Review: Pound of Ground Finds the Fun Under the Rotting Meat

Review: Pound of Ground Finds the Fun Under the Rotting Meat

Platforms:

Steam

Game Name:

Pound of Ground

Publisher(s):

Bohemia Interactive

Developer(s):

Centauri Production

Genre(s):

Action, Third person shooter

Release Date:

November 5th, 2010

Developer Summary

The Pound of Ground is a title faithful to its raw, meaty name…Do not expect over political correctness, do not look for complexity: your character is knee deep in trouble and the solution is rough, wild and decisive action.

The game combines action elements – a wide range of finely tuned weapons, varying boss fights and grand, non-stop battles with swarms of undead – a strong story with many unexpected twists and peculiar characters. Very unconventional is the possibility to roam the Snake City in your own tuned super car, that may balance the odds in your favor for this battle of survival.

Features on Steam include 26 Steam Achievements, Steam Cloud

What We Think

It’s getting risky to step into the Zombie genre, mostly because of its blinding over exposure in video games, comics and movies, to say nothing of the humorous phenomenon it is on the net. Zombies are fun damn it! I can’t dispute that, I get the pop culture appeal. I know I wasn’t the only one playing Left 4 Dead into the wee hours of the morning. In the Indie world of video games however, Zombies are becoming a cheap way for a developer to put out a title that requires little innovation, story or style. All it needs is a gimmick and you will buy it. Play it once. Move on.

That’s what I thought I had walked into when playing this new title from Centauri Production (makers of post apocalyptic point & clicker “AlternativA“) and publisher Bohemia Interactive. Moments into this game I was ready to rip it a new one. Its humor failed like an NBC sitcom that was envisioned by a bunch of producers who think they are in touch with the YouTube generation after watching thirty seconds of Adult Swim. I sat through the opening cinematic with a straight face, acutely aware of how abysmally the game was failing…and I wasn’t even to the first screen of actual game play yet.

The first screen of game play was where the game splashed cold water on my face.

pound of ground screenshot 1

You play a character named John Major who has no idea why he even exists and is only aware that before the black oblivion of nothingness let him come outside and play, a voice from the ether told him to go kill monsters- then BAM! He’s in a desert and compelled to push forward with said goal. His first contact is with a crazy gun loving hick-chick named Farmer. Local Farmer. Now this is more like it! The humor thing has been done ten times over when it comes to the walking dead so I really didn’t think there was any other angle you could get on the subject.

But here is a game that makes fun of the fact that, yes, it’s another video game about zombies. It points at its lack of real plot and says, “So the hell what? Did you come here for Opera or slaughter?!” There’s really no where else to go these days when it comes to the genre, so what the hell. Pick up your baseball bat and let’s go do some quest grinding to the theme of cartoony zombies with a sweet metal soundtrack. Then just as you have dismissed the lack of story all together, plot twists ensue and all of the sudden you realize you judged a little too soon. I only wish I didn’t have to wait fifteen minutes into the title to find out it wasn’t insulting me as a gamer.

If you find yourself becoming more frightened of the heroes in this game rather than the zombies, you’re not alone. It could be their massive eyes that never blink, their eerie, frozen, plastic-facial expressions, or the fact their mouths keep moving after they are done talking like a bad 70’s Wuxia film from the vaults of hell. Take your pick. I found the zombies to be a little more comforting to see than John’s interaction with other characters…or John himself for that matter, who has a permanent smile plastered to his face like the Joker lying broken and dead in the center of his own crater at the end of Tim Burton’s Batman.

pound of ground screenshot 3

The game play was a little clunky but soon I found myself enjoying the gratification of sending a zombie hurtling meters away with a nice swing of the trusty baseball bat. That’s it then. It’s fool proof. It doesn’t matter what kind of game you make. Just put zombies in it, give a character some snappy lines and the ability to put a walking dead man into orbit with a Louisville slugger, you’ve got a fun game.

So I can’t write this game off like I planned on because I caught myself having a good time playing it. I’m always wary of games that you have to “give a chance”, but in this case I’m glad I did.

Get Pound of Ground on Steam

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

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