House of the Dead 3

6 Overall Score
Graphics: 6/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Staying Power: 6/10

Nostaligic gaming

Unimproved graphics and audio | Limited replay incentive

If you’re looking for a new house, then the one under discussion is to die for!  SEGA packs a bite as the House of the Dead 3 rises from its grave and returns onto the Playstation 3. Back in 2002, this rail shooter made its mark, or more like teeth marks in this case, in the arcade scene.  It’s been ten years and now with the capabilities due to the PlayStation Move support, SEGA has brought over an almost-perfect version to the comfort of your own home.

House of the Dead 3 takes place 19 years after the story set in House of the Dead 2. Equipped with a shotgun, Lisa Rogan and G enter into an abandoned research facility in an attempt to rescue Lisa’s father.  But what awaits them is a gang of rotting carcasses, courtesy of Dr. Curien’s experiments, who are dying to have a taste of your flesh.  Consequently, you’ll have a whole slew of zombies greeting to give you a big hug and a hardy bite to make you a part of their family.

Although you have the choice of playing through with either the PlayStation Move or the DualShock 3 controller, the former is more appropriate for an almost authentic feel.  What keeps it from perfection is the presence of the automatic reloading, thereby making the experience less genuine.  Furthermore, the cursor on screen also takes away from the actual arcade impression and challenge.  But other than that, the controls are really easy to get used to.

Unlike the arcades however, you are able to tweak several game settings, such as the level of difficulty, number of lives, and amount of continues you can have.  Being able to make such adjustments not only gives autonomy over how much of a challenge you want to face, but also gives a more user-friendly approach to the gameplay.

Choice is always great to have, and in this case, House of the Dead 3 gives you that privilege.  To elaborate, there are several different modes including survival and time attack mode. They’re essentially different ways to play but with the same gameplay and sequence.

House of the Dead 3 can be enjoyed either on your own or with a second player.  The ability to join at any point during the game reinforces the arcade authenticity.  In addition, it’s always a lot of fun to have a friend take part in the undead kill fest, granted that you both have enough credits to survive.

Once you reach the end of a level, you will evaluated and given a letter ranking.  If you achieve the highest, which is the ‘S’ ranking, you will be given two extra lives, while ‘A’ ranking only grants you one.  How you perform in this regard will ultimately determine which ending you’ll get.

As expected of a typical rail shooter like House of the Dead 3, the game is set along a predefined path with the occasional option to choose which direction you want to take.   Due to these limitations, it doesn’t take much time to complete the game.  The alternate paths do offer a reason to revisit this exciting experience.  Regardless, there is a limit as to how much this type of game has to offer, especially when the game can be completed in roughly a half hour.

The four different endings along with the online leaderboards reinforce the game’s replay value. Nonetheless, the game’s short length can act as a deterrent on your attention span.  It’s true that there are extra features, like the interviews, waiting to be unlocked.  But they are nothing to “die” for.

Visually, there isn’t much update made on House of the Dead 3.  It would have been nice to see some nice HD improvements, as quite a few classic titles out there have this treatment.  Unfortunately, this Playstation 3 port does little to impress with its untouched graphics and 4:3 screen perspective.  As a result, its age really shows here.  Despite this setback, the enemies still look as gruesome and scary.  Furthermore, the bloody splatter effects run at a constant and smooth framerate.

While the music fits well with the morbid atmosphere of the game, there were some omissions of sound effects from the original arcade version.  But unless you’re a purist, you won’t notice this.  On the other hand, what was kept true to the original is the voice acting.  It is just as terrible and annoying as I remembered it.

House of the Dead 3 is a pretty decent game.  There is fun to be had in this PS3 version, but such enjoyment can be “short-lived.”  If you’re an absolute fan, then you definitely don’t want to pass up this opportunity with its current sale price of $6.99. Otherwise, the aged graphics and limited gameplay may “rot” its value.


Author: jflux98 View all posts by
I am a hardcore gaming enthusiast for the Playstation 3, Vita, and Nintendo 3DS. My passion is to share my opinions and experience with the online community as well as help them find that special game. You can contact me via twitter @jflux98 or email me at