• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Feb 10, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 65
  2. Negative: 0 out of 65
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  1. In all seriousness, this game is exactly what Wii owners need. It’s fun, funny, violent and tuned right in to the sensibilities of the hardcore. If you love bad B-movies, and you like shooting things, this is a total no-brainer – no pun intended.
  2. The game is clichéd, entertaining and best of all a blast to play which has truly moved this franchise to the next level.
  3. Unlike Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles, Overkill doesn't take itself remotely seriously. It harkens back to an age of entertainment that, if not more innocent, was a lot more honest. This is good, dirty fun.
  4. Overkill is the most offensive, outrageous game we've played and we love it. Mature lightgun fans need this.
  5. A game that is fun to play from beginning to end and will have you laughing during the whole thing which shall hopefully show that the Wii isn’t just for children.
  6. 90
    The first game in SEGA's early 2009 Wii onslaught is a resounding success.
  7. An absurd, playful, arcade-like experience.
  8. The blaster to own on the Wii, utter grindhouse perfection.
  9. This is the perfect evolution for a series that needed a new direction. The always fun gameplay hasn’t been altered at all, but the style is a very definite change for the better. Veterans of the series may find the more casual friendly focus of the main story mode to be a bit off-putting, but patience will pay off, as the more hardcore focused Director’s Cut is every bit as satisfying as the previous House of the Dead games and twice as ridiculous, which is by no means a bad thing.
  10. The House of the Dead: Overkill is a peculiar game. Although it has exorbitant errors, they point out the game's style. However, they're there and there's a difference between "poetic license" and laziness. One thing for sure: Overkill is one of the best games for the Wii lately because it exudes the feel it wishes to express.
  11. Headstrong has blown a breath of fresh air into a series that was toying with stagnation. Not only is Overkill fun to play, but it's also obvious that the developers had fun making it.
  12. The star of The House of the Dead: Overkill is the unabashed writing, which finds gold in spoofing the genre with a brazen effectiveness. The parade of F-bombs and one-liners fit in perfect harmony with the grindhouse presentation. Tarantino fans shouldn’t miss this clever, curse-heavy shooter.
  13. 85
    I haven't had this much fun with a House of the Dead title since House of the Dead 2 on the Sega Dreamcast.
  14. 83
    The House of the Dead: Overkill blends some great gameplay with an impressive style, some great humor, and enough violence and vulgarity to confuse the hell out of soccer moms looking for a new Sims game or Petz title. I wouldn’t put the overall production value or difficulty up there with WoW’s offerings just yet, but for a relaunch of the series on Wii, Overkill is off to a very nice start.
  15. All together I really enjoyed The House of the Dead: Overkill, and while it does have a few technical issues that hold it back from being a great shooter, it's still a really solid attempt at making a console exclusive game out of a series that's always been more at home in the arcade.
  16. House of the Dead: Overkill is a game, which will fascinate shooter-fans with lots of gory action and cineastes with good humor and coolness. Sadly, the game seems a bit short with about three hour of playtime.
  17. Games Master UK
    A gleeful slice of adult gaming. [Mar 2009, p.66]
  18. House of the Dead: Overkill offers an impressive package of content that most light-gun games on the Wii fail to provide, especially with two campaigns to play through by yourself or with a friend.
  19. Nintendo Gamer
    Scratch one up for the 'hardcore.' [Apr 2009, p.52]
  20. This third-party on-rails shooter really nails the genre. The Grindhouse look and feel melds well with the House of the Dead franchise.
  21. House of the Dead: Overkill may be a bit short on content but it more than makes up for it by achieving exactly what it set out to do, supplying a gruesome blood splattered shoot’em up, with its tongue firmly in its rotted cheek. Now if only I could import some of the other Wii characters in to replace the mutants.
  22. Incredibly for such a simple and strictly limited game, it almost never tries your patience, and it's made with such infectious and irreverent glee and such obvious pride, you can't help but join in.
  23. Nintendo Power
    One of the Wii's greatest guilty pleasures. With buckets of gore and language that would make a sailor blush, Overkill definitely earns its M rating. But pumping zombies full of hot lead has rarely been so much fun. [Mar 2009, p.87]
  24. It’s difficult to be too nitpicky about one of the most flat-out entertaining games of recent times. Overkill resurrects an old franchise as anything but a shambling corpse, and raises the bar for third party production values on this generation’s best-selling console. [Mar 2009, p.89]
  25. A very entertaining game that'll have you sniggering and giggling from start to finish. The main campaign can be beaten in a few hours but you'll come back and play some more to earn cash for all the weapons and upgrades, as well as extra collectible goodies that lie in wait. A warning though - don't play it near anyone that doesn't find repeated use of the F word funny as f**k.
  26. As long as you're not offended by strong language and an extreme amount of blood (trust us, there's been nothing like this on any console before) Overkill should be added to your collection as soon as possible. For a lightgun shooter you'll get a great deal of time from the main campaigns, and there are plenty of unlockables and multiplayer modes to keep you coming back.
