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Here at Casually Addicted the Wii U has been a huge talking point for better or worse and after a series of conferences from Nintendo over the past year I am still unsure on the Wii U. But after a long time coming I finally got my hands on Zombi U at the Eurogamer Expo with the one big question remaining – do I need a Wii U?
There are certainly a few games that have caught my eye but none quite like Zombi U. In the city of London a Zombie outbreak has struck the entire city and your goal is purely to survive. Straight off the bat I am really pleased to say this isn’t like any Nintendo console game you may have played in the past. The use of the gamepad allows players to have a more immersive feeling and you truly think that you are in this world and you have to do whatever it takes to survive.
The concept for Zombi U is great, you do what it takes to survive and if you die then that’s it – game over. You spawn as a new character with none of the loot you may have acquired, but you can go back and find your old character who is now a zombie, kill them and take all your stuff back!
The gamepad was a lot lighter than I thought it was going to be which is good because it is fairly big compared to what you are used to holding when gaming. Fundamentally the buttons are as you would expect them to be, you use the analogue sticks and buttons to move around and pick up loot. The difference is the gamepads screen allows you to move items that you find into your backpack in a unique way which is fun, but at the same time this could be the death of you. If you are messing about trying to sort your back pack out you could be killed in an instant because the game doesn’t pause it is all set in real time.
My problem with the gamepad is it did feel a bit sluggish at first, I didn’t feel like I was reacting quick enough to what is happening around me. When you see a zombie pop out of nowhere your natural reaction is to attack or run but it doesn’t feel smooth when you try and do this. Now I am confident that this is just something that you need to practice and after my time with the game I was starting to really get the hang of things. It is just the little things like knowing where the buttons are as crazy as that sounds, when I was told to press X to loot a zombie I actually had to look at the gamepad to work out what to press but again with time you will learn everything you need to know.
I actually really enjoyed the way the gamepad adds an extra element to the game, usually when you play any game you just look at your TV screen and you know exactly what you have to press on the control without looking. With the gamepad you have to look at it, you have a full amount of tools and features that are unique to the gamepad so you are forced to use it. Like I said before this is not a comfortable feeling at first and it could put you off but as you learn to master the gamepad I think this could be a cracking game. The sense of fear really builds up even when you are just looting something, you keep looking back at the main screen to make sure there are no zombies around whilst trying to navigate the gamepad.
My biggest fear with the gamepad isn’t that it won’t work how it’s been advertised because I think it will and from what I’ve played it does what it set out to do very well. The worry is that if you are in the heat of battle or running for your life and you need to switch weapons or equip something from your bag, you are going to really know how to navigate the gamepad because when you have to look at two separate screens things can get a little complex as you can imagine. Now this could work in the games favor, it makes it more realistic for sure but it all comes down to how well the gamepad reacts to you. I had it a few times yesterday where I had to tap the screen a few times to equip the gun I wanted because it didn’t pick it up the first time, things like this could just kill your experience and I hope that this isn’t something that happens all the time.
I have to say something about the zombies themselves, I was shocked at how strong they are. I had a cricket bat, a shotgun, a pistol and a crossbow to start with and I thought that I would just used the cricket bat and save my bullets, well this was a bad idea. This isn’t the usual zombie game where you can smack a zombie in the head and it pops off, no you need to hit these guys 7 or 8 times with a bat to do anything. Even the weapons aren’t as effective as you assume they would be, if you don’t hit a zombie in the head they will probably get up again. The zombies all seem fairly unique I mean there isn’t a whole lot that you can do with your generic zombie but even the way different zombies moved was very noticeable, one even had a propane tank on his back which I shouldn’t have shot so close to me.
There are tons of features that the gamepad offers in Zombi U and unfortunately I didn’t get to try them all. But from what I did try I was impressed. I feel the problem I have at the moment is there are very few games that I am interested in on the Wii U but Zombi U is definitely a contender and it could result in me actually buying a Wii U. I am really happy that Nintendo are going to have a game that isn’t for kids and a game that is just scary, unique and just brutal.
To see the full review of ZombiU just click here.