ZombiU is a Wii U exclusive zombie game that is being developed by Ubisoft. This survival horror game is played in a first person view, which also makes it a FPS. The title features both single player and multiplayer modes, but my time spent with the demo on the E3 show floor was exclusively with the multiplayer mode.
In the ZombiU multiplayer mode, one person plays as the survivor (human) and the other as the zombie master. The human player uses the Wii U Pro Controller, and plays using the TV, while the zombie master uses the Wii U GamePad, and plays using the controller’s built in touch screen. The objective in the multiplayer mode of ZombiU is to be the first team, human or zombie, to capture a certain number of flags that are in the arena.
Playing as the human player is straightforward. Load up your gun and prepare for the zombie onslaught while staying next to the flag. If the human player is caught he/she re-spawns elsewhere on the map to continue the match. A winner is determined when the goal number of flags are captured.
The role of the zombie master is quite different. As time passes more tokens are awarded to the zombie master. The zombie master picks from a few different zombie types to place on the map via the touch screen on the Wii U GamePad. Zombie types include slow, medium and fast zombies with the slowest costing the least amount of tokens and the faster ones requiring more tokens. It’s also important to buy a zombie soldier, because they are the only ones that can capture flags. Again, like the human player, after the specified number of flags are captured they will be declared the winner.
After the zombie master purchases their undead, they can place them on the map that is displayed on the Wii U GamePad. It’s possible to place a zombie anywhere, but to make the game fair there is a radius around the human player where zombies can’t be dropped in. It would be unfair to spawn a fast zombie right next to your unsuspecting opponent, so this mechanic is necessary.
The multiplayer action was fun, but I’m still not sure if this mode was balanced or will remain great over time. Do keep in mind that this is still a work in progress demo and that there will also be a full-fledged single player game to enjoy in ZombiU. Additionally, the official fact sheet from Ubisoft seems to mention an online multiplayer mode called Mercy Killer. In this mode, online friends will be alerted when your character dies so that they can come looking for your corpse to loot you, as well as kill off your new zombie body.
ZombiU wasn’t my favorite Wii U title on the show floor, but it’s one that I will be keeping an eye on. It could feature a fun single player mode, which I have yet to try, and some of the final features of the product sound interesting. Only time will tell if ZombiU will be worth a purchase.
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