By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on August 24, 2015
Zombi... What can we say about Zombi? Well, for one thing, it's a 1978 movie, written by George A. Romero and Dario Argento, but that's beside the point right now. What is important is the fact that it is the new iteration of one the Wii U's launch titles: ZombiU, brought back to life for PC, PS4 and XBox One. Updated graphics and gameplay will make sure lots of gamers can finally enjoy the suspense of traversing London while dodging zombies on these systems.
So, what's different from the original release? Well, for one thing, the gamepad is taken out of the equation, allowing gamers to focus completely on their main screen. Whenever you would need look at your gamepad screen on the when playing this game on the Wii U, a pop-up screen now appears on your main screen. Is this better? I don't know. Both approaches are fine in their own right. By looking at the Wii U's gamepad screen, you would get the feeling that you were somehow more immersed in the game. On the other hand, omitting this from the game makes for much faster and less distracting gameplay. So both have their merits, and it's up to you to decide for yourself. So, as said, the game's graphics received a complete overhaul, making Zombi look like a game that actually belongs on the latest-gen consoles and PC's. Your weapons, your enemies, everything just looks that much better. Hell, even London itself looks better and gorier than it has ever looked before!
A second feature that has been omitted from this new release is the multiplayer, because the developers couldn't figure out how to make this mode work for this particular game on the aforementioned systems. I know a lot of people out there are crying about it, but to be perfectly honest, I couldn't care less. Now, before you start crying, throwing yourself to the floor and starting a tantrum, let me just explain why. I don't think that multiplayer added something to the Zombi universe, for reasons that are quite simple. In my opinion, Zombi is about one man's struggle to survive in a zombie-infested city. Adding a free-for-all multiplayer would just clutter up the streets with annoying people who will just get in the way, kill you and then try to teabag you for the next thirty minutes or so. As you may have guessed by now, I really don't like multiplayer games, not so much for the games themselves, but more because of some of the people you would usually find in a multiplayer universe... but I digress. The developers themselves stated that they wanted to focus solely on the single player experience, because that is where Zombi U's strength actually lay, and I tend to agree with them.
The next item on our overhaul list is the control scheme; with the loss of the second screen, the control scheme had to be re-thought and tailored to the standard gaming controllers or to a mouse and keyboard setup. I must say, I did actually have my doubts about whether or not this was even possible. But after playing the game on PC (using an XBox controller), I must say that it doesn't affect the game at all. If anything, I like the updated controls even better! They are quite a bit more responsive than their Wii U predecessor and are more intuitive.
So with all these changes, what is left of the game we played a few years back? Letís see: the tension is still there. The feeling of constantly being in danger has always been a big part of the Zombi experience and that feeling is still there. The permadeath feature is also still present, so if you die, you start as a completely new person. The items you scavenged before are still in you so-called bug-out-bag, a backpack you use to store items you found when traversing London. So first things first; youíll have to decide whether to retrace your steps and find your now-undead self and retrieve your backpack, or start scavenging all over again. It really doesnít matter which choice you make, because either way; youíll still have to get out there and face the ever-present threat posed by the hordes of undead roaming the city. So whatever you do or whatever choices you make, thereís only one thing you always need to do: be very, very careful!
So in conclusion; Zombi is a very good game for those of you who always wanted to try it, but donít own a Wii U. For those of you that do own a Wii U, Zombi gives you the same eerie atmosphere as the original did, with improved graphics and updated controls. It is not just a flimsy rip-off but a very good game in its own right, so itís definitely worth your time and effort. My advice would be to strap on your backpack and try to survive the zombie-infested streets of London. And whatever you do; keep calm and DONíT GET BITTEN!
August 18, 2015