Reviewed by Brett Wood
Zombie U for the Nintendo Wii U is a hard game for me to review, it’s like looking back at your High School or College years of your life… they were the best of times and then there was the time that you drank too much and puked all over the place (maybe that was just me).
Interesting comparison, vomit and playing Zombie U. The one HUGE issue that I have with this game (might as well get it out of the way now) is the constant changing of viewpoints. You have the Wii U gamepad and the second screen (which is implemented very well at times and other times like crap) and during certain points of the game you can use the second screen to control gun turrets. Sounds like fun, here is the issue… if your control set is inverted, like me, when you use the second screen for an action the controls switch to non-inverted. OR you could lift your gamepad and actually use that to look around while you shoot. OK, this game is based on quick moments and sudden attacks. It’s impossible for me to switch the way I “look” on the fly, using either method. This is an inexcusable error with the game and makes it almost impossible for me to play.
The good news is that when you die, you just lose all of the extremely valuable equipment, that’s all… no big deal. If you’re lucky enough you can go back to your pervious character’s point of death and pick up all of your loot OR you can just die over and over and over and over again and eventually you lose all of the precious ammo you worked so hard to collect. It has to be one of the most frustrating gaming experience I’ve ever encounter. I hate you Zombie U… but yet I keep on playing. I guess it’s the fact that I found a quick bug in the system that allowed me to collect a decent amount of ammo and going forward in the game I’ve tried to ignore using the gun turrets.
I’m compelled to keep playing, it’s a testament to how much thought and care went into all aspects of the game (minus controls). The story is great, the atmosphere is super creepy and most important is that you do feel like you’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and that you are fighting for your life. The mood and sense of urgency is at an all time high while playing this game. The tension that’s created by not knowing what’s next is felt at every corner and behind every door, this feeling (so hard to capture) is done to perfection.
If you own a Wii U then I would check out the demo for this game and that will give you some indication if this romp is for you. I do recommend Zombie U for anyone that’s interested in playing something a bit different than the norm. You have to be prepared for some the unconditional game play mechanics and the wonky use of the gamepad. That being said, having advanced warning of the issues (using the gamepad as a secondary screen, input device, inventory management) will be to your benefit and hopefully help you find your happy place when the game is at its worse… trust me, you’ll need it.