European Wii U box art
|Director(s)||Jean Philippe Caro
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, survival horror|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer (Wii U)|
ZombiU (known as Zombi on platforms other than the Wii U) is a first-person survival horror video game developed by Ubisoft Montpellier for Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. The game was a launch title for the Wii U console, first released in North America on November 18, 2012, and later in the PAL regions on November 30, 2012, and in Japan on December 8, 2012. The player assumes the roles of various humans during the game, as they attempt to survive a zombie apocalypse in London. It is also packaged with the Wii U ZombiU bundle; along with the Wii U Pro Controller, the special ZombiU art book, a digital copy of Nintendo Land, and the contents of the Wii U Deluxe Set.
Zombi U is a first-person survival horror game set in London, in which the player assumes the role of a random survivor in a zombie apocalypse. The player collects various items and weapons used to fight and kill zombies that are located or looted from different areas. If the player's character is killed by a zombie (which can occur with a single bite), the character will permanently die and the player will then take the role of another random survivor. The previous character will become a zombie, whom the player must kill in order to reclaim his original inventory. If the player has Miiverse enabled, it is possible that other players' characters will also appear as zombies carrying the items they had collected. The player can also tag clues and hints onto walls that other players can see when they're on their own adventure.
The game's controls extensively use the features of the Wii U GamePad. During normal play, the touchscreen is used to manage the player's inventory and displays a mini-map of the immediate area, which shows the player's location and nearby items. The touchscreen is also used for context-sensitive actions, such as barricading doors or hacking combination locks. The Wii U GamePad gyroscope, which allows the controller to sense its rotation and tilt in three-dimensional space, is also utilized: while viewing the touchscreen, the player may move the controller around in space to focus on and scan different areas of the area in order to find items. While performing any of these actions, the perspective on the television switches to a fixed third-person view, showing the player character and the surrounding area. In this state, the player is vulnerable to attack and must watch both the Wii U GamePad touchscreen and the television screen in order to avoid potential harm.
400 years ago, John Dee created an apocalyptic prophecy known as "The Black Prophecy" which was to be fulfilled in 2012. "The Prepper", an "ex-army, no-nonsense" man sees this apocalypse coming and prepares, whilst a secret society known as the Ravens of Dee researches his predictions to find a way to stop them from being realized. In November 2012, The Black Prophecy begins to be realized in the form of a zombie outbreak in London, England.
Sometime after the outbreak, the player character is led to The Prepper's bunker, where he is provided with weapons, a bug-out bag, and the Prepper Pad, a device with a built in scanner and radar. It is revealed that The Prepper was a Raven of Dee but left the organization due to a disagreement in philosophy: Dee had prophesied that "Black Angels" would save the world. The Ravens believed that Dee was referring to their organization, but The Prepper believed he was talking about something far worse.
While scavenging at Buckingham Palace, the player goes underground and is contacted by Dr. Knight, a doctor for the Royal Family who is attempting to find a cure. He orders the player to find diaries and notes left by Dee in exchange for scanner upgrades and a chemical capable of instantly killing the Infected. This is all done behind The Prepper's back, as he believes that a cure is impossible. Soon after leaving Buckingham Palace, the player is contacted by Sondra, who leads him to what is left of the Ravens of Dee. Much to The Prepper's chagrin, she attempts to evacuate with the player in a helicopter atop the Tower of London. However, a supernatural force leads a flock of ravens to fly into the propeller, causing the helicopter to crash. As the player returns to The Prepper's bunker, Sondra promises to save the player.
Back at the bunker, the generator is running out of fuel. The Prepper tells the player to get petrol from a man named Vikram. The player arrives at Vikram's, only to find that he has gone insane. He and his young child tell the player to go to a local nursery to get antibiotics for his wife. Despite the protests of The Prepper, who believes that the player should simply raid the petrol station, he goes to the nursery, where the staff and children have all been eaten by one of the nurses, who's evolved into a ghost-like monster capable of teleportation. The player returns with the antibiotics only to find that Vikram has turned into a zombie and has eaten his family.
On the way back to the bunker with the petrol, the player receives a distress signal from a young girl saying that she and her family are barricaded in St. George's Church. The Prepper insists this is a trap, but the player goes to rescue her nonetheless. The Prepper is proved to be right, however. The player is kidnapped by "Boris", the self-proclaimed "King of Zombies" and his gang, who force survivors to fight off waves of zombies in the church's courtyard. Unfortunately for Boris, the lights, microphone, and music attract a horde of zombies to his location, and he and his gang are eaten whilst the player escapes.
