh. Limbs and heads go flying or explode upon impact with bullets, so chunks of meat, sprays of blood, and gory stumps are commonly seen. Players can also accidentally kill the innocent scientists or see them be bitten by zombies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some character models have exposed butts that are noticeable in the character model viewer. But since zombies will be facing you most of the time and die quickly, this is a non-issue.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine and beer bottles visible in the environment, but no characters drink or are shown drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The House of the Dead: Remake is an arcade first-person shooter available for digital download on the Nintendo Switch online store. The game has an incredibly simple premise of an agent invited to the estate of a mad scientist who has created a zombie horde to unleash on the world, and the player must stop him before it's too late. There's a lot of violence in this game. Zombies have gross injuries and mutilated flesh, which players destroy even further by blowing limbs off and exploding heads with bullets. The violence is semi-photorealistic, less disturbing and more comical in tone. Players can accidentally kill human scientists or not be in time to save them from zombie bites.
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The House of the Dead: Remake
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What’s It About?
In HOUSE OF THE DEAD: REMAKE, military agent Thomas Rogan receives a distress call from his wife, Sophie, who works at a science facility experimenting on the human genome. Upon pulling up to the complex's unusual veneer of a large mansion, he shoots his way through countless hordes of mutated humans and animals, saving what people he can along the way as he descends deeper into the mansion's horrors. The mad mastermind behind it all is Dr. Curien, and Rogan has to prevent him from unleashing his crimes against nature upon the world.
Is It Any Good?
This is a faithful re-creation of the classic arcade shooting game that boasts overhauled graphics, but the controls and textures feel outdated. In House of the Dead: Remake, gone are the blocky character models and drab environments of the 1996 version. These visuals have been upgraded with more detailed, realistic models and places with far more objects and effects. The animations of cutscenes and zombies benefit from this modern update with more personality, too. But the improvements aren't consistent, with some blurry textures and long load times. It's a shame the Switch has to compromise between details and frame rate, but this can be manipulated with the Performance mode in the settings menu. While you're there, another thing to adjust is the aiming, which can be frustrating with the touchy Joy-Con analog stick or motion controls. After enabling a mix of both and tweaking their sensitivities, it becomes a smoother experience.
Beyond that, there's not much to playing besides shooting and reloading, since movement is done for you. A single playthrough takes about 40 minutes on average, so this can be replayed to find alternative paths and secret items by shooting breakable objects (like locks and furniture) to improve your score. Developing a particular path to improve your runs can be a fun exercise, which is helped by various kinds and groups of enemies on different routes. There are a couple dozen routes total, with diverse attacks and animations that make aiming an ever changing, frantic challenge, especially when you need to withhold or guide your aim to save scientists who can give you extra lives. A new horde mode has also been added that throws in more enemies, and there are local co-op and competitive modes. But these only bring so much to a game designed for the arcade. House of the Dead: Remake is a decently fine re-creation of the original that's worth playing a few times over, but repetition will also quickly set in.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about grave accidents that can happen in dangerous scenarios. Sometimes, innocent people get hurt, like when the player accidentally shoots a scientist who pops around a corner or gets caught in the crossfire. When you make serious mistakes, how can you not only move on from them, but try to learn from them?
Tools like guns are incredibly dangerous and require a lot of responsibility and safety to use, and this applies to other things that you learn to use every day, like knives, lawnmowers, and cars. How can you be more mindful and safe with objects like these?
- Platform: Nintendo Switch
- Pricing structure: Paid ($24.99.)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Forever Entertainment
- Release date: April 7, 2022
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, Violence
- Last updated: May 6, 2022
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