  27. Possibly, the greatest grindhouse game ever. Great sense of humour, a lot of gore and, technically, one of the best games available on the Wii. Unfortunately, it's very short, as always is the case with on-rails shooters. But, overall, it's a unique experience, and an incredible arcade game.
  28. 80
    If you want a game with rewarding, blood gushing headshots, the HOTD arcade feeling at home and a Wii game that doesn’t try to be cute or even remotely family friendly, this is a good one to pick up.
  29. 80
    It mightn't be perfect, especially in terms of challenge and basic longevity, but Overkill is a welcome rollick in the sort of shameless depravity most other consoles would blush at. Its stylish facade and rock solid core shooter mechanics packs enough visceral thrills and prude-baiting excess to keep you playing long after more respectable titles have lost their lustre.
  30. A digital slaughterhouse full of carnage that'll make you happy to be an adult Wii owner.
  31. Even though it suffers from technical flaws, The House of the Dead: Overkill offers tons of entertainment with plenty of style.
  32. 80
    House of the Dear Overkill is a very interesting game that offers direct action, without much complexity, wrapped in very cool aesthetics, which no genre fan should miss.
  33. To be honest, House of the Dead: OVERKILL exceeded our expectations. The whole Tarantino-esque vibe this game breathes is simply hilarious and the game doesn't hesitate to shove tons of curse words and gallons of blood in your face. The fact that you'll have seen most of the game within a week doesn't mean you shouldn't play it. Just clear your mind, get trigger happy.
  34. What was born in the arcades has moved to the home, and while the frights were replaced with winks, it still managed to retain all of the entertainment of the original. House of the Dead: Overkill is a must own for Wii owners looking to push a little more use out of their system.
  35. While The House of the Dead: Overkill is fun single player, multiplayer skyrockets the game.
  36. With Overkill, Headstrong has delivered an inspired resurrection of both SEGA's decaying franchise and the light gun shooter genre as a whole.
  37. 80
    It's a little rough around the edges in places, but Overkill has a barefaced charm and mischievous sense of fun that makes it impossible not to love. It's uncomplicated, old school entertainment. Just make sure you leave your sense of decency at the door when you enter this House of the Dead.
  38. It is great that Overkill has turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of the year, completely reinventing the series in the process.
  39. House of the Dead Overkill is a funny “rail-line shooter”. New settings, charismatic characters and good graphics make the game really interesting. The title also has few problems; sometimes the frame-rate drops down and the bosses are too easy to beat. Anyway, Nintendo Wii has another good shooter in its collection.
  40. After few months in witch our Wiis had been abused by girlfriends and parents, it's time to destroy our Balance Board, hide his battery and take again the Wiimote, thanks to the first big hardcore title from Sega. House of the Dead: Overkill is trash, pulp and wild. It's not only aesthetically perfect, but also a exalting gaming experience. Technically speaking the game is good, despite of some issues regarding framerate, and it's art direction is terrific. For an On Rail shooter, the game structure is very solid and consistent, and the replay value extremely high.
  41. AceGamez
    House of the Dead: Overkill is definitely something to do any day, cold and rainy or not; it's an extremely entertaining, light-hearted, pick up and play shooter.
  42. Pelit (Finland)
    A new light-gun shooter that's actually fun. The intensive and graphic splatterhouse action, the excessive violence and cussing – it's almost all good. Too bad the game becomes all too easy when you get the bigger guns. Still – way to go! [Mar 2009]
  43. House of the Dead is back from the group of series identified as dead, and Headstrong Games will be forever associated with this unimaginable recovery for adding to the game a lot of charisma and style able to generate in a short time a worship work. For now it is certainly the best "shooter" available on Wii.
  44. Double the score if you have a totally puerile sense of humour.
  45. Over all, it is one of the more enjoyable Wii games out there, certainly the most adult in its humour, and I didn't feel like an idiot playing it. I recommend it to anyone who has ever enjoyed an on-rails shooter.
  46. 80
    It takes the chassis of the light gun game and augments it with one of the most entertaining stories in years, a decent selection of unlockables, a brutally funny soundtrack and an overall level of attention to detail that is as refreshing as it is clichéd.
  47. 80
    When the last zombie limbs fall, the additional multiplayer modes are passable in the face of cooperative play in the story mode – dual wielding is great too. The only thing letting this down are the frame rate dips. This is a great single and multiplayer title, worth a rent at the very least.
  48. Overkill provides a solid light gun shooter experience with a unique and entertaining presentation to boot.
  49. The House of the Dead: Overkill isn't an epic adventure, and it actually lacks a fair bit of polish - purposely or otherwise. However, it's just the breath of putrid air the Wii needed, and in many ways it speaks to exactly what the system is all about: short bursts of great entertainment.
  50. House of the Dead: Overkill is undeniably fun. Its crude humor, non sequiturs, self-referential jabs, and brevity are practically overcome by smart level design and surprisingly deep gunplay.
  51. House of the Dead: Overkill is a great attempt to bring light gun games back from the video game graveyard, offering a unique style, entertaining scenarios, and a bit more depth than you would normally find in this type of shooter.
  52. Shots, blood, mutants and morbid humour. These are the key points of The House of the Dead: Overkill, an enjoyable videogame not too long but very interesting due to its retro visual concept. If its frame rate had been better, probably could have been the best in the SEGA zombies series.
