ZombiU (Video Game)
Developer & Publisher: Ubisoft
Available exclusively on Nintendo Wii U
When developer and publisher Ubisoft announced ZombiU back at E3 2012, fans were instantly enamored by the new survival horror title and intrigued by its utilization and exclusivity on Nintendo's Wii U. Ubisoft's new franchise focuses on creating a game that includes all of the elements that makes the survival horror genre so fun all while introducing new game mechanics that can only be executed so well on Wii U. The final product is one that will scare the crap out of you and is a blast to play alone in a dark room, with a friend watching on as you sneak through corridors or bash in another undead's skull or in competitive multiplayer. The slow, deliberate delivery will turn off some gamers, but ZombiU reaches out to its target audience like a zombie lurking towards its next victim and gives gamers a true survival horror experience that won't easily be forgotten.
As with many survival horror titles, ZombiU doesn't feature a strong storyline. With only a few short cutscenes scattered throughout the game, most of ZombiU's storyline is told through gameplay, finding documents and talking to other characters on your radio. You won't be given a lengthy backstory to any of the characters you play as, and each time you die, you'll respawn as a new character with the same mission objectives but no gear. The game never explains why you continue to spawn in the same place with new characters or why they have the same memories as the characters before them, but it doesn't need to. Exploring the infested sewers and streets of London is enough fun to distract away from a storyline that lacks any depth, and each life is a new adventure waiting to be explored.
Any game of ZombiU begins with your character being only armed with a cricket bat, but as you progress through the game, you can loot fallen enemies and other structures in the game for better weapons such as shotguns, handguns and crossbows and continue to look for other helpful items. Whenever you loot something, you'll be forced to look away from the television screen to the Wii U gamepad to slide items in and out of your inventory. Mini-games you encounter are also played in the same fashion, and the game never pauses leaving players vulnerable to attacks while looking away from the screen. Combat in ZombiU is your standard fare with melee attacks taking a few attempts to crack a zombie's skull and firearms being a bit clunky as can be expected in this type of game. The Wii U gamepad can also double as a map and enemy locator that finds any organic life forms in the nearby area to help you sneak by unnoticed.
ZombiU is the best looking game around, but it is one of the better looking titles available now for Wii U, and the creepy aesthetics do enough to keep you on edge while playing through the game and the iconic location of London are a nice change of pace from the locations in most other games. Sound design is fairly strong here and receives a great boost from the frightening soundtrack composed by Cris Velasco when it can be heard over some of the more annoying characters excessive moans and grunts. The chilly atmosphere takes a backseat in ZombiU's multiplayer mode however; one player mans the Wii U gamepad, deploying zombies in a strategy fashion to stop the second player on controller who is fighting their way through the hordes in order to capture flags. The multiplayer in ZombiU is pretty entertaining and is one of the few new games on the market that offers fun local multiplayer to enjoy with your friends. All in all, ZombiU is a fun game and one you'll want to pick up for the launch of Wii U. While the game is rough around the edges, it offers the perfect example of what a survival horror game should, and horror fans should run out and purchase a Wii U just to get their hands on ZombiU. Survive the zombie apocalypse today!
ZombiU is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99 and can be purchased exclusively for Nintendo Wii U. ZombiU is rated M by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence & Strong Language. For more information on the game, check out the official ZombiU website.
4 out of 5