ZombiU is a very polarizing game.Â Players either like it or they don’t, which also seems to be the case when it comes to critical reviews.Â We were actually really shocked when we saw the kinds of scores the game was getting — they had us thinking it was going to be the Red Steel of the Wii U, but we had seen enough previews to know it was worth trying.Â Turns out, we actually like it.
In the basic game mode you start off as a survivor that you can use for the entire game.Â You get no info other than a name and occupation.Â If you die, that character is dead forever (as a zombie in-game) and you wake up in a safe house as someone new (Unless playing in the 1 life survivor mode wherein if you die you game over).Â In some cases where you think your character is super ugly, just feed him or her to the zombies and get someone else.Â The premise of the game is simple: Go through the story learning how to survive, then learn about a plot line (with a ton of back story you can read via files in-game) where you’re trying to find a cure and get out of there.Â To be honest, the story presentation is almost non-existent, but available for you to seek out on your own.Â To oversimplify things, the game is about surviving against zombies in a moderately open world that isn’t terribly big or, to be quite honest, all that open.
What ZombiU has going for it is the atmosphere.Â It’s generally not scary, but it is dark, dank, and the effects on the screen almost make it look like a dirty lense that makes it look like you’ve found lost footage.Â There’s one area where it’s raining and the atmosphere is just fantastic.Â Overall pretty nice visuals.
On your Wii U Gamepad you get theÂ Prepper Pad and Bug out Bag (BoB).Â You’re able to ping the map to see if there are any zombies around you sorta like a sonar that can be fooled by harmless rats.Â Eventually you can upgrade this to constantly scan instead of having to manually do it.Â You can also manage your inventory on the prepper pad, and hold up the Gamepad to scan a room for items.Â All of the above happen in real-time and show your character on the main screen performing the activity.Â This means you can’t go looking for something in your bag mid-fight.Â There’s a bit of a learning curve in terms of the controls and learning to manage your inventory, but it gets quicker.Â Some other activities like lock picking (one of the better implementations we’ve seen), and removing a sewer lid (a crappy picture of a sewer lid you tap) make using the GamePad hit or miss.
Read on after the break for the rest of our ZombiU review. (more…)