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Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green

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Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green
Road-to-Fiddlers-Green.jpg
Playing this has the potential to make you think you're a zombie.
Genre(s): First-person shooter
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Xbox
Release: October 18, 2005
Engine: Unreal Engine 2
Developer(s): Brainbox Games
Publisher(s): Groove Games
Country: Canada
Series: Night of the Living Dead


Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green is a 2005 first-person shooter video game developed by Brainbox Games and published by Groove Games for the Xbox and Microsoft Windows. The game is based on George Romero's film Land of the Dead, the fourth installment in the Night of the Living Dead series.

Plot

The game is a prequel to the Land of the Dead film, taking place during the initial outbreak of the zombie pandemic. Players take on the role of a farmer named Jack, who, one day, finds his farm besieged by the undead. After finding the other nearby farms desolate, he makes his way to the city, hoping to find help, but instead finding the city in ruins, overrun by the undead. Jack later learns about the existence of a safe-haven located within the city, and makes it his priority to reach it.

Why It Sucks

  1. The game doesn't work adequately on newer operative systems because the game will not save or load any savefile even if the interface of the game shows it, which can annoy several players that want to load their previous game because it never tells you that is not working until you really need it. To fix this, you have to set the game into Windows 98 or XP compatibility mode just to make it work.
  2. Even if you can fix the corrupt file saving bug, the menu screen in the PC version is a hell because the cursor has a very exaggerated mouse acceleration that makes the task of clicking the menu options almost impossible, and for some reason it feels heavier when you want to create your profile or to load your savefile. To add salt to the wound, there is no way to turn this mouse acceleration off in the menu screen, not even by altering the game's files in the directory.
  3. The graphics look like if the game was made in the first two years of the sixth generation of consoles. In general, the textures look very blurry and most of the backgrounds and skyboxes are poorly detailed, and they get much worse if we take into account that the lighting effects just help to show ugly the graphics are, mainly on the Xbox version.
  4. The gameplay in general is exaggeratedly inconsistent because of its broken nature that goes to never seen levels of atrocious programming. To begin with, the aiming system is supposed to imitate the classical gunplay of many games of the era where you can only shoot accurately if you stay firm and don't move, but the problem is that even if you stay firm and the crosshair gets as small as possible, your weapon can still be able to shoot where you weren't aiming to, even at less than 10 meters you can still miss a headshot with the .22 rifle or the revolver, weapons that seem to be more affected by this.
    • The hitboxes are also very inconsistent because it can register torso shots or even arm shots as headshots, and you can notice this when you see that your weapon can instakill the zombies, which can only happen if you get a headshot, however, when you take a headshot, there could be times where the game register them as if you shot the zombie in another part of the body. This can be seen in a better way in the sniper section since some of the shots you may take will not register adequately, usually by ripping the arm of a zombie when you shot him in the head or viceversa.
  5. The artificial intelligence of the zombies is completely atrocious and they act more brainless as they should, for example, there are many times where they will get stuck in a wall or in a specific object (Like a car, a desk or a door) and sometimes they won't even attack you even if you get very close to them.
  6. Controls are stiff, often leaving you shooting too early or late or moving erratically.
  7. Several bugs and glitches that render the game unstable and crazy.
  8. Bizarre animations.
  9. Limited, and horrendous voice acting. The farmer narrates in each of the game's cutscenes. To make matters worse, the farmer sounds like he's terribly reading off a script.
  10. Repetitive music that is so lazily uninspired.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The PC version is a bit more stable than the Xbox versions, at least in older operative systems, in newer operative systems several external changes have to made to make the game run as it should, and there are also a lot of mods and patches that fix many of the game's bugs and bad mechanics.
  2. The multiplayer was probably the best aspect of the game because of its active nature that can remind of many posterior games of the same genre, like No More Room in Hell, and fortunately, they're still very active nowadays, however, since the original servers were shut dowm, you'll have to rely on private servers to play it, and this aspect just applies for PC.
  3. Despite being very repetitive at times, the music is not exactly bad, and in some of the levels the music is very adequate for the situation that is currently going on. For instance, the soundtrack that plays in the second level is very eerie and represents very well the feeling of desolation and fear that the developers wanted it to have.

Reception

The game received negative reviews. Alex Navarro of GameSpot gave it a 1.9/10 for the Xbox version and 2.1/10 for the PC version, saying: "The most avant-garde pieces of gaming artistry to ever find its way to the retail market, or the absolute worst game of the year. Actually, it's probably just the latter."

On review aggregation website Metacritic, the Xbox version received a 32/100 based on nine reviews and the PC version received a 36/100 based on four reviews.

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