Zombi aka ZombiU – and previously known as Killer Freaks from Outer Space – is a 2012 survival horror video game developed by Ubisoft Montpellier for the Wii U video game console. It was a launch game for the console, first released in North America on November 18, 2012.
The game is now being relased for PS4, Xbox One and PCs on January 26, 2016.
ZombiU 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 die permanently and the player will then take the role of another random survivor. The previous character will become a zombie, who 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 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 these actions, the perspective on the television switches to a fixed third-person view, showing the player character and the surrounding area. Also in this state, the player is completely vulnerable to attack and must switch between viewing the Wii U GamePad touchscreen and the television screen in order to avoid potential harm.
400 years ago, Welsh astronomer John Dee creates an apocalyptic prophecy known as The Black Prophecy which will 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 realised. In November 2012, the Black Prophecy begins to be realised in the form of a zombie outbreak in London, England. Survivors hide in the Prepper’s bunker, with one, the player, being chosen to confront the zombies, supported by Raven leader Sandra. Meanwhile, one of the Queen’s doctors, Doctor Knight, searches for the fabled panacea under Buckingham Palace.
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Eurogamer gave ZombiU a 9/10, commenting “ZombiU isn’t the obligatory FPS 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 Wii U.” 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 Wii U 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.