Review by kiriyama2

Reviewed: 11/07/05

Remember kids: Shooting the legs off of a zombie doesn't only slow them down, but it's also a heck of a good time

Earlier this year director George A. Romero released Land of the Dead, the fourth movie in his stellar Dead series (allegedly he's going to make a fifth and a sixth Dead movie), in order to capitalize on the release of the Land of the Dead DVD developer Brainbox Games made a game based on the Romero film. Sort of.

Story: (8/10)
The story in Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green, takes place before the events in the Romero film. You play as Jack a simple farmer who's world gets turned upside down when the zombie plague breaks out. While Jack is trying to defend himself from the undead denizens he hears a news report about the "city of the living" the titular Fiddler's Green. Jack decides to abandon his farm to try to make it to the fortified city. The story was okay, not exactly imaginitive, but if your a fan of the Dead movies the story will be pretty good. Even though it kind of seems to take place about the time of Night of the Living Dead, or Dawn of the Dead.

Graphics: (8/10)
Most people hate the graphics for Road to Fiddler's Green. I for one actually like them, their not quite as bad as everyone thinks they are. Sure the environments are a bit drab, but what do you expect? The zombies have taken over, so of course things are going to look rundown. The zombies in this game look really cool in my opinion, they look a lot like the zombies in the Romero films. You'll see some with dried blood around their mouths, and bloodied clothing, there's even a zombie in the game that has his side ripped out, and you can actually see the organs hanging out of the gaping wound. I also like how a lot of the environments actually have blood smeared onto the walls, it certainly does lend to the atmosphere of the game. I'm also a sucker for the exploding heads in the game, but for all of the good exploding heads there are the bad looking sewer levels, and I kind of wish that the bodies of the zombies that you kill would just stay there, not disappear.

Sound: (8/10)
The sound in Road to Fiddler's Green is actually not half bad. You get some pretty suitable background music for most of the stages. I do however have to wonder, where were the voice actors? There was only about two or three voice actors (excluding the zombies), to that point only one of the voice actors is used a lot, and that is the voice actor who did the voice or Jack, every other voice actor was there for collectively about five minutes. That being said, the zombies in this game sound absolutely superb. You'll be facing off about five zombies and hear them all growling while your trying to take them out with a baseball bat, or when your about fifty or sixty feet away and you can hear the zombies eating a body, the point is the zombies all sound authentic and cool.

Gameplay: (9/10)
The back of the box sort of lies. It says you'll be facing off against hordes of zombies, while technically I suppose that is true, you'll only face about six or seven at a time. Regardless, this game is great fun, and is actually rather challenging. On more than one occasion, I had to run out of a room because I was about to get killed. One of the loading screens suggests that whenever you go into a new room to close the door behind you, because it will take them a while to break through the door, and it alerts you to their presence. This is one of the best pieces of advice in the game, because when you almost die squaring off against five undead, and you run into a small room, you want to be able to reload to take them out. Which brings me to another point, this is one of the only first person shooters out there that actually will make you want to conserve your ammo. Because who wants to try to take out six zombies using a baseball bat when you could use an assault rifle, or shotgun? People complain about the AI in the game, but what do they expect? Their zombies, zombies aren't smart, their walking corpses (or running if your watching the Dawn of the Dead remake), I think for their purposes the AI is pretty good in the game. The game also isn't very long, I managed to beat the game in roughly three days.

Overall the game is a very good game. It doesn't really compare to games like Doom 3, Halo 2, or Far Cry Instincts, but if your expecting a fun game to kill zombies in then this is the game for you. This game is really good, excellent zombies, good audio, and only one truly annoying mission. Which is why I give Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green, an 8.5 out of ten. But since I can't use decimals, it gets a nine.

Rating: 9

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