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Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler’s Green is a zombie action game that is played in the first person and uses the Unreal graphic engine. This and F.E.A.R. are some of the very few PC games that have actually given me the creeps. Although the movie upon which this is based might have sucked, this game is pretty cool.
You play a farmer who wakes up one day to find your farmhouse infested with zombies. Your job is to fight your way to safety. In this game, the only safe place is just like in the movie – a walled off little portion of a city. And it’s a long way away from your farm. With limited ammo and resources, you’ll just have to fend for yourself all the way into town.
The graphics and sound in this are very well done, and that’s what makes the game so scary. The zombies all have different faces, though you will eventually start to see the same face more than once. Their slow limping movements are steady and scary as they work their way toward you. The sound effects are equally impressive in how it works itself into the gameplay. You can hear zombies groan when they get close, plus you can sometimes hear their footsteps when they are coming toward you.
Although you do get to use guns and some other projectile type weapons, much of the combat in this game is done hand-to-hand, just like in Morrowind or Oblivion. When you have a zombie right up in your face and you are trying to take a swing at them, it can get to be very chaotic. Sometimes it is difficult to win a fight just because it’s hard to see what is going on. The idea is not to let the zombies get on top of you in the first place.
Enemy AI is pretty good as far as the zombies finding and coming after you, but you have to remember that you are fighting an opponent with no survival instinct. On top of that, you have to hit them a bunch of times to kill them, no matter what kind of weapon you use. This can be kind of annoying because you’ll think you have a lot of ammo, but find yourself quickly burning through it all just to take out a couple of them.
Two things about this game are what keep it from having any kind of long-term residency on most people’s hard drives. For one, there is no multiplayer, so once you play it through there isn’t any reason to go through it all again. Secondly, the levels are very linear in that you have to go from point A to point B and there’s only a little room for exploration. In the really good zombie movies, part of the fun is watching the characters use creative means to figure their way out of deadly situations. Often times in this game you have no choice but to go down some hallway and head-on into a bunch of zombies that have been programmed to wait for you.
If you like the zombie genre and want something a little more fast-paced that most of the Resident Evil games, this one is definitely worth checking out. Despite the linear levels and sometimes difficult controls, it still remains a genuinely scary game of survival.