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Published on July 16th, 2012 | by simeon


ZombieU Hands On Preview

With Zombies being all the rage in today’s pop culture landscape it was little surprise that a zombie game would be making its debut with the new console from Nintendo, The Wii U.

ZombieU is developed by Ubisoft and during our hands-on play test of the new console during Comic Con 2012, I got to spend some quality time with the game.

The game is set in London, and players get to play as one of several characters. In a nice twist, should your character fall to the zombie hordes, players will instantly transfer to one of the unused characters at which point you can locate your former characters remains in order to add their goodies to your inventory.

The Wii U controller does so much more than simply move your character around and allow them to fight. The embedded screen allows you to view inventory and transfer or drop items with just a few taps of your finger. You can also switch weapons easily by simply tapping the desired weapon icon in the inventory screen. What really shined for me was the real-time scan mode whereby holding the controller up and turning in a 360 motion, you could scan your environment in the game. This allegedly finds hidden objects but also gave the zombie horde an opportunity to sneak up on you.

Another great advantage of the controller was the ability to use the embedded screen as your sniper scope while you look at all battle on the main screen.

With locales such as an evacuation center, outside Buckingham Palace, and a daycare available during our demonstration I quickly got to zombie whacking and loved every minute of it.

My weapons included a cricket bat, a pistol, a crossbow, and a shotgun during my demonstration and I took full advantage of them as often as I could.

The controls took a little bit of getting used to as I tended to overcompensate when I fired my weapons and there is a learning curve to mixing movement, combat, and special functions.

That being said when my weapons struck home the satisfying crunch splat of another zombie going down brought a smile to my face.

The zombies were extremely reactive the did tend to come at me in a very straight on fashion which while a bit dated for a shooter A.I. today would be in keeping with zombies behavior patterns..

I did notice that several of the character models tended to repeat themselves I kept coming across the same zombie with the goatee over and over but I did notice other characters so hopefully upon release this issue will be resolved.

One of the other fun things about navigating the map was having use the controller to help me pick various locks and find objects of use in a dark room. No sooner had I entered an area, then I was under attack by the infected swarm. For my personal use I found a cricket bat to work best as I did not need to worry about reloading it or running out of ammunition.

A lot of people have been asking about the graphical abilities of the Wii U and how it compares with the current systems. While I could say the graphics of the game were very solid I would not call them cutting-edge or revolutionary. This is not to say that the game looks bad in any way at all rather that I believe the Xbox 360 and PS3 could replicate the graphics that I saw in the game.

What they could not however replicate would be the interactivity with the control pad as it would be necessary to pull up several pop-up windows to access inventory screens on those systems.

At times I was reminded of the Resident Evil series but soon found myself caught up in the action has to certainly can’t enjoy taking out a horde of zombies in the rain?


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