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ZombiU is a first-person horror survival game based on the heritage of Zombi, the first game published by Ubisoft. The game is set in London, England, and the player controls a random survivor of a zombie apocalypse and starts in a metro station. Next to surviving, the protagonist is also after a cure to combat the outbreak, which was first predicted 400 years earlier as The Black Prophecy by John Dee, an astronomer and adviser to the queen. A secret society known as the 'Ravens of Dee' researched his predictions and worked towards finding a cure. The members hide in a bunker and one is chosen by the Raven leader Sondra to confront the zombies. The spiritual leader is called Prepper and assists the character through radio during missions by providing hints and overlooking the situation when the character manages to restore the power to the CCTV cameras. When those are online, Prepper can draw maps of the surroundings that are displayed on the GamePad. Meanwhile, Dr. Knight, one of the Queen's doctors, also searches for the cure as a panacea under Buckingham Palace.
The protagonist explores different locations, needs to take out zombies, and collects items and weapons. True to the spirit of survival horror, it features a form of permadeath. If the character becomes killed or infected, which is possible with a single bite, he slowly turns into a zombie and if no medicine to combat it is found, another character from the bunker is sent out to continue the mission, but without the gathered items or weapons. In the hardcore Survival mode the consequences are fiercer as the entire campaign needs to be restarted with no option to revert back to an earlier point. Basic items when starting are a flashlight, a gun, some ammo and a cricket bat. Ammo is scarce and needs to be spent wisely. In most situations riskier melee weapons are used to save the firearms for the most difficult encounters. Even then, only head shots are effective. It is however possible to track down the former protagonist and kill it to reclaim the inventory. Next to the basic items there are also medicine, grenades, molotov cocktails and wooden planks to barricade doors. Barricading doors and hacking combinations locks is done in context-sensitive situations through the GamePad's touchscreen. In other situations it displays the mini-map (when available), and it is used as a sniper scope or to manage the inventory. Additional items can be stored in the home base. The device's gyroscope is used to scan the environment by holding the left trigger. The GamePad is held up towards the TV and acts as a scanner to view the surroundings, even through walls. At those moment the game turns to a fixed third-person view where the character remains vulnerable. Discovered items in unexplored rooms through scans are stored on the mini-map to help locate them.
Attacking requires a careful approach. When fighting with the bat for instance, holding the left trigger is used to block, and to attack the right trigger needs to be held. Once released, the bat is swung. If the right one is held too long, the character becomes tired with the raised arm and lowers it again. As the movement is slow, it requires precise timing during fights and only a small amount of zombies can be attacked that way at once. The right trigger is also used to shake off zombies. They generally leave the character alone when no sound is made or when he has not been spotted. Therefore most situations require the isolation of zombies from larger groups. When the Miiverse is enabled, other players' characters can appear as zombies in the game, and clues or hint tagged on walls can be seen by other players in their games.
Multiplayer is available for two players and only offline. One player uses the GamePad and is King Boris, king of the zombies. The environment is shown using a top-down view of the entire level and the king can put zombies in the game while the other player uses a standard controller (Wii Remote with Nunchuk or Pro Controller) to complete the levels. The asymmetric multiplayer is organized around three game modes and five maps, but with the same type of gameplay, including elements of capture-the-flag and domination game types.
The later released ports for other platforms work without the above described inclusion of the Wii U GamePad. All special gimmicks like the scan function are either triggered with a button press or are otherwise integrated into the UI, e.g. the map is displayed in the lower right corner of the screen. Online capabilities and multiplayer are completely gone,
- 殭屍+ - Traditional Chinese spelling
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Credits (Wii U version)
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The game was originally planned to be an entry in the Rabbids series, with the main enemies being monstrous versions of the rabbit-like creatures. As the game took on a darker and gorier tone, members of the development team decided it was no longer appropriate for the family friendly image of the series, so it was retooled into a standalone title.
- 2012 – Best Wii U Game of the Year
- 2012 – Most Demanding Game of the Year
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Article about the game in the open encyclopedia
official game website
- MobyGames ID: 59015
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Sciere.
Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger, Kennyannydenny, Harmony♡, 一旁冷笑.
Last modified March 14th, 2023.