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Zombi U Innovates (and Alienates?)

04/07/2012 Zombi U News
Guest author: Chris Jarvis
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Zombi U Nintendo Wii

Zombi U

Format:
Nintendo Wii

Genre:
Adventuring

Style:
Augmented
Singleplayer

Further reading:
Chris Jarvis
Dark Souls (PS3)
Lego City Undercover (Wii U)

Buy/Support:
Support Paul, click to buy via us...


Zombi U harks back to the survival-horror genre and an ambitious attempt to push the Wii U gamepad's new features into a traditional adventure gaming experience. But will it alienate parents from the previously super-safe Wii brand?

Set in London, Zombi U depicts a Zombi outbreak and casts your Wii U gamepad as a prop in the story, acting as the bag which contains your weapons and supplies as well as being a gadget that interacts with the game world.

A highlight of the gamepad's uses for me is the sniper mode, which allows you to hold the pad up to the screen to use the touchpad screen as a rifle scope, or a similar mode which uses the pad as a scanner to detect Zombies behind walls.

In some respects, it feels like a cheap show trick, forcing you to look away from the screen while the horror action continues. But it does make a good effort to simulate how trying to manage equipment and puzzles in the middle of a life-or-death situation might play out. While searching your bag for weapons, the hero's character looks desperately up and down as a Zombie lurches toward him; in the same way, while handling a door panel you are given an over-the-shoulder view on the TV screen to keep an eye on what is happening behind you.

In terms of mixing a traditional mainstream adventure with the features of the new Wii U gamepad, Zombi U is far more ambitious than most of the other titles announced to date. The game features a character persistency idea, in which when you die that character is gone and you inhabit a new individual. The designers see players heading for the last corpse to recover equipment, but to me this sound a little horribly like the time-consuming challenge of Dark Souls (PS3).

Alongside Lego City Undercover (Wii U), Zombi U is one of the more interesting launch titles I've seen so far for the Wii U, even if the Zombie theme is becoming a little tired in gaming circles. As a Brit, I think it will certainly be fun to see London's landmarks torn up in a game for a change.

Zombi U is currently planned for release on the Nintendo Wii U near to the console's launch at the end of 2012.

Guest review by Chris Jarvis


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Chris Jarvis wrote this Reporting Gamer article under the watchful eye of Paul Govan.

"The problem with video game news is that there is so much of it. I've made it my task to sift out the noise and bring you news about games I think you should be excited about."


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