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E3 2012 | Ubisoft’s “ZombiU” To Redefine Survival Horror

By
Posted on June 8, 2012 AT 10:43am

When it comes to video games involving zombies, the scenarios regarding being bitten never follow canon. It’s either your character being immune to the zombie infection, or there’s some sort of magical plant that can heal you back to perfect health. Ubisoft wants to change that in their upcoming WiiU-exclusive survival horror game ZombiU.

In ZombiU players run around a ruined London landscape. The infection has spread to 28 Days Later-levels, and there are only a few survivors. You need to search for supplies, ammo, and other things that will help you in your journey. Players also must be on the lookout for the undead, and do everything they can to kill them. Here’s the tricky part: one bite will kill you, and when it does you will lose everything that you had earned up to that point. There is good news, however: you can go find your previous self zombified, kill him or her, and take back the inventory you previously had from their lifeless bodies.

On the E3 floor I was able to go hands-on with both the single and multiplayer modes of ZombiU. In my single player experience, I found myself scrounging for supplies and weaponry. With the WiiU Gamepad I could find these supplies by lifting the controller up and scanning the perimeters with the touch screen. I could organize my weapons and see on the map where I was located, along with other points I needed to be on the lookout for. Because bullets were scarce I decided to try my luck with the cricket bat when it came to tackling the zombies. Big mistake, it turns out, as the undead swarmed around me in a blink of an eye. I survived roughly five minutes of the single player mode.

Multiplayer was a different story. One of the modes they showed off was a sort of capture-the-flag style of gameplay, where you had to conquer as many areas on the map to get enough points to win the game. Player one, either controlling the WiiU Pro Controller or a Wiimote, will have to capture the flag while fending off the zombies. Player two, with the Gamepad, can drop off zombies in a specific areas to attack the players and surround the flag areas with undead Royal Guard members to capture the posts. Playing as either side has both their advantages and disadvantages. Player one can pick up many weapons and serums to take out the zombies, but can be outnumbered very quickly by the opposing force. Meanwhile player two can send out up to ten zombies at a time to take out player one, but you can only drop them out in specific areas that are not in “the red zone.” There’s a lot of strategy to be found in this mode, and could very well be a fine sneak peek of how a good RTS game would play on the WiiU.

So far ZombiU is looking to be the game to draw the hardcore gamers towards the WiiU, and for good reason. The controls act swiftly, the graphics are fantastic, and the game knows how to keep your heartbeat pounding fast & your butt at the edge of your seat. It gives you a truer scenario as to what would happen in a zombie apocalypse, and how you would fare if you were to roam the perimeters looking for survivors, food, and other necessities. While it might be a few months down the road before we know which zombie game this year will be the all-out best, ZombiU is looking to take its competitors down with just one bite.

Evan Bourgault is an accomplished music, anime, and video game critic. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Evan joined the ElectricSistaHood team in 2008, where he is a contributing editor and host of one of the network's weekly podcasts. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck




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