It may be yet another zombie game, but it looks like a damn good one.
ZombiU was unveiled yesterday with a very striking trailer, but one that showed no gameplay. Today, I got my hands on the game, and I left impressed. The game shows a lot of elements of survival horror, and makes great use of the extra screen on the Wii U GamePad.
I saw a lot of people making the comparison to Left 4 Dead, based on it being a first-person shooter set in a Zombie Apocalypse. This game is definitely not that. In fact, it’s a lot closer to a Resident Evil game, where even one zombie can be a huge problem if you aren’t prepared for it. It’s easy to run out of ammo if you aren’t careful, and there are some frightening moments when you get ambushed in close quarters.
The demo featured a mission where you had to retrieve antibiotics from an abandoned nursery. To do this, you had to infiltrate the building, where zombies lay behind many of the doors, and make your way to the antibiotics, get them, and then get out. You frequently have to take alternate paths due to obstacles, and there was a fair bit of crawling through vents.
The touch screen on the GamePad is used in several interesting ways. In addition to the standard map, it is also used to manage your inventory, and contains most of your HUD. The GamePad can also be used as a scanning device, in a similar manner to the one in Resident Evil: Revelations, to find hidden items in the environment. In this mode, you move the controller around in real space to look at different parts of your surroundings. There was also an instance in the demo where there was a touch screen mini-game to pick a lock.
ZombiU is a lot different from what I expected after seeing the trailer, and given how good it was I think that’s a good thing. You’re not running through this guns blazing, but carefully making it through tense situations. While we may have seen too many zombie games in recent years, I’m not sure I’ve played one quite as good as this.