The House of the Dead 2 takes place in a city resembling Venice, Italy in the year 2000, about two years after the events of the first game. It features 2 players: Player 1 plays as James Taylor and Player 2 plays as Gary Stewart. The game is an on rails shooter that features 6 chapters each with a unique boss at the end of the stage, all of which are named after tarot cards. Average play time is around 30-45 minutes. There are several costumes and game modes to be unlocked after completion.
The House of the Dead 2 follows two AMS agents named James and Gary. These agents have received a call from G and decide to meet him within the city. Upon their arrival, they encounter the Stage 1 boss who taunts them by stating that G was only the beginning. The agents move forward and run into G who has been beaten up badly but is still alive. G hands the agents the notes he took on the weakpoints of the game's bosses. He then tells them to hurry and find Amy and Harry. Amy and Harry are other AMS agents that have come to back them up. Traveling through the city the agents come across many civilians who are in danger. These civilians act as the game's hostage system. The main goal is to find Goldman who has taken Curien's research and used it to further advance the spread of the zombie apocalypse.
At the time of release in Arcade and on the Dreamcast, The House of the Dead 2 was accepted by most critics. Many praised the graphics, which were amazing at release, but criticized (or praised sarcastically) the abysmal voice acting in game, as well the the short length the game presented. Originally released on the Dreamcast and in arcades, it was later ported to the PC and Xbox, as well as on the Wii along with House of the Dead III.