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House of the Dead III, The

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Game Reviewed: House of the Dead III, The
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Wow Entertainment
Reviewer: Paul Stewart
Platform: Arcade, Xbox, Windows, PS3 Remastered, Wii
Category: Horror, Rail Shooter
ESRB Rating: M
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Game Description:

I remember the first time I played The House of the Dead 2 at the Celebration Station three years ago. I was impressed at the graphics and gameplay of the game. The House of the Dead III was also there, if I remember correctly. The House of the Dead was first released in 1996 as a light-gun shooter. In the game, Professor Curien is trying to cure his terminally ill son, Daniel, by dabbling with forbidden science, but creates zombies in the process, which he plans to release on the earth's populace. Curien is stopped by Thomas Rogan, but the zombies return in House of the Dead 2, two years later, but are also stopped. In House of the Dead III, Thomas Rogan's daughter, Lisa, and G, another main character from the first game, go into the dreaded Curien mansion to find Rogan, but fight through more zombies in the process.

What Parents Need To Know


The title says it all. The House of the Dead III is an extremely violent game. Zombies are blown to pieces, and can have bleeding holes all over their bodies when shot. The violence levels can be set to Mild, Normal, or Gratuitous. Even if you play it on Mild, zombies will still bleed, and dissolve into a pool of blood upon death, but no dismemberment. The zombies also are badly decomposed bodies, which are terrifying to look at. Zombies wield deadly weapons like chainsaws, axes, electric sticks, clubs, claws, and teeth which will hurt the player if touched. There is one level where dozens of dead bodies hang from above, mainly as food for the zombies. There is also an option to turn the blood color to either "red" or "green".

Two or more uses of "damn" and a couple uses of "hell"

Sexual Content:

Spiritual Content:
In parts of the game, Curien gloats to his ailing son how he is willing to cross forbidden territory to cure him. He brags about how he is breaking the boundary between life and death.

SPOILERS: It so happens, that Dr. Curien saved his son's life after all, but is using a diabolical device called the Wheel of Fate, which controls the zombies.

Lisa is also a bit disrespectful of her father at first, but sticks to her promise to bring him back.

A Child's Perspective:
Not for kids. Period. Not even the mild violence option makes the game any cleaner for kids. This is mainly an adult game; treat it like one.

Reviewer's Thoughts:
I'm an average fan of zombie movies and games. Left 4 Dead, Half-Life 1 and 2, World War Z, and Plants vs. Zombies are my favorite zombie games and movies by far. As a gamer, I found House of the Dead III to be quite enjoyable, but the campaign is very short. I beat it in half an hour or more. I strongly advise against letting your child play this game, due to the scariness and violence. For older teens and adults, this game might be all right, but please keep the violence levels at mild.

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