Friday, 28 December 2012

GOTY No. 3 - ZombiU

We’ve made it to final 3 but what games have come this far?

The third best game of 2012 goes to the Wii U exclusive Zombi U. Initially receiving poor domestic reviews this survival-horror game exploded onto the continental scene with massive scores from credited European journalists – and so the infection began.

I purchased a Wii U on launch, the Zombi U limited edition pack to be precise and have not looked back since (expect looking over my shoulder for any zombies while I rummage through my backpack.) In all seriousness, Zombi U is a fantastic step forward for gaming while simultaneously paying tribute to the classic survival-horror franchise that has seemed destined to die this generation.

Zombi U plays a lot like a mix between Condemned: Criminal Origins and Left 4 Dead. Set in the heart of London (which is an absolute treat for us UK gamers), you are expected to survive the apocalypse and find safety throughout London’s infected streets, sewers and buildings. Players carry a rucksack with their inventory items including weapons, supplies and tools – all of which play an important role in survival. The problem is that you feel very vulnerable in this game, with one bite being enough to kill you.

Fortunately every time you die you respawn as another survivor with the immediate mission of going to find your previous rucksack with all your goodies. Of course getting there without any of your supplies is scary and often dangerous, once again invoking those traditional survival horror roots we all love and fear.

Zombi U does a wonderful job giving players enough freedom to explore London while at the same time keeping them on track using an anonymous character known as the Prepper to point you in the right direction. With the constant threat of zombies lurking around every corner, this is a tense and dramatic affair, something that no game has offered effectively this year.

Let’s not forget also that this is a Wii U exclusive and that beautiful Wii U GamePad is used in an engaging and interesting manner. Players bring up their inventory screen on the pad, as well as their map and motion detector. Scoped weapons use the bottom screen to help players zoom in for that clean head shot while a scanning system is also available allowing players to explore their surroundings and flag points of interest. The constant need to simultaneously pay attention to both screens makes Zombi U a nerve-racking affair as you simply don’t know when a zombie will pop out and attack.

Zombi U is the perfect adult-orientated Wii U exclusive title that every single Wii U owner must purchase and every single fan of survival horror must experience. This nostalgic trip intertwined with modern gaming elements combines to make another golden title from Ubisoft and deservedly sits as number 3 on my list of 2012’s best games.

Igor Kharin

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