Customer Review

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good attempt to bring survival horror to it's roots, littered with technical issues., 13 Jan 2013
By 
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: ZombiU (Nintendo Wii U) (Video Game)
ZombiU really is one of the more interesting WII U launch titles, it was talked about with everyone who was interested in getting the WII U as it would be the first 18+ rated game that would be one of the first games to launch with Nintendo's new console. Also, the game promised to bring back the old survival horror gameplay, remind us of how this genre is supposed to work, even though ZombiU does do a good job at being a survival horror game it does have a few hit and misses. Let's take a gander!

The story behind ZombiU is that a zombie outbreak has taken over the entire world, everything has fallen into chaos, zombies are everywhere and you, a survivor have to try and live the hellish nightmare of a zombie infested London for as long as you can. There isn't really much story to go here apart from the characters who seem to babble on how they 'knew' this was coming and all that jazz, there are news articles and and all kinds of information you can find around the game's world which give you a insight of what happened before and during the events of the zombie outbreak, but I won't spoil it here.

When you jump into the world of ZombiU you'll find yourself having to run away from a horde of zombies and this isn't a cut scene you're actually controlling the character and running for your life a great way to introduce you to the game and as well give you the idea that you are indeed, just a normal person who's in the middle of this hell hole, no special operative, no CSI, S.A.S guy, just a normal, everyday guy. With this in mind it should be noted that ZombiU is really more slow paced than that of the fast paced and action intense Dead Space franchise or... Resident Evil... 6? So if you're looking for more of an action game with horror then you probably won't find it here, this is a game where you really need to take it slow and learn to think ahead of your adventures into the unknown, running in and going mad with the weapons probably most of the time won't end well... For you anyway, the zombies will probably get a nice snack.

Gameplay comes down to basically following the game's objectives and trying to last with your character for as long as you can. When you start out your character has nothing on him, apart from a B.O.B or Bug Out Bag, with this bag you can store in a small selection of items into it and take it around with you on your journeys. This is great because it really makes you think about what kind of items you want to take and how many because you never really know what kind of encounters will happen. Your melee weapon is the good old cricket bat and this baby really is a fun thing to use when it comes to clubbing down zombies, however you'll quickly learn that sometimes that the cricket bat isn't the best weapon to use for some situations so you'll find yourself using weapons like mines, moltovs, rifles, shotguns, you name it! Another thing that's really cool is that guns can be upgraded, if you have the needed parts in order to do so, these upgrades allow you add things like better firepower, more ammo the common stuff.

However you may find that the controls for this may not really be up to snuff and you might find yourself being killed because of how the game controls, I wouldn't say the controls are terrible but they really do take sometime to get used to. The zombies in ZombiU aren't exactly push overs either. Some of them can really take a beating though this is cool there'll probably be moments where you'll find yourself pinning the zombie to a corner and smacking him around until he drops dead, and when it takes around 5-7 hits it can get tedious pretty quickly.

And the zombies, if you give them the chance will kill you, this is a game really does try to get you at certain sticky spots, like when you think there's only one zombie, if you attack it you'll suddenly be invaded by 3 more, it's a cool idea that really makes you think if going straight in for the kill is really a good idea. And zombies can grab you and will bite you, this is like a instant death move, if you find yourself grabbed, that's it that character is DEAD, and you don't continue with that character too, this is way things get interesting.

As stated above when your character is killed by being eaten or smacked around by zombies you'll take on the role of a completely new character with nothing on you expect for the stuff you happened to store away in your stash at the safe house, yes, you have a safe house. And if you reach the area where your last character died there is a possible chance that character will have turned into a zombie and will attack you. If you can kill this one zombie you can loot the corpse's B.O.B of the stuff you had on that character, it's a really cool idea and has a Dark Souls feeling to it.

When you manage your inventory space, the game doesn't pause and you have to look at your gamepad in order to see what you've got in your back, this adds a good amount of tension to the game because a zombie might just come at you from behind while you're seeing how many chocolate bars you have left, this happened to me once and I can assure you I had a panic attack and wrangled my gamepad around in not knowing what to do.

The game does try to use the gamepad for some moments in the game like using a radar to check any nearby zombies and tapping on the screen to break off a barricade on a door but it would have been nice to see the gamepad being used for much more. Like shaking the gamepad to get zombies off you, seeing how you might find yourself swinging the bloody thing around anyway it feels like a missed opportunity.

Believe it or not this game does have some kind of online implemented into it. Much like when you die and your last character turns into a zombie there's a chance that someone else's character from around world could appear as a zombie in your game, if they died anyway. It also shows the amount of points that player had and as well as their name. There's also chances of your friends appearing on your game, I dunno if friends appearing in your game is more common than just random people but it's a really neat idea and it's funny to speak about how you smacked them around to take their items.

The graphics for ZombiU are sadly very subpar even though the game does have a nice atmosphere and they did a really good in capturing the jolly... Good ol London but the game's textures do look kinda naff and low quality and the game tends to have a few hiccup moments. I ran into a glitch where an area didn't load correctly and most of the area was like some kind of grey limbo, as if I accidentally went into developers creation tools. And there are moments where you'll find yourself not being to go through a door because the game has to load the area, kinda annoying and unacceptable for a game on a next gen console, I also had another glitch happen to me where I pressed a switch to turn on a elevator and when the door opened I found 3 zombies in some kind of position as if they were running and stuck, frozen to the wall and disappeared and flopped out from the roof of the elevator if I shot at them, it kinda makes me wonder if Ubisoft actually bug tested this game before shipping it out.

