The House of the Dead 4 Hands-On with Full Demo Playthrough

The House of the Dead has been around for roughly 15 years and still to this day, is a ton of fun to just pop-in for mindless, zombie shooting action. While previous iterations were released on home consoles, The House of the Dead 4 never saw the light of day on systems. Thankfully, SEGA has decided to finally port it over to the PS3 with PS Move integration, providing players with a similar experience to that of the arcade version, especially if you have the PS Move Sharpshooter peripheral.

Upon starting the demo, you’ll take control of James Taylor, the protagonist from HotD 2, or Kate Green, who’s new to the franchise. Interestingly, James’ voice acting is just as laughably mundane here as it was back in HotD 2…which means you should prepare to laugh your ass off when you hear his lines. Normally, this would be a bad thing but you can’t help but feel nostalgic when you hear the “so bad, it’s good” voice acting. The demo allows you to tinker with the game settings, including how much life you want, the amount of credits and the difficulty. After calibrating the PS Move controller, I was ready to mow down zombies with the series’ new machine gun. Previously, we used pistols in the first two installments and a shotgun in HotD 3. The zombies take a good amount of bullets to go down though so you won’t be mowing them down instantly with each shot.

In terms of gameplay mechanics, it’s still the same HotD formula we’ve come to love over the years. Move forward, blast all the zombies, move forward some more, blast more zombies, rinse, lather and repeat. Aside from the new weapon you’ll be wielding, one extra mechanic they have added was the ability to shake off enemies that grab onto you, ala Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles/Darkside Chronicles. This is certainly a very welcome addition as it leads to less cheap shots at you and gives you some defense. Additionally, you can also toss grenades, which certainly help clear the screen of enemies when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Visually, the game looks pretty average, more like a game from the start of this generation. Although, the game still retains its signature 60 fps that was every installment beforehand. The soundtrack consists mainly of techno style music and fit the game pretty well. From what was heard so far, it’s nothing amazing, but certainly a bump up from the previous installments…granted, the boss music from HotD 2 was really catchy.

The demo is quite brief, but when the full game releases next week for the mere price of $9.99 ($6.99 for PS+ members), fans of the series or any light gun rail-shooters may want to pick this up. Check out the gameplay video I captured of the entire demo below!