  53. It's quick to pick up, has considerable replayability and is a much-needed dose of mature content for the Wii. However, it's extremely short, the bosses are a cake-walk and the writing is obnoxious.
  54. 75
    What gives this game its punch is the sublime grindhouse presentation, making for a hugely entertaining game experience. The gameplay is ultimately very shallow, but from the soundtrack to the dialogue to the sheer silliness of the story you'd have to be dead inside to not enjoy this.
  55. 70
    It's a solid game and should please any horror movie addict who owns a Nintendo Wii.
  56. The best lightgun game never to have seen the inside of an arcade as Headstrong outdoes Sega Japan.
  57. The House of the Dead offers a great package of humour and style. The game has turned a boring genre into a wonderful spoof with a little help of some zombies and two cheeky cops. However, keep in mind that railshooters are pretty limited in terms of gameplay and length and aiming at a sensor on top of the tv is far from ideal. Nevertheless, we still want to congratulate Sega for a job well done, in turning House of the Dead into a very funny game.
  58. We loved every minute of House of the Dead: Overkill, but that's precisely the problem, it's a game that literally is, over in minutes.
  59. In the end, how much you enjoy HotD:Overkill will have a lot more to do with how much you like horror/comedy movies, and a lot less to do with how much you like videogames.
  60. For what House of the Dead: Overkill lacks in diversity or prudence, it more than makes up for it in style and a sense of humour that dances on the boundaries of acceptability, and at times downright moves it around whilst insolently shouting “na na na na na na”.
  61. 67
    Where Overkill will truly be divisive is in the narrative: some people will love the nonsensical, fast-paced story. But, with its constant stream of expletives and toilet humor, it may turn just as many people away. And as purposefully offensive as it is, I still enjoyed the game. The dialogue is strained, and the barrage of f-bombs is played out by the second level, but there are several genuinely funny moments.
  62. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    So many zombies, so little time. Perfect shooter (though a bit short) in retro style excels in all genre clichés — zillions of enemies, shocking moments and an overall feeling of a B-horror movie. [Feb 2009]
  63. games(TM)
    The one thing really missing from Overkill is a sense of impact to your shots – certain boss fights feel more like mouse-clicking something to death than riddling it with hot lead. [Mar 2009, p.100]
  64. This is a typical on rails shooter with zombies. When you first boot up the game you're treated to a horribly disappointing first impression, but the game grows with each hour thank to weapons and level becoming a bit more interesting later on. Unfortunately the game is plagued by a healthy number of technical issues, flaws that dampen the experience severely in the long run. House of the Dead: Overkill doesn't do anything new at all, but mowing down zombies is always a hoot.
  65. An amazingly funny game. It’s not actually good, but it manages to fail in such a stylish, over-the-top way that it’s endearing all the same. Although you’ll probably have no real desire to replay the game ever again upon completion, it’s a hoot the first time through and is absolutely worth a rental.

Awards & Rankings

#16 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2009
#30 Most Shared Wii Game of 2009
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 111 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 111
  2. Negative: 3 out of 111
  1. Mar 17, 2011
    Critics said it's good. Other critics said it'd **** good. GRAPHICS: It is like bringing the arcade game home, watching it bang a grind houseCritics said it's good. Other critics said it'd **** good. GRAPHICS: It is like bringing the arcade game home, watching it bang a grind house film, then marveling at the abomination they produce 9/10. ADVENTURE: This story is **** brilliant.... as brilliant as it needs to be. 10/10 MECHANICS: So solid it'll rip your **** balls off.10/10 EXTRAS: Tell your friend he ain't ever seen this kind of crazy **** before and strap in for a few hours of Arcade on rails shooter classic minus all the damn quarters. 10/10 This game is what it is and it is all the **** way. If you like shooting zombies, cheesy horror, funk, and shooting zombies you will love this game! Full Review »
  2. Feb 3, 2014
    A great installment to the series, and personally my favourite. The final boss will have you questioning everything you have ever seen andA great installment to the series, and personally my favourite. The final boss will have you questioning everything you have ever seen and leave you confused and disturbed beyond belief. Full Review »
  3. Mar 8, 2011
    This game is just awesome. Pure on-rails shooter goodness, with a plot and dialogue that doesn't even pretend to take itself seriously, whichThis game is just awesome. Pure on-rails shooter goodness, with a plot and dialogue that doesn't even pretend to take itself seriously, which I appreciate. How many "serious" game plots have you experienced that just plain SUCKED? I appreciate a well told story, but over 90% of game stories are going to be total junk, and so I appreciate that this game didn't even try.

    If you enjoy pointing your wiimote at the tv, pretending it is a gun, this is the best Wii game you could purchase, hands down. It's not a perfect game, but it is an awesome game. I paid full price for this game when it first came out and have no regrets, and now, with used game prices much cheaper, you can't go wrong picking up this game. Unless you're easily offended - this game still holds the record for most swear words in a game. It's all for the laughs though, so if you only like games you can take "seriously", stay away from this title.
    Full Review »