The House of the Dead 4 is a light gun arcade game with a horror theme and the fourth installment of the House of the Dead series of video games, developed by Sega. The game is an interquel and takes place between the events of The House of the Dead 2 and The House of the Dead III, and introduced several new gameplay concepts. Players can control characters James Taylor, from The House of the Dead 2, or Kate Green, a new character to the series.
The House of the Dead 4 is the first game to run on the Sega Lindbergh arcade system board. Currently, it is also the last game in the series to use Tarot Cards as names for bosses. It has yet to receive a console port despite the game's popularity and demand by gamers for it to be ported; the game has been in arcades for years, with no current plans for a console release in sight.
The player can reload the gun by shaking it. The game also features grenades that the player can throw to destroy large numbers of enemies. Additional grenades can be earned by completing certain tasks or by shooting crates. At some points in the game, players are required to shake the gun vigorously in order to escape certain situations.
The game features branching paths. Most of the paths lead to the same point in the game's story. As with The House of the Dead III, there is an end-of-stage bonus where players can receive extra lives depending on critical shots, accuracy, and score. Another returning factor is the presence of the "Cancel" bar.
The game runs on a critical shots counter where the player is encouraged to go for headshots rather than spraying ammo at the enemy. It starts off as Good, Excellent, Amazing and then Perfect. Getting hit, or killing an enemy not by the head resets the counter.
The most common enemies have three attacks. A "normal attack", a "grab," and a "push". The foremost inflicts one point of damage, while the second forces a shaking sequence that, if successful, pushes back attackers for easier disposal, but if unsuccessful, will result in the player being bitten or the player's character being knocked down and vulnerable. Multiple zombies may also pile on top of both players in an attempt to stomp on them.
There are also a number of secrets in the game. Different hidden treasures, such as coins and golden shapes, which increase the player's score, as well as "lives", etc. can be found by interacting with the game's environments. There are also "treasure rooms" that can be accessed using different techniques (such as shooting a certain spot or throwing a grenade in a certain area), which contain multiple items that can be obtained at once within a limited time.
In 2003, former AMS agent James Taylor and newcomer Kate Green (whose face bears resemblance to Britney Spears and an English/French woman) are gathering intelligence at the fifth basement floor of the AMS European branch office. The former of the two still has the events of the 2000 "Goldman Case" on his mind, and believes that the ordeal had not yet ended. A sudden earthquake rocks the room while they talk, collapsing the basement walls and leaving the agents trapped.
Several days later, Kate and James await a rescue team. James' PDA goes off, and a group of undead are seen on the security cameras. Realizing that they are in danger, James has Kate gather all the weaponry they can find in preparation for the arrival of their foes.
Source: Wikipedia, "The House of the Dead 4", available under the CC-BY-SA License.