Light gun shooters used to be all the rage back in the 1990s. One of the most popular arcade shooters was House of the Dead. Voyage of the Dead desperately tries to mimic Sega’s classic series, but the results are decidedly mixed.
Voyage of the Dead‘s story mode takes place on a cruise ship that gets overrun with zombies. You’ll blast your way from deck to deck to try to survive the onslaught and maybe rescue a few of your fellow passengers.
As with many light gun games, the main attraction here is multiplayer. While Voyage of the Dead‘s story mode supports one to four players, the four-player local co-op is where it’s at.
You choose between four different outlandish characters. Among them are an arsonist who gets a pretty kick-ass flamethrower and a Marine vet who is equipped with a grenade launcher. These unique secondary weapons are helpful in tricky situations.
Every player also comes equipped with an unlimited ammo pistol. There are a few guns scattered throughout the cruise ship to add variety and firepower. The shotgun is great for close-range highly lethal shots, while the assault rifle can spread damage across a group of zombies from a distance.
As far as the light gun, there’s a noticeable amount of lag, but it’s still fairly accurate. The setup has you pointing an included camera (if you buy the starter pack) at your television, which has to be calibrated before the game can even start. The calibration took several minutes to get right. It’s definitely an annoying setup process.
Once you get the light gun to work, you have to acquaint yourself with the buttons. There’s a power button on the side, a trigger to fire, a button on the back to switch between weapons, and a slide to reload your gun. The light gun itself feels sturdy, and it’s comfortable to grip. As with most light gun shooters, your fingers may tire after an extended play session.
That’s only a problem if you play long enough. If you end up playing the mini-games – which are included in addition to the story mode – you’ll probably put your gun down after a short play session. They aren’t very interesting or fun. The story mode, though, is solid with two or more people.
I have two main complaints about the story mode. The first is that it looks generic. It’s not the ugliest game that I have played on PS4, but it’s also not visually impressive. Of course, that’s not a deal-breaker if the gameplay compensates for it (which it barely does).
The second complaint is with the extremely annoying voice acting. The characters in this game try to be witty, but they’re not funny at all. Worst of all, they will not shut up. Their repetitive quips get repeated over and over again, undermining any otherwise somewhat enjoyable experience.
So what’s the verdict? Is Voyage of the Dead and the MARS light gun worth your time and money?
If you’re a fan of games with zombies and light gun shooters, Voyage of the Dead should be an easy buy. Unfortunately, it’s not. It’s simply too much of an investment to spend $100 on a “starter pack” and then $30 a pop on extra light guns. It would cost $190 just to play the four-player co-op. When you weigh the costs involved, it’s not worth it, in my view.
However, if you’ve already picked up one of the other MARS light gun starter packs, Voyage of the Dead might be worth it as a standalone download. In addition to Voyage of the Dead, there are also $99 starter packs for Big Buck Hunter: Arcade and Qubit’s Quest. All three games are available as downloads for $20 each.
Game Freaks 365 received a free review unit for the purposes of this review.