Typing of the Dead: Overkill

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Typing of the Dead: Overkill on Steam

MSRP: $19.99 (base) / $25.99 (collection)

Platforms:

Release: 10/29/13


Back in 2009, House of the Dead: Overkill was released for the Wii. Four years later, the game got a rework for PC players – instead of shooting with the Wii remote, PC players can now type to kill zombies.  Typing of the Dead: Overkill is an appealingly campy typing-shooter; unfortunately, it’s also riddled with glitches.

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Gameplay is pretty much what you expect – the game is completely on rails, not allowing you to even control your character’s movement.  Zombies will come at you, and you need to type the letters or words shown in order to take them out.  There are also power-ups and collectibles scattered through the levels – when you see one, you only have a very short window of time in which to hit the Tab key in order to pick them up.

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What really makes the game – at least for me – are the cut scenes and cinematics.  The grindhouse horror movie style really works here, right down to the grainy looking film. The banter between characters is truly enjoyable, and definitely distracts from the fact that you’re really just working through a typing test (although I’d wager not the kind of typing test you’re likely to find anywhere else).

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Each story segment ends with a boss battle, and this is probably where the game falls a little bit short.  When the main mechanic is typing, and you have no control over movement, it’s hard to make a boss battle that is anything more than a bullet-sponge. So far, the boss battles have been just shy of becoming tedious.

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However, it took several tries to get out of the “preparing to load” loop on Steam – forum posts report that launching the game from the directory instead of the Steam library may avoid this problem.  There are also graphical glitches galore – it was uncommon to see zombies coming at me with unrendered body parts.  The pace was fast enough for me not to dwell on it, but if you get the same glitches, you may find it difficult if you decide to play the original game, which is also included.

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Overall, I really enjoyed Typing of the Dead: Overkill.  A single playthrough of the story mode will only take a few hours, but there are multiple difficulty levels as well as co-op play, leaderboards, and mini-games.  Still, for me, that does not a $20 game make, and the paid DLC doesn’t add any more content, only custom dictionaries. Since I picked up the collection on a 75% off sale, I have no doubt I’ll get my money’s worth, but I can’t recommend it at full price, based on the length and the game play issues.

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