One of the most iconic and my personal favourite games of the 90s has finally returned on the Nintendo Switch. Remade from the ground up for the Nintendo Switch it looks to introduce a whole new generation of gamers to the titular The House of the Dead. Released in 1997, The House of the Dead has been a mainstay franchise in gaming, despite this it has become increasingly difficult to acquire the initial entry into the franchise thanks to the loss of its original source code, thankfully this remake looks to address that.
A New Coat Of Paint
The most obvious change in this new remake is the huge visual overhaul, the folks over at MegaPixel Studio have gone to great lengths to modernise the visuals adding things such as physics and moody lighting in the environments, whilst maintaining the franchise’s trademark gore and campy tone. The new visuals look to make the game a lot easier on the eyes from the admittedly incredibly dated and simplistic visuals of the original.
Massive strides have been made to ensure that the layout of the game also matches up closely with the original with the devs working hard to ensure that things like routes and secrets are kept intact. A challenging feat as one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game is how the early levels feel like this large sprawling track that can alternate at any moment based on quick decisions.
A New Way To Play
Alongside the shiny new visuals and gloriously cheesy voice acting, the game’s control scheme has also been modernised with it taking advantage of the Switches Gyro technology in order to recreate that arcade feeling, additionally down the line dual-wielding is planned as part of a post-launch update. The developers have also hinted that we may see the return of a much-needed gun peripheral this would be ideal as this is set to be the first of two remakes with the game’s sequel getting the same treatment presumably sometime soon but has not yet been confirmed.
In terms of Gameplay, MegaPixel Studios have placed a huge emphasis on creating an experience that caters to a variety of players and skill levels, by offering up multiple difficulties as well as ‘classic’ modes they have aimed to replicate the original experience as much as possible whilst also offering up new modes like horde mode to increase the games challenge or adjustable difficulties to ease in newcomers.
Passionate And Dedicated Team
The team behind this remake have worked closely with SEGA in order to ensure that the spirit of the original is kept intact, an interview from The Institute dug into this further:
Actually very closely! All important decisions were always discussed with SEGA. Good thing is that all of us in MPS, FE (Forever Entertainment) and SEGA had the same goal – to create a fun and modern remake of the best possible quality. A remake that will be recognized as the next, noteworthy instalment in the series – and all of us are happy with the result.– Artur Grzegorczyn, Producer at MegaPixel Studio
The fanbase of this franchise is incredibly dedicated and it’s clear the developers are aware of this, during the interview they addressed one of the game’s major concerns, it’s replayability, an arcade game like The House of the Dead is known for its brevity and so the devs needed to address this:
Great question! We were thinking about it from the very beginning. That is why we have added unlockable weapons, horde mode, in-game achievements system, covered all original gameplay routes and characters etc. Yet our main goal was to create fun and engaging gameplay that replays well on its own. I must admit that this is the first game developed by us EVER that I still love to play after developing it. Usually, you feel tired at the end of the development process and sometimes you have to force yourself to keep playing and testing the game you are working on, but that wasn’t an issue here! After all these long months of development, we are still playing HOTDR with colleagues– Artur Grzegorczyn, Producer at MegaPixel Studio
It’s clear that the team behind this is committed and passionate and fans can hopefully look forward to a title that respects the campy roots of the original and will hopefully revitalise the franchise for a new generation.
One For The Collectors
Collectors will be happy to know that the remake is receiving a number of glorious physical editions of the game at varying price points, you can preorder the ‘Limidead Edition’ right now on amazon but more hardcore fans may be interested in the upper tiers with the top edition titled the ‘Exclusive Edition’ which is limited to 500 copies and provides fans with an incredible box and figure of the game’s main villain, this edition has already proven very popular with fans.
The response online from the fanbase has been incredibly positive with players excited to jump back into the gruesome and chaotic action of the franchise.
Fans have complimented the remakes visuals and recreation of iconic locations.
Fans are able to get their hands on this iconic classic right now on the Nintendo eShop for £22.49, with physical releases coming in the next few months, let’s hope this franchise still has its trademark bite!
If you’d like to check out the aforementioned interview you can find it here if you’d like to get a little more insight into this exciting remake. Equally, if you’d like to keep up to date with all of our upcoming reviews, news, and features here at Gaming Sandbox, feel free to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you’d like to support us financially you can do so by following the link to our Patreon!