A subtle release for a videogame that both astounds and confounds simply by existing, SEGA’s The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is something special. Halloween may have been and gone but this value package lives on, bringing to videogames to PC gamers in a fashion that puts many other arcade shoot-‘em-ups to shame.
Starting at the start, The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is the main component of this package. An odd concept in it’s original form, here as an evolution of The House of the Dead’s Wii (and eventually PlayStation 3) rebirth it stands out as a videogame that simply shouldn’t exist, but Electronic Theatre is very glad that it does. The basic principle is that instead of using a light-gun to defeat the undead hordes and progress through the campaign the player must type specific words or phrases, or occasionally even just a single letter. Yes, it’s odd. Yes, it’s brilliant fun.
You could spend hours arguing the toss over whether or not The Typing of the Dead: Overkill actually improves your typing skills, but should you choose to invest in the videogame it will most certainly help with your subconscious understanding of the layout of a QWERTY keyboard. It’s a videogame that demands reflexes related to the position of keys, and as such players will need to know what’s coming around the corner while still attacking what’s currently on screen, thus demanding that they can keep an eye on the action while inputting the correct commands.
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill’s campaign mode is organised in exactly the same fashion as The House of the Dead: Overkill, with enemy placement, boss fights and storyline all following the same path. It makes sense, then, that The Typing of the Dead: Overkill bundle also includes the full The House of the Dead: Overkill videogame as part of its package. A separate option from the main menu, choosing The House of the Dead: Overkill will flip the design in a fashion that recognises the two videogames act independently: no save data, collectables or leaderboard scores are shared between titles. And rightly so, as while the structure may be the same the actual playing of the videogames is very different.
Of course, both The Typing of the Dead: Overkill and The House of the Dead: Overkill are fundamentally the same product we’ve seen on Wii and PlayStation 3, as well as a previous release on PC. The schlock horror and tongue-in-cheek adult themes remain intact, and the videogame is never less than ridiculous for even a moment. Some lamented The House of the Dead’s rollover from imposed horror to comedy nonsense, others loved the transition. Whichever side of the fence you may sit upon The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is not about to change your mind.
While The Typing of the Dead: Overkill isn’t exactly designed to appeal to the masses, it’s an enjoyable experience nonetheless. A surprising but wholly welcome release, The Typing of the Dead: Overkill stands alone as being a unique typing test for adults which is just as enjoyable as it’s sister title The House of the Dead: Overkill. With a package offering both titles as a single purchase available for a wallet-friendly price, you simply can’t go wrong.