An experiment with Typing of the Dead

One of my favourite games from my earlier console days was House of the Dead 2. Blowing limbs off zombies was great fun, especially with a light gun. It also had a few good jumps along the way and some creepy scenes and moments, although the most scary aspect was probably the incredibly bad voice acting.

This afternoon I decided to give Typing of the Dead a go. Whilst obviously I’m an awful typist, it seemed like it could be good fun and an interesting way to revisit an old arcade classic on PC. However it didn’t pan out to be as much fun as I hoped.

The B-cinema style was cheesey but not in a good way. The delivery was slow, poorly done and the dialogue was bloody awful. The characters lacked any imagination and despite giving a relatively significant amount of time to cut scenes, very little personality or background was given. Just a slow description in a manner trying (but failing) to sound like a B-grade action film. Again, I guess faithful to House of the Dead the voice acting was awful, especially the extras that you save. I’d have hoped that by now they would have decent voice acting as it doesn’t help feel involved in the game when the tone used when saying “thanks – you saved my life” sounds more like the chap reading the football scores.

But anyway, enough on that. This is a classic zombie shooter but with an innovative idea of typing instead of point and click to shoot. So how does that work?

Very badly.

Ignoring my awful ability, it still wasn’t fun. Whilst a few of the phrases were amusing, in practice I found that this was just a game testing my ability to read then type words rather than a zombie game. The actual fighting zombies pretty much passed by in the background.

The problem is that you are focusing on reading the text, then typing. Neither of these tasks require you to really look at the zombies, the environment or really have any sense of immersion. Maybe if you’re a touch typist, or at least using a well set up desk and keyboard then maybe its possible that the game will work, but I doubt it.

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