The dead returns and so does a Ubisoft franchise.
ZombiU released at the launch of the Wii U. It was a terrifying experience that utilized the second screen game pad. Fast forward a few years later and rumor had it a port was being done. Released suddenly and without much fanfare, Zombi drops the U and comes to PC, Xbox One, and PS4. The question is, should this have stayed dead, or do players without a Wii U finally have gem on their hands?
Zombi takes places in London. A virus has run rampant and the undead are piling up on the streets. As the players takes control, they are set in a world that’s dirty, creepy, and downright terrifying. A voice comes over a loud speaker. Someone is offering help. Players run and run as the person guides them and zombies start appearing from every direction. While Zombi isn’t always filled with this extreme sort of action, this is just the start of one of the best survival horror games players can experience.
Platforms: XB1, PS4
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
How long to beat: 12+ hours
Game play is in first person. Think of it like Condemned meets Dark Souls in a lot of ways – more on that in a second. As the player meets the character that’s called “The prepper”, he starts giving the player information and key directions on how to try and survive this zombie apocalypse. Listen to him and survive. While the players role of survival is extremely important and rewarding in Zombi, the character played is inconsequential as they can die quicker than a bullet to the brain.
Zombi has a unique feature that when the player dies, a survivor is discovered to help the prepper keep his plans in motion. Losing all weapons, bullets and items other than melee is tense and adds a palpable feel of dread, yet there is hope. Backtrack to the location upon death, find the previous survivor now turned into a zombie, kill it, and can grab the back pack, recovering all the lost items. The sense of relief that comes over players every time they retrieve the backpack is a rush. The same can be said for when players fail in retrieving it, losing everything looted till this point. Luckily the game populates the environments with more weapons and items so players are never at a standstill, but it can make things more difficult for a time.
Zombi is an extremely tense experience where players have to loot for bullets, be mindful of the sounds they make and ensure they don’t draw too much attention, and use guns only when necessary. Zombi isn’t an easy or light hearted experience in the slightest, and nothing extreme is lost removing the gamepad from the equation compared to the Wii U edition. There are a number of tweaks and changes of note. Now when examining the environment or bodies, the inventory system appears on screen. The inventory screen takes up most of the view space but players can still see around it and listen for approaching enemies.
Due to no gamepad selection for quick use items, now they can be assigned on the d-pad for instant use. The resolution is increased along with the FOV on the Xbox One and PS4 versions, but the FOV can be changed if preferred closer. Sadly, the multiplayer aspect of ZombiU and the online functions of seeing other players from the friend list as zombies appears to have been gutted completely from the game. Folks that never experienced the original release won’t even know it’s gone, but it’s a shame it couldn’t have all been included.
Zombi was a stealth release. It just came out of nowhere with little announcement. The beauty part is that many folks never got to experience this on the Wii U and the port has been done fairly well. It might not have huge improvements, but it runs at a solid 30 fps most the time with a resolution increase, some added weapons, and FOV change. It’s not a totally different game or remake, but it doesn’t have to be. Zombi is still one of the best survival horror games of this generation. It’s tense, split second decisions can make the difference between life and death, and inventory management is a must, a feature sorely lacking in most horror games these days. Every bullet counts, every health item matters, and Zombi still offers a fantastic time for those that never experienced it originally – and now at a great price.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.