For some, this comic may need a brief explanation if you care to read on.
Zombi U is a hard game. Fun, but hard. In fact, I think this might be where they start putting the ‘Nintendo’ back into ‘Nintendo hard’. This means, when playing this game, you’re going to die, a lot, probably during the tutorial. The neat thing is, when (not if) you die; you are given a new survivor, a gun with minimal rounds, and a cricket bat, that’s it, have fun. You are then tasked with the grisly objective of finding, and murdering your previous, now zombified character or you will lose anything you’ve managed to scavenge, and have to start over and look for new supplies. For the sake of maintaining narrative flow, the game doesn’t really acknowledge the survivor switch, and tends to discuss plot points as if they’ve been following the whole time. It works out fine for the most part, except it kind of feels like the characters you play are, as the title suggests, interchangeable.
With that said, Zombi U and the Wii U came out in Australia last Friday, a good week and a half after it did in the US, and I might be so bold to suggest that it was worth the wait. The premise of Zombi U is an interesting one; survival horror, and by that I mean, actual survivor horror, and not “this is survival horror here’s your machine gun, go get ‘em, tiger. Oh look now, it’s raining ammunition and puppies! Heavenly day!”. This game is just about the zombie survival game I’ve been waiting, no, yearning for. It’s tense, and scary. Surviving requires caution, preparation, and some eyes in the back of your head wouldn’t hurt.
The game has achieved pretty polarizing reviews, which, honestly, surprises the utter fuck out of me. Are some reviewers playing a different game than me? The gamepad is where the game and Wii U are really able to distinguish themselves from everything else. The gamepad and touch screen is where you control your inventory, view the minimap, and scan for motion blips – which is completely terrifying. It means you need to constantly split your attention between the TV and your gamepad. This is awesome because, unless you actually press start, the game. Doesn’t. Pause. Dig through your backpack and be a ready and waiting raw steak at your own risk. Both hilariously and inexplicably, reviewers are mad that you have to look at a separate screen when digging around in your backpack or other tasks. Have these guys even looked inside a backpack before? Of course you’re going to be distracted from what’s going on around you, that’s the entire fucking point. It’s pretty easy to push someone over and laugh when they’re hunched over a bag, looking for their lunch in hungry desperation. Try it sometime and see for yourself.
I officially became a fan of the developers of this game after they posted an in game response to reviewers and as a warning to players in general.
“Heads up, this game is a survival horror”.
Fuck yeah it is.