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Here’s everything we know about The House of The Dead Remake so far

The House of The Dead was the second time I saw zombies. The first clawed out the mossy ground in front of a tombstone on Micheal Jackson’s Thriller. The projected fog swirled the graveyard set and masked the zombies’ decayed skin and agape mouths with jagged teeth. But as the video went on over Vincent Price‘s evocative narration, the echoing crackle of bones created a clear picture: they were inhuman, and the night is when they hunted.

Then…they started dancing with the soon-creepy-looking MJ. Little ol’ me went from almost wetting myself to shimming along with them! All my fear vanished. I knew these guys were dancers. But then it came back when MJ’s hellish yellow eyes stared at me toward the end. Confusion settled in, and I asked myself: what is a zombie? 

The House of The Dead would give me an answer years later at a local skating rink with an arcade section. Biologically. Engineered. Undead. Yeah, I believed it. Before I knew it, the blue lightgun was glued to my hands as I shredded through hoards of zombies with coins ready to pop back in if I died. Fast-forward a lot of years, and at the Nintendo Indie World Showcase back in March, the HOTD Remake was announced! Its’ full glory was on display with a visual overhaul and new game elements for the Switch this year, and man, it looks crazy fun!

The House of The Dead Remake Trailer

The House of The Dead series developed by SEGA AM1, a subsidiary of SEGA, is a first-person rail shooter that allows players to choose special agents to take on swarms of undead, which disgustingly comes in all shapes and sizes. The IP has six games, and each of them has divided chapters with the usual terrifying boss battle at the end. Different characters, firearms, enemies, branching pathways, unlockables, and endings are the staple gameplay elements of the series. Sound kind of familiar?

See, in the late 1990s…

Resident Evil was around. Both RE and HOTD evolved the zombie culture in the gaming industry. Their zombies were all about the action as they stalked you on screen and got up close and personal to take a bite. Science became the big culprit for the reanimation of the dead, labeling baddies as practitioners of some nasty and disturbing human science and biology.

Resident Evil 1 Zombie
The House of The Dead Arcade Zombies

Despite Resident Evil and House of The Dead‘s differences, the DNA of both series relied on survival. HOTD focused on shooting zombies before they could hit you, while RE wanted you to outlast them with limited ammunition and supplies to figure out what to do next. The horror side of things goes to RE, but each has gruesome zombies that players can figure out by pulling a trigger…sometimes.

SEGA SM1’s 3-D legacy

Formerly known as Wow Entertainment, SEGA AM Research & Development No. 1 were the developers behind The House of The Dead. As a sect of the goliath SEGA, they operated as a game development division focused on arcade titles. The studio’s leadership under Rikiya Nakagawa led to his team becoming one of the first to implement 3D computer graphics.

SM1’s Wave Runner Arcade Cover

Takashi Oda, former game director of The House of The Dead, wanted to distinguish the team’s expertise in 3D graphics, which led to a shocking horror-themed title. Oda and his team “didn’t want children playing [the] game” so they could make it follow morally grey characters and storylines meant for adults. And to gore-y up the game to meet expectations of what their interpretations of zombies could look like and do. Their influences spanned from the 1995 crime thriller film Seven (or SE7EN) to manga like Black Jack, which ultimately benefited the 1996 release of HOTD and its’ critical and commercial success.

Design philosophy in HOTD Remake

Oda strongly believed that all players should be able to approach The House of The Dead series. Arcade games were far different from console and PC titles of today since their demographic was essentially the world rather than a community. A balance was made to improve players through practice. Eventually, they’ll rightfully earn high scores and get past the gloomy “no continue” prompts on death. Much of that philosophy is scathing to the backbone of the series.

Panzer Dragoon Cover

So much so that the HOTD Remake developed by MegaPixel Studio and published by Forever Entertainment, who handled the remake of Panzer Dragoon, will stay true to its’ roots. You can expect to pop into the story of the very first game: following two AMS agents, Thomas Rogan and G, who gear up after a distress call from Rogan’s girlfriend, Sophie. Her investigation of Roy Curien, an erratic geneticist with a hand in the mysterious illness outbreak, results in his mansion becoming plagued with walking dead. Get those Switch Joy-Cons loaded: it’s bound to be a swell time in the Curien mansion.

What do you know about The House of The Dead Remake?   

It’s a faithful remake. You still have six rounds of bullets before you have to reload, and hostages are still going to crop up with your finger on the trigger – so aim carefully! Graphically, the effects and visual department has boosted the life in the game. Check it out below:

The House of The Dead OG VS Remake Graphics

Of course, the frame rate and resolution for the Switch will meet today’s standard, alongside a list of several changes and more:

UI will be redesigned

Classic Mode (original game with updated graphics)

Horde Mode (fast-paced, 15 times the number of enemies. Unlockable characters, and other things.)

Remade voice acting, purposely “bad”

Music “extremely inspired” by the original, no option to listen to original’s OST

HD Rumble for gun shooting effects

Crosshairs are different colors for each player

Blood color can be changed

My wallets ready, so where’s The House of the Dead Remake?

On the way, is all I can tell you. It’s projected to release this year, though. With the months left, you could probably figure out when if it doesn’t get pushed back. The HOTD Remake announcement was at an indie game press event, and information has been scarce – but the game’s scale is small. Because of that, fans believe they will get their hands on it soon for the Switch.

Now, for the PC, Playstation, and Xbox players out there, you’ll have to wait and see if this title will launch on your system at a later time. The HOTD Remake is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch at the moment, with a rumored $15-20 price tag on it. That’s not bad for a 1996 arcade game.

So, now that you’re up to speed on the current news surrounding The House of The Dead Remake, excited to play it? Let us know below!  

Anthony Jones

I'm a late 90s kid still in love with innovative retro titles and the evolution of modern gaming. As a writer, I'm passionate about narrative structure, character analysis, and unique takes on clichés for all forms of interactive mediums. Watching documentaries and learning code is my daily pastime.

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