So, honestly from what I played on ZombiU I had a lot of fun with it, granted it's got a few annoying moments like glitches, weird controls that'll take time to get used to but really this is a game that's hit and miss with everyone and the only way to really find out if you'll like it or hate it is to try it out for yourself. I'd say wait until a price drop for this game. It's a fun game in my opinion but felt like it needed more work. Ubisoft did a pretty decent job in trying to bring back the old school style of survival horror back into the modern gaming generation.

The Lovely!
Good attempt at bringing back survival horror.
Great atmosphere, captures London quite nicely.
Looking at gamepad while game still plays on screen adds tension.
Being able to kill random players and friend's zombies for their loot is a great idea.

The Ugly!
Glitches.
Controls are a little wonky.
Melee combat could have been implemented better, like more weapons aside from the cricket bat.
Poor texture quality in some areas.
Gamepad features feel slightly tacked on.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Jan 2013 15:52:29 GMT
Dragonlord says:
After playing the demo, I would say your review is spot on and very good as well.

Posted on 26 Jan 2013 00:11:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Jan 2013 00:20:57 GMT
V. Fernandes says:
I disagree with more weapons, you have to realize this is survival horror, you must have bad and weak weapons, character has to be slow and week, thats why this game works as a survival game. Controls are nothing short of perfect. Not one single issue. Its not the same as call of duty, and the wiiU controls (right joystick on top of the face buttons), and different position of the buttons and different size of controller take a while to get used to, in any game, if your coming from any other console.

Glitches? Apart from the first instroduction video stuttering a bit, I have yet to see any other glitch at all.

I agree with poor textures, But I've heard this is the style of the game, to look dirty, to make you more scared. If it had perfect sharp picture, then it would not be so scary. The style of image, with the lightning effects, with the dust on camera and such, with limited angle of view in some places, with the sounds, with the slow characters and weak weopons, all come together to create a very claustrophobic experience. In my opinion, it is 100% spot on.

If you think gamepad features are tacked on then just sell your wiiU right now, this is what people buy the wiiU for. The xbox/ps3 would be a better choice for you. All the games build from scratch for the wiiU will use the gamepad features heavily.

I also dont like to move around the gamepad, I use the joysticks and works perfectly. But I love, really love all the touch related parts and map on screen and such. I agree that using tap the srcreen to remove barricades and such feels like you said, tacked on. But in every game it will be like this, example, batman, I had to deactivate the motion for flying around as I much prefered the joysticks. Cant please everyone 100%.

I also agree with the loading of some areas, surely that could have been better. But it happens quickly and its rare to happen. Better than resident evil when all the doors you had a long loading screen every time. Loadings will happen on all 3d based games, one way or the other, some games mask this by havving some animation.

''when it takes around 5-7 hits it can get tedious pretty quickly.''

It takes 90% of the times 4 hits only. 3 to get him on the floor, 1 to finish. Later on, the zombies with helmets take further hits.
In many cases zombies have taken only 1 or 2 hits. Depends where you hit, I guess. And many zombies will die with 1 bullet to the head from the initial handgun without upgrades.
Also, if zombies would be dead with one hit only, then all the scare would be gone and zombies would not be scary anymore. Its knowing how difficult the combat is, that makes you afraid of them, and wanting to avoid them.
One of the features of the game, is to switch off the flashlight so you can sneak past them.

''using a radar to check any nearby zombies''

This is one one flaw of the game later on, youll get a radar upgrade and it will automatically scan for zombies, I dont like this and think it should stay like from beggining. It has taken away half of the scare for me later on.

''this happened to me once and I can assure you I had a panic attack and wrangled my gamepad around in not knowing what to do.''

All you have to do to get out of the inventory searching/managing is, push joystick back and your back ready to run, push joystick back and quickly run forward to get away.

''kinda annoying and unacceptable for a game on a next gen console''

First, this is more a halfway console in between ps3/360 and next consoles, I'd say more powerfull than those, less powerfull than next. Also, even on PC there's loading. An SSD could probably help a lot, but thats expensive for them to put on a console.
We just have to deal with loadings. You should see how long loadings on ps3 take. In skyrim you can even go make a cup of cofee.
Second, this is a day 1 launch game, made by a third party developer, on a completely different console with barely any user base. With that in mind I'm surprised the game even came out so well. Most of the glitches you have, Ive never experience, theres a patch for the game, I m not sure it it has to do with that.

Also, price drop or not, this game is ONLY recommended for hardcore games, most wii owners are excluded. Also recommended for fans of the Dark souls, if you cant stand the difficulty on that game, then this will be the same. But if your casual and you still want to kill some zombies, there's a chicken mode, which is easier.

Also your character only has one life, but you can allways continue with other characters, there;s shortcuts throughout the game to get you back where you were quickly.
In fact many players have finished this game in survival mode, in which you only get one character for the full game.

Posted on 11 Jan 2014 14:12:19 GMT
K8T says:
This is an amazing review. Thankyou!

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2014 14:15:32 GMT
K8T says:
Some helpful pointers here. Thankyou

Posted on 19 Jun 2014 22:21:33 BDT
Totallyagree about the glitches. i am replaying at the moment and died at just before the first safe house due to loading issues
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