Fort Zombie

Choose your fort. Find survivors, weapons and supplies while trying to survive the masses of zombies that want your brains. Prepare your fort for the ultimate show down against the great zombie horde.

Release Date

October 2009.

Pros

Fort Zombie puts the “apocalypse” in zombie apocalypse. This is the first zombie game, I have played where a horde of zombies really is a horde! I lost count how many have appeared during the final show down, but I am guessing more than 100.

Fort Zombie is not just about getting guns and ammo and mowing down zombies. There are different weapon types and different guns need different ammo. You need to find weapons and ammo first. Then you have to decide who best to give those weapons to.

There are different zombie types with different abilities. For instance, the jogger zombie is faster than the rest, the police zombie shoots you and the doctor zombie puts other zombies back together.

The RPG component of the game is quite good. Stats and skills controls pretty much how good a character can do certain things. If the character has no pistol skills, shooting at close range will miss often. So if you are looking to gun down zombies nicely, you will need to skill up the guns skills. There are no experience points and levels either. Skills are improved by using them.

Strategy also plays a big role in Fort Zombie. Basically, you have twelve days to find survivors, find supplies and find weapons to build up your fort ready for the big zombie horde. Then you have to manage the people to help you get stuff, build barricades for your fort and heal others. Time is always ticking away and every choice can make the final show down impossible or just insanely difficult.

Health management is very detailed in the game. Not only is there body component damage, but they affect your performance too. You cannot run if your leg is injured badly. You cannot aim properly if your arm is injured badly. Once your health is down, doing first aid is not going to bring your health up much. You have to get proper medical treatment and rest to heal nicely. The whole health system reminds me of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but even more realistic.

The survivors, supplies, weapons and locations are all randomly generated which gives some replay value. You will notice the same buildings appear over and over again, but where they are placed relative to each other is different.

Cons

I do not know if this is a problem with the Direct2Drive version only, but when I tried to install the game on a drive that is not C: drive, it kept complaining that C: drive did not have enough space. Yes, C: drive did not have enough space, but I selected my other drive which had plenty of space.

The tutorial is too basic to learn to play, especially being a difficult game to play.

The AI for the survivors is terrible. Sure they can help you out by looting and attacking zombies, but trying to lead them is a real chore. They get stuck at so many places which means you have to back track and try to lead them slowly or through another way. They even get stuck behind low fences that zombies are smart enough to climb over. Sometimes they can also get into a place and permanently get stuck.

The first time I installed it, when I tried to start the game, it just crashed on start up and keeps doing so with no messages. After reading around, I installed Microsoft XNA Framework Redistributable 3.0 and it started up fine. Why did they not check that the framework is there and give a message, rather than just crash.

Apart from the main menu, the game is completely devoid of music. Sure this means you can listen for zombies better, but it also makes the game feel more boring.

The graphics were quite bad. It was nice that the zombies limbs and heads come off and can also be put back together, but the whole game looked worse than Red Faction.

The sounds were also quite bad. Other than a few zombie sounds, everything else sounded weak.

The volume control does not work properly. When you are in the game and you adjust the volume it is fine, but when you restart the game, the play back of sound is back to default even though the volume slider shows as adjusted.

You are supposed to run and hide from zombies when a fight is not necessary, but it is quite hard to do so when zombies with guns can see and shoot through walls. This is an annoying bug that happens half the time.

Other Points

For anyone that has not reached this conclusion yet, I will state it plain and simply right here. Fort Zombie is not an action game. The game stresses heavily on survival and even the manual says that running away is always an option. If you like to fight more than run, you will die.

If I could pick only one genre for the game I would say it is an RPG. Overall I would say it is a RPG/strategy/survival game.

The story is minimal and the completion time is quite short at twelve days before the zombie horde attacks. Bear in mind though, Fort Zombie’s focus is on whether you can take different character types and build up your chosen fort to be able to withstand the zombie horde.

The game difficulty ranges from impossible to insanely difficult. Even the first stage of getting to the fort took me twenty goes before I got there. Then the game starts good and proper. Whether it is the first stage, the middle of the game or the final show down, you will die and die a lot, which also means a lot of reloading.

The controls take a bit of getting used to, but once you do, it works out quite good.

There are random events like zombies attacking your fort before the final show down and being ambushed when going on a mission. Other than wasting your ammo and threatening you life, they do not add anything to the game.

Biases

Reviewed version 1.0.7

I have never played any game similar to Fort Zombie. The only games that came to mind while I was playing are Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil. They have zombies but they play nothing like Fort Zombie.

I have completed the game a few times, but only on the easiest level of the police station.

DRM

Fort Zombie is DRM free.

Minimum Requirements (from the manual)

  • OS: Windows® XP SP2 / Vista / 7
  • CPU: Intel® Core2® Duo 6600 or equivalent processor
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Video: DirectX 9.0c SM2 compliant graphics card with 512M of RAM (SM3 compliant graphics card with 1G of RAM preferred)
  • Drive: 4X PC DVD-ROM
  • Sound: DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card
  • Available Hard Disk Space: Approx. 1 GB
  • DirectX®: 9.0c

Computer Played On

  • Windows 7 64 bit.
  • Intel Core i5 2.3GHz
  • 4Gb RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1Gb RAM
  • Conexant SmartAudio with egg speakers or earphones. Or Logitech G35.
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips

It is a very good idea to read the manual and understand how the game works.

 

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