Zombi U Review
By Charlotte Merigan Grace
ZombiU the new survival/horror game that has your heart pumping, pulse racing and will have you jumping out of your seat.
The Zombie apocalypse has fallen upon England in the streets of London and your mission is to basically survive. You receive guidance from The Prepper who is a survival expert that has been prepared for this very outbreak. Later on you meet Dr. Walker who is hard at work in the lab attempting to find a cure for the zombie virus and Sandra the leader of the secret group called “The Ravens of Dee”. Depending on who you side with your goals may change from simply escaping and leaving everything behind or attempting to cure everybody.
ZombiU starts off with The Prepper saving your life leading you to a safe house underground in the subway. This becomes your base where you conduct all your operations, sleep and take short cuts. The Prepper will often talk to you about where to go and what to do but he is not very instructive and when anything juicy starts to happen in the storyline he often stops talking. There is not much guidance in the game on where to go or what to do. The Prepper has constructed a device for you which becomes the Wii U gamepads main interface. Allowing you to access your backpack, check your radar/map or even aim down your sites if you manage to find a sniper rifle.
Your mission is to survive or escape, there aren’t many options. You go from location to location finding loot and taking out zombies. With your Wii U pad you can scan around your location and analyse items you can loot, hack doors to unlock them or hack the CCTV to gain a rough location. On your Wii U gamepad is a radar that lets you see the locations of any zombies nearby. This may become tedious as you are constantly tapping the radar. Eventually the radar gains an upgrade and will automatically flash. To make things worse your map picks up birds and rats which may become frightening when you see a dozen red markers running at you.
You play as a survivor with no more details than your name, age and occupation. You start off with a cricket bat, Pistol (6 Bullets) and a torch. If you die you must respawn in your safe house as a new survivor. This becomes annoying as you tend to die a little too quickly. It is difficult to take on barley any more than two zombies at a time as it can take up to 4-6 hits with your cricket bat just to take out one, if you’re lucky. In the end the way you take out each zombie is too similar and repetitive. Sometimes the safe house will be attacked by a horde of zombies leaving you too defend yourself.
When you die your previous survivor has become infected and is carrying all your loot in their backpack. This may become difficult to recollect all your items because if you died from two zombies there will now be three, therefore leaving you with an option to either try again or loose your items. Although when in a tight situation you may come across, flares, grenades or mines which may just help you take out that horde of zombies blocking your way. Although one bonus about dying is whatever zombie you killed on the way remains dead but as time goes by or you travel to new locations zombies will slowly repopulate that area.
When looking down at your gamepad everything is in real time. So while you’re equipping your newly found rifle a zombie may just sneak up behind you. You are also faced with many situations where you must tap the gamepad over and over to unlock a door, open a new shortcut or even quickly put in a security code that just happens to be missing a number. These situations can make you panic as background noises automatically trigger.
Apart from your standard game play through allowing you to choose from two difficulties, Chicken and normal you also have the survival mode. Survival mode is where you have the one character and must survive as long as possible in the attempt to finish the game. If you make one stupid mistake or don’t check that one corner then BAM it’s all over forever and the last thing you see are the credits.
Single player online features
ZombiU has a system called “Blacklight” which allows you to use graffiti (a series of symbols) in the game world to leave messages that can be scanned and read by other players. Other players that discover these messages can tag them as distrustworthy.
Another online feature in called “Mercy Kill”. Once a player has become infected and died your friends will be notified and they are able to go there and put your old survivor out of its misery allowing them to loot your gear.
ZombiU does not have any online multiplayer mode but it has three offline modes. One character will play as “The King of Zombies” on the gamepad the other player being the survivor. Each player has their own set of challenges in which to win the match. Surviving against the Zombie King’s Bombers can be a real challenge. The slightest touch and it can all be over then again he might explode and destroy all the nearby zombies letting you take advantage.
Assault Mode is similar to your basic capture the flag. The survivor must capture each flag point while surviving against the Zombie King’s attacks. The Zombie King’s objective is not only to distract, kill or stop the survivor but to use his own minions to capture his own flags.
Killing Box is where the survivor must defend himself against the Zombie King’s horde of zombies. The survivor must take out as many zombies to achieve his highest score before the Zombie King eventually takes him out.
Survival Mode ranks players by how long they can survive against the Zombie King’s attacks, Surviving horde after horde.
Graphic and Visuals
ZombiU has some impressive graphics but there are also some downfalls. Everything is dark and gloomy which makes it very difficult to play with, although it adds a lot of effect to the personal experience. The details put into the zombies is pretty amazing but when you are whacking them with your bat or shooting them in the head it’s very repetitive and looks the same. The way their head comes off is the same shape. Although there is a lot of blood everything seems to blend together in the landscape making it easy to get lost. Some places have had a fair amount put into it rather than others. The sound on the other had has you jumping out of your seat. Sudden alarms doors going off, birds flying at you and the creeping eerie sounds lurking in the dark almost sound realistic.
ZombiU had me freaking out at just the thought of opening my bag or turning my torch off. ZombiU has a lot of scary moments that make your heart race and by the time you have finally calmed down your jumping out of your seat again. I am not easily scared but haven’t felt this way about any horror game on any console in a long time. ZombiU may start off slow but becomes more action packed the further you progress. Although the storyline seems as if it goes nowhere and navigating your way around may be tedious as there is not much help marking your next objective, ZombiU is a great game when it comes to fright and being sucked into the world of ‘something is behind me!’ I recommend that all Zombie lovers out there at least give ZombiU a try because no matter how far you progress into the game it is definitely a great experience and a great fright. So grab your cricket bat and take on those ZOMBIES!
8 / 10