Seeing the Wii U launch lineup makes it plainly obvious that Nintendo isn’t forgetting the “hardcore” gamer with its upcoming console. Case in point: ZombiU, a survival-horror shooter that has its share of brains, blood and bombasity and will stand in stark contrast to the more family-friendly titles launching with the Wii U.
A Wii U exclusive, ZombiU is being developed by Ubisoft Montpellier, the studio behind From Dust, Beyond Good & Evil and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, if that’s any indication of the adult-minded caliber of the game and development team. The game puts players in the middle of London circa 2012, where an outbreak has infected the population, destroying their humanity and turning them into mindless monsters preying on the flesh of the few remaining survivors. The first-person shooter takes all the terror, chaos and tension you’d expect from a survival-horror game and adds interactive elements such as a unique death mechanic that puts players in the body of a different survivor each time they die. This may seem weird on the surface, but it allows players to track and take down their old, infected characters, recover their equipment and see if they can stay alive just a little bit longer the next time around.
The Nintendo Wii U GamePad serves as the player’s survival kit, called the “Bug Out Bag.” The Bug Out Bag is a backpack containing all the maps, tools, weapons and supplies that players can scavenge from the limited resources available in the devastated cityscape. In other words, the GamePad handles inventory management. Using its touch screen, gyroscope and camera, though, ZombiU tries to create a more-tactile connection between gamers and the in-game world.
And yes, for those of you who like to eat your friends’ brains or avoid the zombie apocalypse together, ZombiU features a competitive multiplayer mode that allows one player to take on the role of “Zombie Master,” spawning and controlling enemies from a top-down view on the Nintendo Wii U GamePad, while the second player fights for survival on the big screen in first-person shooter view with the Nintendo Wii U Pro controller.