The player now has sufficient upgrades to collect Dee's remaining letters for Dr. Knight, who is overjoyed when the player gives them all to him, believing he can now make the Panacea. The character returns to the safe house, where Knight contacts him with disappointing news: the Panacea is not a cure, but a vaccine. The Prepper, now aware of what the player was doing behind his back, expresses his profound disappointment in the player as he returns to Buckingham Palace. Knight has left his bunker and headed for the Queen's quarters to access data on a USB key. The player makes his way through the palace only to find that Knight has been killed and turned into a zombie himself. The player uses Knight's eye to bypass a retinal scanner and collect the USB key.
The player runs back to the Tower of London, as the RAF is about to firebomb London and Sondra is trying to fulfill her promise of rescuing the player. This enrages The Prepper, who demands the player leave the safe house and vow to outlive the Ravens of Dee. After the player leaves, a cutscene plays showing The Prepper. He has been using survivors to stock his food supplies and immediately finds a new lackey to do his bidding. While this goes on, the player reaches Sondra and evacuates the city while the RAF (the "Black Angels" of prophecy) destroys the city.
The good ending occurs if the player downloads the Panacea formula and reaches the Tower of London without dying. The escape ending occurs if the player doesn't download the Panacea formula but does make it to the tower of London without dying. The bad ending occurs if the player dies before reaching the Tower of London.
The concept of the game was initially derived from a prototype game known as White Rabbit. The game involved the player shooting at rabbits (similar to Ubisoft's own Rabbids), who charge at the screen and attack the player. The idea for rabbits as the antagonists was canceled due to conflicts between the developers and Ubisoft. The prototype was later developed into actual game Killer Freaks from Outer Space, which involved small Rabbid-like aliens in place of the rabbits, but otherwise using the same formula. When shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2011, the game received mixed reviews, with praise going to the originality but criticism for the bulky controls in contrast with the fast gameplay. Relying on a slower gameplay style, Killer Freaks from Outer Space was re-developed into what would become ZombiU, a remake of the original Zombi game from 1986.
In early June 2015, reports suggested that the game was in development once more for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One by Straight Right. On July 30, 2015 Ubisoft released a trailer for the game, confirming the release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC as now simply Zombi - releasing on August 18, 2015 via download stores. The game remains mostly the same as the original with small updates and enhancements. The second screen gameplay has been moved to the main screen, only appearing when required. While the cricket bat was the only melee weapon in ZombiU, Zombi adds two additional melee weapons. The shovel offers longer range and the ability to hit more than one zombie at a time. The second - a nailed bat gives you more damage and a higher critical-hit chance (while also being able to hit more than one enemy at a time). The flashlight has also changed in Zombi - now letting the player switch to a wider, further-reaching beam which uses more of the batteries life and increases the risk of attracting zombies. The flashlight also has to be kept off for 30 seconds to recharge, forcing the player to be even more careful than before about how and when to use it. Zombi does not feature local multiplayer or any of the online singleplayer features - only featuring the solo campaign. Physical boxed copies for Zombi were released on January 21, 2016.
|Also known as Zombi|
ZombiU received generally positive reviews from critics with a total of 77 out of 100 on Metacritic and 77% on GameRankings. Eurogamer gave ZombiU a 9/10, commenting "ZombiU isn't the obligatory [first-person shooter] launch title, but an original twist on the genre that has no console equivalent. It's not quite a revolution, lacking the scope and variety of mechanics to compete with high watermarks like Half-Life 2. But that should take nothing away from Ubisoft's achievement, and the success or otherwise of ZombiU could be defining for WiiU." Edge gave ZombiU a 7/10, describing it as "a title that will infuse impulse buyers, early adopters and Nintendo diehards with relief and appreciation for the novel gameplay that WiiU can and will continue to provide." Giant Bomb gave ZombiU a 4/5 claiming that "It's a smart, scary, incredibly difficult action game" and is "an experience that rewards patience and punishes arrogance."
In contrast, IGN gave ZombiU a 6.3/10, citing a clunky control scheme and annoying melee combat. GameSpot gave ZombiU its lowest score with a 4.5/10, commenting "ZombiU is a game trapped in the wrong genre... ZombiU could have been an enjoyable action game, but instead it is a poor entry in the survival horror genre." Game Informer gave ZombiU a 5/10, stating that the game was sloppy and poorly executed.
Zombi received less favorable, but still generally positive reviews, with the Xbox One version scoring 72 out of 100 on Metacritic and 69% on GameRankings; the PlayStation 4 version scoring 71 out of 100 on Metacritic and 74% on GameRankings; and the Microsoft Windows version scoring 65 out of 100 on Metacritic and 63% on GameRankings.
In May 2013, the game's developer reported that work was underway on a prototype for a sequel. However, in July 2013, Ubisoft head Yves Guillemot stated that ZombiU was not profitable, and as such there were no plans for a sequel.
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