I’ve already played and reviewed The House of the Dead: Remake recently on the Nintendo Switch (you can check out my review through this link) and I had a lot of fun playing, with my review stating:
“It’s not ideal to play on the Nintendo Switch’s handheld mode and there are some performance issues, but Forever Entertainment have managed to deliver another enjoyable take on a classic release. It has imperfections, but it feels good to re-visit the House of the Dead once more.”
It’s available on the PlayStation 4 now too, so I decided to check it out and see if it rectified some of the technical flaws that were present on the Nintendo Switch version of the game. With that in mind, we won’t be going into too much depth about the gameplay in this review; instead, we’ll focus on what the PlayStation 4 version gets right and what it misses the mark on.
Check out some screenshots down below:
The House of the Dead: Remake is a full-blown remake of the original game, with it offering the same narrative and gameplay sequences but with some fancy bells and whistles attached. The visuals are modernised, the audio and voice acting has been re-worked, some additional gameplay modes have been included… it’s everything you’d expect from a remake, really. If you were a fan of the original or just appreciate on-rail shooters, you’re going to have a lot of fun with one of the original hits of the genre. It comes with an additional Horde Mode and difficulty levels too, so there’s more content on offer than was included in the original.
Of course, you’re playing without a light-gun on modern consoles, and that does hurt the experience. Thankfully, the PlayStation 4 does offer gyro support, but it doesn’t feel as intuitive or satisfying as physically holding a gun in front of you. The controller shape means that it doesn’t feel quite as good as the Nintendo Switch’s Joy Con either, which does at least make it feel like you’re holding the handle of a gun when shooting. It works and the motion control aspect does make it easier to swiftly move between targets and pick shots, but it never feels wholly natural.
“One of my pet peeves with the Nintendo Switch version of the game was the fact that it never quite hit the mark when it came to the overall visual presentation and frame rate, but the PlayStation 4 version really does rectify those issues.”
The alternative? Playing with the analogue stick to move the cursor around, which isn’t ideal. The developer has promised that PlayStation Move support will be coming to the game, but even that’s outdated tech at this point, so there isn’t an ideal solution for those who want an immersive arcade-like experience. It doesn’t stop the game from being fun to play at least, but those who experienced the original in the arcade with a light gun back in the 90s will feel like it’s missing that special *something*.
Visually, The House of the Dead: Remake looks great on the PlayStation 4. Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t expect realistic environments or remarkable character models (at least with the human characters), but I loved how the game managed to capture the horrific vibe of the original with its eerie locales and grotesque enemy designs. Some of the monsters in particular were especially cool to look at and felt horrifying when they approached the screen in their menacing manner, whilst the smooth frame rate ensured the action remained sharp throughout. One of my pet peeves with the Nintendo Switch version of the game was the fact that it never quite hit the mark when it came to the overall visual presentation and frame rate, but the PlayStation 4 version really does rectify those issues.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Want to know what else it fixes? The load times. There were some frustratingly long waits when playing on the Nintendo Switch, but everything loaded within seconds on the PlayStation 4. It was a big improvement and one that went a long way in making the game more enjoyable to play.
Does it make the game better to play on the PlayStation 4, though? I think so. Yes, the Joy Con does feel a bit more natural when it comes to gyro controls, but the improvement in visuals, loading times, and performance more than makes up for it. And hey, it’s not like the DualShock controls are bad – they’re just not AS good. If you were disappointed with the look and performance of the Nintendo Switch version of The House of the Dead: Remake, you’ll see some definitive improvements here.
The House of the Dead: Remake Review
The House of the Dead: Remake feels better to play on the PlayStation 4, even IF the controls aren’t quite as intuitive as its Nintendo Switch counterpart. Let’s face it, nothing will ever beat a light gun, but at least there are gyro controls to give some semblance of realism (even if it doesn’t feel as good with the DualShock controller as it does the Joy Con).
Fortunately, the improved visuals, performance, and loading times work in the PlayStation 4’s favour and help make The House of the Dead: Remake both look and feel better to play – I’m looking forward to trying out the Move support when that’s introduced too, especially with the gun attachment I have.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it has imperfections, but it feels good to re-visit the House of the Dead ONCE more (and this time on the PlayStation 4).
Developer: MegaPixel Studio
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC