Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
In Zombie U the player takes the role of many random survivors in London during a zombie apocalypse. While zombie games have been done before, Zombie U was one of the few third-party launch titles to get truly excited about. Each time you die in the game, which during the first part can be pretty often, considering you start out with no weapons. Players become a new character and your old one is turned into a zombie. Once you die the old character roams the streets and buildings where you left them with most of your weapons and items which means you must reach the previous you and kill them to retrieve all the items out of the backpack. While this can be frustrating for the player it is a unique twist on starting from your last save and it’s more realistic than the usual, start over from the beginning approach. It’s one of the things that made this game a plus for me, as it becomes a big part of the challenge.
One of the positives of Zombie U is that it does make great use of the Wii U game pad. It serves as an easily accessible menu, a radar detector, and your map. While using the radar detector you can bing a radius around you, which gives an idea of what could be lurking in the shadows. By displaying a red dot on your Wii U game controller pad, this shows where the zombie are creeping. While this could warn you of upcoming zombies it also picks up on other lifeforms like rats or crows that can throw you off track and hype up a situation that may be nothing. I enjoy the fact that it’s unknown whether you are running headfirst into the undead or some misleading creature. You can also scan behind doors with your gamepad which will update your map to a new area and get rid of the map for a previous one. Once again I feel like this is a more realistic approach and an interactive on-screen map is a highly useful tool in the game and gives you direction on where to go.
The controls are a little hard to get used to simply because many of the control schemes are through the touch screen of the Wii U gamepad. It takes a bit of getting use to figure out when you need to look at the game pad and when you should be looking at the screen. Once you are through the learning curve however it seems quite natural. The button configuration is pretty standard in the game, however your character seems to have no skill whatsoever. Your options are literally to run, eat, shoot, or swing something. This could be a negative for many people, but I rather enjoyed the realistic experience.
There are a variety of weapons at the players disposal in the game including pistols, and a wooden paddle. I found myself beating the death out of the undead mostly with the paddle due to the fact that bullets can be very limited especially if you are unable to kill your previous self and succeed in getting the weapons and items from your backpack.
This game definitely isn’t for everyone. The difficulty level of this game is quite high, mostly because once a version of you dies you are out of most of the items you have collected while playing as the last character. The game is a true survival game and not so much a zombie killing game. You might find that hiding is your best option in this game as opposed to going for the kill each and every time. Using the paddle is a good idea to save ammo but it’s slow and cumbersome and you may find yourself not able to take on more than a couple of zombies at a time. Due to these factors at any one time there are five different scenarios you have to play out in your head. Figure out what the best strategy will be to survive. Most of the environment isn’t interactive and you’ll find that it doesn’t need to be because the entire point of the game is to try and be the survivor of a zombie apocalypse. Much of the story isn’t even clear until very late in the game due to this fact.
Zombie U Gets
Out of Five
+More realistic approach to zombie gaming
+Wii U control screen use
+Good single player experience
-The realistic approach means less zombie killing and more running
-Dying is something that happens on a regular basis
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