After the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 which showcased settlers in the untamed lands that went on to be the USA, some gamers wanted a Native Indian’s take on that time of turmoil. The game developers, Game-Labs, set about creating just that with This Land is My Land, a game full of beautiful scenery and wilderness, aimed at survival and growth. We got a chance to get our hands on the game recently.
All of this Land is Yours – Take it!
I was drawn into playing This Land is My Land after seeing the trailer. The graphics looked great and the concept of a strategy/survival game based on Native Indians intrigued me. If you love a good survival, let us know in the comments your favourites.
From the off, in the main menu, the game gives you the option to start a resistance rather than start a new game. This gives you a feel of what’s to come as you fight for land in the frontier. As you progress and get started with the game you are offered up three game difficulties. Classic, giving an easier gameplay experience with less focus on survival and more on action and stealth. Immersive, “This is how This Land Is My Land is meant to be played!” exclaims the description. This is full of survival mechanics darker nights, hunger, warmth, and more. Finally, there is Custom, which allows you to tweak settings if you want to have some elements from each of the two difficulties. I chose Classic as admittingly I am really bad at survival games. I was relieved to see the game gave you the option to tone that side of it down slightly.
As you enter the game you are given the option to build up your character, giving them life so to speak. Interestingly, the stat buffs you receive here depend on the name you give your character and dialogue choices. I found this a random but fun idea as I hadn’t come across this before. You also get given options throughout this period to define how difficult the start is for you. I found this a striking change from normal character builders and entirely random, but maybe there’s some hidden game mechanic at work here.
As you start in the wilderness you are given small missions/quests to get you started such as harvesting flax and wood. You are also given multiplayer missions where you raid camps to rescue other players or take down settlers in retaliation. Ultimately, you are given the goal of expanding and forming alliances with other tribes dotted throughout the land. At first, I found it all too easy to lose track of the smaller objectives. This was due to other more enticing and harder missions being available from the start. Being a novice survivalist I struggled and think it’s a game aimed at more veteran gamers of this genre.
Horse riding in the game was a bit janky at times. This may need improving for it to be rated higher among reviewers. When riding, the camera is often hard to focus on the direction you are riding in. This made those ever-dangerous obstacles even more of a threat. The horse also seems to have only two speeds. The horse can either trot along or go full sprint. I found myself, thanks to these two issues, running full speed into trees and rocks. This either meant getting injured or nothing at all as the collision mechanics seemed unreliable at times. The horses also seemed part mountain goats often capable of climbing steep rockfaces.
Graphics & Audio
Venturing into the game I was impressed at the quality of the graphics. An effort has been made to resemble that of Red Dead Redemption 2, which it will no doubt get compared to. The foliage is deep, varies in colour, and is abundant. When the sunlight shines through the trees it can create a great photo-worthy spectacle.
The wildlife isn’t as abundant in this game as say Red Dead, but you do notice the odd deer which will wander across your path enticing you to hunt them. The sounds of the world around you make for a real immersion into the game. The rain plays a big part in this too, masking out any noise around. It will obscure the camera somewhat with droplets which I thought was clever.
There is no in-action musical score when entering battles, which meant the real tension was lost. Some may prefer it this way instead of the over-encompassing music scores however. The voice acting and sound effects are great and just listening to them in battle was immersive to help put you in the moment.
Not being a survival gamer I lost interest quickly. For those who enjoy these kinds of games, there are plenty of objectives and goals to tackle. I gave it a fair shot though. I felt that if I put more time into it, it may give me more content and entertainment. I may try and revisit for a cosy rainy day worth of gaming.
I had fun getting to grips with This Land is My Land. The spin on the western adventure game with Native Indians interested me and I wasn’t disappointed with the theme or the feel. There were certain areas I felt the game could have improved on to make it a fully enjoyable game. While playing, I felt that the game developers were aiming for a bigger game generally. I understand the developers were caught up in issues beyond their control when creating this game which may have hindered them somewhat. For those who love survival games, I’d say it’s definitely worth having a go as there are many elements in the game you will enjoy.
I grant This Land is My Land the Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.