Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Review for Game-Debate: Fort Zombie

Fort Zombie is without a doubt, the worst computer game I’ve ever had the misfortune to play. The controls are awful, it looks terrible, there is almost no sound and it crashes for no apparent reason. It’s so frustrating to play that the concept of a real zombie munching on your brain actually sounds more enjoyable than this rotting corpse of a game...Wait. You’re still here? Really? If the above hasn’t already been enough to put you off Fort Zombie forever, you’ll definitely not want to spend £7.95 on it once you’ve read this.

I’m never one to judge a book by its cover, or a game by its title screen, but I had a bad feeling about this one when I booted up Fort Zombie for the first time. Can you say 2D cardboard cut outs? It honestly looks like something that was knocked up using Photoshop in the space of about 2 minutes. And would you believe it, it all goes downhill from there.

Fort Zombie looks terrible. There are games from the start of the decade that look better than this. The whole world is blocky with a tremendously bad amount of pop-up and the character (also blocky) animation is shockingly bad. If you need any more convincing as to how bad this game looks just look at the screenshots. Do it now. I’ll even make this the end of the paragraph so you can easily come back to where you left off. That is if you haven’t gouged out your own eyeballs after having a look.

See, I told you I’d wait for you and I’m glad to see you still have full use of your vision. Of course games aren’t all about looks but you can’t ignore how ugly this one looks and there’s probably road kill out there that’s more atheistically pleasing than Fort Zombie. Unfortunately the game play is just as terrible as the graphics. You play the role of a chap called Ben Riley, who for some reason decided the best way to survive the zombie apocalypse is to head in to the town of Piety, Indiana and hold up in a fortress. If zombies did start walking the streets I would try and get out of a city personally. Anyway, your first task is to find your fortress and clear it out which is where I discovered many of the problems with Fort Zombie.

The controls are awful. Ben Riley cannot shoot straight, or even move while shooting. If you want to shoot a zombie you have to stand still or run away. Try shooting and you’ll soon discover Ben Riley has trouble targeting a zombie that’s two feet in front of him. If you want to move away from the zombie for a better shot you can’t just step backwards, no that’d be far too easy. Ben can’t walk backwards, he can only turnaround which then involves trying to sort out the awful camera while you try to take aim. It’s probably a good thing you can merely walk away from most zombies, that is when Ben isn’t too exhausted. That cigarette he’s smoking is obviously bad for him because walking a few hundred metres will drain Ben’s stamina so much he’ll have to stop and take a breather – easy prey for zombies ay? It’s a ridiculous aspect of the game. Fear not though, the zombies are so stupid that if you merely walk round a corner they’ll forget about you. The A.I. is just that bad. That’s not just for your enemies by the way. I often found my allies’ path finding techniques laughable. Apparently walking around a car is too hard for them, just another of the many, many things that make Fort Zombie a terrible experience.

Let’s move away from the undead and onto the fort. The main task of the game is find supplies and survivors in order to defend your fort from mass zombie invasions over the course of a 12 day period. Every day you choose ‘missions’ that involve you going to an area of the town in order to find food, supplies or other survivors. These missions are generated randomly so if you really want to play this rubbish more than once the opportunity is there – that is if you can get into a mission. What do I mean? It’ll tell you. Fort Zombie regularly crashed when choosing missions so instead of seeing Piety I ended up looking at my desktop. (At least it’s easier on the eyes than this abomination)

When missions actually loaded they were repetitive affairs. Walk over there, shoot or avoid the undead and look for items. Looking for things involves pushing F and watching your character try to ‘find’ boxes and cabinets. Even if these are quite obviously in front of your face you still need to ‘look’ for them which takes about 5 seconds. Why? It’s completely pointless and just one more irritating thing about this game.

To conclude, Fort Zombie looks awful, plays terribly and is so full of bugs it really isn’t worth the £7.95 asking price. Here are some suggestions as to more enjoyable ways to spend your money:

  • Buy a set of knives and repeatedly jab them into your legs.
  • Spend it all down the pub! You’ll want to forget this review no doubt.
  • If you really want some cheap zombie action (steady...) use the money to buy the excellent Plants vs. Zombies

Yeah, do that last one! But whatever you do, don’t buy Fort Zombie. Ever.

2/10

(Originally written for Game-Debate)

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