Thursday, 25 February 2016

Zombi

So as the name suggests, Zombi is about killing zombies. Wait, where are you going? You're sick of zombie games? I don't know how that's even possible, but what if I told you that it's structure is much more in the vein of Dark Souls than pretty much every other zombie game, but remains a First Person Shooter? Ah, interested now are we? Well, you should be. 


Developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and out now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Zombi has a weird history. The game was originally a launch title for Nintendo's Wii U in 2012 and had it's design very much inspired by the unique controller of the Wii U. With the lack of a second screen though, it'd be pretty tough to bring the game to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 right? No, not at all. However, lost is that tense feeling when you must look down at the second screen while gameplay continues. You had to be quick and aware of your surroundings. For the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version though, your view of the environment is blocked by the inventory management and it loses its tension.


The rest of the game though stays largely intact. The game takes place in London (London baby!) and a zombie outbreak has all but wiped out the population. With the help of a mysterious voice over a radio, you are tasked with carrying out a number of quests in order to stop "The Black Prophecy" which was created 400 years ago. 

So, I know some of you are reading this thinking: "He mentioned Dark Souls a few paragraphs ago and this game just sounds like another generic zombie First Person shooter". Patience my dear child, I will get to that now. So should your character be killed, that character will be dead, permanently, and you will lose all items that were in your inventory at the time of death. Zombi doesn't have a main protagonist that you control; Instead, you play as a random civilian and each time you die, you will wake up in the bunker as a new resident of London. 

If you loved what you looted and want it back, then you must go back to the location of your character's demise and re-loot that bag. It may not always be so easy as your previous character might have also returned as a stumbling, rotten mess of flesh and you must take down yourself, kinda. Visually, the game is surprisingly decent given the history of the game and that it released on the under-powered Wii U in 2012. Textures are slightly better and there is a less blurry look to it all. You won't be amazed on a technical level but it does an brilliant job of turning London into an actual creepy city with an uneasy atmosphere.


Zombi isn't a perfect game. Gameplay can be quite tedious and there are moments of frustration but there are glimpses of absolute excellence that stays with you more than swinging a cricket bat 50 million times to kill a zombie (that number may be slightly exaggerated but only slightly). It's a game that I hope Ubisoft go back to because it honestly deserves another shot in the sun, or the dark moody lighting of a city overrun with zombies and a sense of hopelessness. 

It's in your head, in your head, Zombi, Zombi, gets a 4/5.

★★★★☆

Jason Redmond


Zombi at CeX


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