Wii U Review: ZombiU

London’s Calling…

ZombiU came across as quite the surprise when it was revealed at E3, it was a good sign that Nintendo was taking the hardcore seriously and getting an exclusive launch title from Ubisoft. A Zombie outbreak with a very British feel sounds like a great setting for a game and its surprising that it hasn’t really been done before, it’s also a great revival of the survival horror genre which has almost gone by the wayside with Resident Evil going the path of third-person action shooter, Silent Hill going through a serious rough patch and Dead Space going co-op, it’s about time that we had some fresh blood (or brains in this case)
The plot follows a survivor in the London Underground, you awake and try and find tools to help fight off zombies, while also gathering clues and progressing through to new areas. ZombiU is all about survival and how long you will last, which turns out to be it’s big selling point. You will die a number of times throughout, but when you die you take the role of a new survivor and your past character will become one of the undead and will actively hunt you down, now if you manage to kill him/her then you manage to get all your lovely loot back, but if not then you lose all of it forever.

Using the Gamepad to play as an FPS does take some getting used to, while the screen is used for multiple things like pressing a button to scan the map for active zombies, changing weapons, selecting equipment from boxes and so on. Managing all that under the stress of multiple zombies is difficult and getting killed is very easy if you let them close enough to pounce on you, it’s instant death really…so best advice is to keep as far away from them as possible, but chances are you’ll run out of ammo and have to resort to using melee weapons, which is high-risk to say the least.
Besides the campaign, there is a multiplayer mode but it’s only local which is a bit of a letdown. Despite that, it’s intriguing as one player uses the Gamepad to direct zombies to the players’ location. You can use the Wii Remote & Nunchuk combo or the Pro Controller for this, plus there’s an extra option to turn your face into a zombie’s for some fun moments with the family. Visually, ZombiU isn’t the nicest looking game and it does feel a bit rushed in that area, perhaps a few more months in development might have helped with that and some little glitches. The framerate is consistent but the load times are long, while the voice-acting is a mixed bag.

The Verdict

ZombiU is a great launch title for the Wii U, it revives the survival horror genre well and while all the elements aren’t perfect, its still a worthy experience that any hardcore gamer should try.