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The Slaughtering Grounds

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The Slaughtering Grounds
The Slaughtering Grounds logo.jpg
The unholy grail of Steam shovelware.
Genre(s): First-person shooter
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Release: October 31, 2014
Engine: Unity
Developer(s): Digital Homicide Studios
Publisher(s): Digital Homicide Studios
Country: United States


The Slaughtering Grounds is a zombie first-person shooter game developed and published by Digital Homicide Studios. It was released for Microsoft Windows on October 31, 2014 via Steam before being permanently removed after the developer was banned from Steam for filing a lawsuit against Steam customers.

Plot

Judging by the character bios, you live a post-apocalyptic world flooded by bloodthirsty zombies. You can control either a biker named Snake, a US military soldier named Bob, or an unnamed LAPD SWAT officer through three scenarios of the wasteland.

The objective is to fight the zombies until a timer runs out. Your only help is an cargo plane that periodically drops ammo. Sometimes you will be attacked by special enemies such mummy-looking zombies and a giant demon-like creature.

Why It Should Be Slaughtered

  1. It costs $10 at launch despite being obviously unfinished and nowhere ready for release, not even as an Early Access title.
    • Experienced game developers stated that there was so little real work behind The Slaughtering Grounds that the entire game could be developed within a single day or even a few hours.
  2. Massive glitches and programming errors, such as a plane moving sideways and glass floors being completely invisible leaving you standing or walking in mid air. This is because the game is mostly made out of pre-made assets with little real work nor bug testing. This style of game development is now known as "asset flipping".
    • Due to the game being made out of mismatched stock assets (such as cartoony models mixed with realistic ones and similar), the visuals are very ugly.
  3. Despite looking different, all the enemies have the exact same AI behavior so it's basically only 1 enemy type with different skins. The zombies have zero AI besides chasing and tackling the player. Once they start chasing you they never stop, there's no sprint to get away from them, you can't outrun them, and once you run out of ammo it becomes impossible to get rid of them.
    • Enemies never stop spawning. You'll quickly find yourself being chased by a huge mob of zombies that just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and then even bigger!
  4. Abysmal frame rate that frequently drops. The insanely huge amount of enemies on the map causes the frame rate to drop even worse.
  5. Dying doesn't reset any timers or even end the game so there's literally no punishment for dying. In fact dying gets rid of the mob of enemies chasing you so dying may actually benefit you. The game is impossible to win because clearing objectives just resets them and clearing level 3 returns you to level 1, and also completely impossible to lose because failing to clear objectives does nothing and you have unlimited lives.
  6. No replay value whatsoever. The game only has useless unlockables which are very expensive.
  7. Weapons aren't properly lined up with the aiming reticle; some of them actually block your field of view.
  8. No audio or visual cues to let you know there's an enemy attacking you off-screen.
  9. The timer counts 61 seconds per minute. When the minutes counter counts down the seconds counter incorrectly resets to 60 seconds instead of 59 causing a leap second to occur every minute.
    • The standard timer included in Unity already counts minutes correctly, meaning this mistake had to be done on purpose.
  10. The only way to clear a stage is to run the timer out which takes 16 minutes & 16 seconds. You can beat the game by starting Level 1 and then literally leaving the game unattended and doing something else for 48 minutes & 48 seconds.
  11. The radar indicating where the enemies are doesn't move or rotate when you do, making it completely useless because it doesn't correctly tell you where the enemies are.
  12. Pausing the game doesn't actually pause the game. The pause menu appears but the gameplay is not suspended, leaving you defenseless.
  13. There is only one type of ammo you can pick up. When you pickup ammo it reloads the gun you're holding, which makes it pointless to use anything besides the stronger weapons.
    • Even games from over 20 years ago knew how to make different types of ammo pickups.
  14. When you die the zombies stomp your corpse which somehow causes you to take damage before respawning so you'll respawn with your health below 100%.
  15. The only music in the game is a short obnoxious loop that never stops.
  16. Speaking of the music, it doesn't fit right with the overall atmosphere of the game.
  17. The blood splatter effects were clearly taken from images found on Google Search. You can clearly see how the white backgrounds on the images weren't cut out properly, leaving white pixel artifacts on the images. Digital Homicide eventually replaced the blood spatter effects with a new set that was transparent, but still a blatant Google search regardless.
  18. There are only 3 levels, and each level is almost exactly the same. The first level spawns so many zombies that the frame rate chugs heavily.

Reception

The Slaughtering Grounds is infamous for starting the Digital Homicide controversies after the developers attacked anyone who said anything negative about the game. Several YouTubers went on to declare The Slaughtering Grounds as one of the worst games of 2014, including Angry Joe, Jim Sterling, Caddicarus, Projared etc.

Darklordjadow1 featured this game during his first Indie game review special. When reviewing the game he said "The entire game feels like nothing was ever finished, like they didn't know how to program objectives, timers, AI, or ammo so they just left this unfinished shit in the game that doesn't work!"

Jim Sterling on the other hand was caught in a long-lasting feud with Digital Homicide which escalated to a lawsuit against them which started after they did a first impressions Let's Play of the game.

Videos

This is Jim Sterling's Let's Play video that began the Digital Homicide controversy.
This is also reviewed by Angry Joe as "Top 10 worst games of 2014".
DLJadow's review of this game as a part of the first part of the Steam Indie Games Review trilogy.

Comments

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