ZombiU Hands On Preview
Ubisoft's Zombi U is on the right track.
Zombi U is being regarded as one of the biggest launch titles for the Wii U. If there was any indicator of that, the long lines at the Wii U booth were just that. At NYCC this year, Zombi U boasted lines that required a pretty long wait. As the only launch title I have pre-ordered for the Wii U, I made it a point to get my hands on with this return to survival horror.
In my demo, I began as a random survivor and was tasked with finding a specific set of items. Shooting is standard, activated by aiming down the sights and pulling the Right Trigger. Pressing Right Trigger without aiming down the sights pushes the enemy back, giving you time to line up a better shot, or even a stronger hit with the Cricket Bat. Some weapons, like the Sniper Rifle, utilize the Wii U GamePad to zoom in using a scope, allowing you to get a more accurate shot. It works seamlessly, and pretty accurately.
One of the main hooks of Zombi U has been the ways it utilizes the GamePad screen. Inventory management is one of the best examples of GamePad implementation. Picking up items adds them to your inventory which is handled on the Wii U GamePad. By looking down on the controller, you can manage your inventory, level up certain stats, view a map and even go through different information logs. Of course, this happens in real time, so zombies could potentially get the drop on you if you aren’t paying attention.
One of the main things I noticed, even in the loud and bustling show floor of New York Comic Con, was the atmosphere the game presents. Zombies are relentless and take a lot more hits than you would expect. In one instance, I shot a zombie in the head only to shoot a piece of his face off as it persisted to keep coming toward me. This created a sense of urgency and worry that I haven’t experienced in a zombie game in quite a while.
One feature that was also demoed was the multiplayer feature. One player using the Wii U GamePad has the power to spawn enemies and create havoc for the player using the Pro Controller. The player using the Pro Controller has to fight off these enemies and survive for a certain amount of time. I had a lot of fun with it, though Ubisoft hasn’t said if this feature will have an online component as of right now.
Though brief, my time with Zombi U was fun. As I played, I was excited to see what loot I would find, and I was even startled by the zombies and the haunting (and dark) atmosphere. Zombi U will be released on November 18th 2012 for the Wii U.