ZombiU: Scary Zombie Survival Horror on the Wii U

ZombiU for the Wii U
O’reet, mate?

Here’s an obscure survival-horror gem from 2012. It started its undead life on Nintendo’s Wii U. So, let us [insert zombie noises]. Indeed.

ZombiU

This is a Ubisoft Montpellier production—the brand of Ubisoft responsible for the masterpiece platformer that is Rayman Origins (plus, Rayman Legends).

Set in London, it’s a first-person survival game of the date December 2012.And… there’s a zombie outbreak!

You control a nameless character who escapes into a bunker. There you find some basic weapons, a bug-out bag, and an electronic device with a radar.

Over a radio you’re in contact with the gruff voiced Dr. Knight, a physician who is set on getting a cure. And can guide you along to key points.

The name of the game is exploration, it’s just set at knight. You only gave the likes of a cricket bat. And there are zombies everywhere.

Other than Alien Isolation and bits of Resident Evil 4, we really can’t remember a game scaring us so much. It’s bloody terrifying.

This is accomplished in the sense of total vulnerability you have. It’s not like Call of Duty where you rush in all guns blazing.

If there’s more than one zombie (such as two zombies… or even three zombies!) you’re in big trouble.

Stealth is important. So is hoarding resources you get find. But sometimes it just becomes a run for your life moment, sweaty palmed panic rush to find some safety.

For all its high points, the game is also flawed. GameSpot was so unimpressed it gave the game 4.5/10.

Although it also handed the masterpiece Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze a similarly scathing score. So what the hell does it know?!

Destuctroid handed over 8/10 and Eurogamer 9/10. But it was a divisive game.

Largely as it’s frustrating at times. Generally, you should try and avoid combat. But it’s pretty repetitive and difficult all the same.

A death means a lot of backtracking and the loss of important items—although you start over as a new character in the bunker each time.

So you could be a man, women, or man or a woman. And you’ll eventually happen on the corpse of your previous character and nick their goods.

But it is quite an enclosed world. And there’s something about ZombiU in its restrictions that stop you wanting to spend too much time with it. Largely due to how repetitious it can be.

However, the scare factor is relentless. If you like fouling yourselves in horror then it’s worth getting a Wii U just for this title. It really is intense.

But, at the same time, accomplished to much greater effect in the likes of Alien Isolation. Which we heartily recommend over this.

So, ZombiU is an interesting coda in the Wii U’s history. One of the launch titles on Nintendo’s failed console.

It utilises the innovative GamePad features well. Offers some trouser fouling moments. And is a game we consistently think about.

But we don’t want to return to it again. Odd that, eh? A sequel would be welcome. Iron out those flaws and you’ve got a survival-horror classic here.

Zombie Ports

To note, Ubisoft eventually ported the game over to the PC, PS4, and XBox One in 2015.

Now, ZombiU was developed specifically with the Wii U’s GamePad in mind. So it’s an interesting switch.

And, also, interesting to note that the port didn’t seem to go overly well. Reviews were mediocre across all other systems.

So it seems like the Wii version is the one to own. Although, again, the likes of Alien Isolation are what you should aim for over even that.

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