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03 December 2012
Ubisoft Montpellier

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ZombiU (2012)
Wii U is here and with it a kaleidoscopic collection of launch titles, the most relentlessly unforgiving of which is this, ZombiU. Consistently touted as the Wii U’s best example of Nintendo’s attempt to appease the hardened joy-pad junkie, ZombiU thrusts you into a post-apocalyptic London overrun with hordes of the undead.

Mirroring the relentless difficulty of From Software’s Dark Souls, ZombiU arms you with a cricket bat, pistol and a backpack loaded with supplies that’s ingeniously mapped to the Wii U’s Gamepad. Even diving into your inventory is a risky move because your character hunkers down, rummaging inside, requiring you to keep one eye on the screen for any straggler biters who attack on sight, and another on the Gamepad. It’s an excellent touch and one that adds to the already stratospheric levels of tension Ubisoft Montpellier has conjured up here.

Oh, and once you’re bitten you’re dead, before being re-spawned as a new survivor in a safe house constructed by the Prepper, a mystery man who serves as your eyes and ears in this cleverly constructed zombie-ravaged world. Of course, it’s not quite the pinnacle of gaming perfection the world is making it out to be. Visually things are a little scrappy; Ubisoft Montpellier has barely scratched the surface of what we think is possible with Nintendo’s fresh hardware, and its plagued by irksome load times as well as some minor pacing issues.

Interestingly, the multiplayer feels like an entirely different type of game, hurling you into a manic mode that pair’s one player with the Gamepad to send marauding zombies after another wielding the a gun and the classic controller. It’s fun, fast and loaded with unique goal sets for everybody involved. Ultimately, ZombiU is a welcome return to true survival horror. Buy it.

Reviewed by Sebastian Williamson

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