With Microsoft getting the early headstart on the next-generation console race with the Xbox 360, we are still seeing a slew of games released on the Xbox, which still seems to have plenty of life in it. With that being said, one of the more unexpected releases of 2005 has arrived. I am not sure if there was a huge hype around it, but I have say that I was especially surprised to see this game come out with really no talk about it during its development. The game is Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler’s Green for the Xbox, which tries to make its own mark on the first person shooter genre. Can they do that? Read our full review to find out!
I can’t say I am a huge fan of George Romero’s work, but I have a feeling there are a lot of people who are in the same exact boat as I am. One of his more popular movies was of course the Land of the Dead movie, which really I can honestly say I have never seen. So seeing that this game is sort of playing like a sequel to the movie, I figured the game was going to have a pretty decent storyline to work with, but boy was I wrong. I found right away that this game basically throws you right into the story playing as one guy named Jack, who found a dead guy walking around his farm. The story never really takes on any real meaning, nor does it ever try to be very interesting. I have to say that the story line should have been much better, but in the end with a lack of better words, the storyline was just plain lame.
Ok, so maybe the storyline wasn’t the greatest, but could the gameplay possibly pick up the slack? Well, right away you will find that this game is just one of those kind of typical FPS that just has you go through a pretty linear path, taking on swarms of zombies at a time. You can take out these zombies from a safe distance using a variety of ranged weapons, or even get stuck up close with your bare fists.
The game may have plenty of weapons to choose from and plenty of zombies to dispose of, but it really struggles to try and take this game anywhere other than mediocrity. I mean the first big slam against this game is the computer AI, which is just absolutely ridiculous. While playing this game, it seemed like the majority of these zombies were on drugs, as they never seemed to be able to hit me. And when they do hit, you can usually dispose of them so easily that you never really have to worry about dying. The AI really needed a lot more work in order for it to make the game interesting, but instead many people are going to be turned off by the lack of challenge in the game.
The other big problem I had with the gameplay was that it really never tried to separate itself from every other FPS on the market. While playing this game, I felt as though the developers just never wanted to do anything spectacular, which was really a shame. I look at the possibility and I see the end results and I see the AI problems and I just see a lack of interesting things to do. The game sticks to a very linear path that keeps the gameplay lackluster and repetitive from start to finish.
Visually, Land of the Dead is one of those games that similar to the gameplay; just never wanted to go any further then where the game is at right now. The whole game just looked pretty uninspiring, with bland character models and a true lack of variety in the environments. When I look at Land of Dead, the game really just seems like a pretty lousy looking game, with some minor frame rate issues and a total lack of detail and originality.
I really enjoy video games, but I really enjoy first person shooters. There has been quite a few great ones of these on the Xbox, however Land of the Dead is just not one of them. The gameplay does have Xbox Live support ,which was just bad and not worth bothering with. The single player is just bland and lacks any sort of creativity and never really tries to be different from the rest of the genre. The game was just nowhere near as good as it could, and with the lack of an intelligent AI, the game just consistently struggles.
When I got Land of Dead: Road to Fiddler’s Green, I see a game that has potential written all over it but never once does the game use this potential to its advantage. The game just has terrible AI, not even worthwhile multiplayer, and just a really lackluster overall appeal. Sure the game has the potential but in the end most of it just goes to utter waste.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.