Overkill brimming with potential, campy humor

Two nurses, their white scrubs dripping with blood, operate on a decimated body in the distance.

As you approach, an exaggerated voice breaks the silence.

“Your symptoms: cold sweats. Irregular heartbeat. Anxiety,” says the voice. “The diagnosis: bleeding horror that cuts like a scalpel to the heart. There is only one cure.”

“A white-hot bullet to the brain.”

So begins the early demo build of House of the Dead: Overkill, SEGA’s latest masterpiece of the macabre. IGN went hands-on with the game this week and posted a set of promising impressions.

It’s clear that this is still very much a work in progress. The characters animate a little stiffly and some of the camera transitions seem a little unrefined. But the zombie designs look fantastic. Not only are they gruesome, but they sport decidedly crisp skinning. The game runs in 480p/16:9 modes with a fluidity that hovers around 30 frames per second, and you’d have to be as cold and dead as the zombies you blow holes through to ignore the ridiculously over-baked, hammy comedic elements, which work very well within this universe.

Overkill is a new entry in the House of the Dead series. Developed exclusively for Wii developed by Headstrong Games, part of Battalion Wars developer Kuju Entertainment, it has a Q1 2009 release date.