ZombiU was one of the best horror experiences I’ve ever had. In fact, just thinking about it makes me want to get out my security blanket and boot it up on WiiU. But soon, I won’t have to – one of my favorite horror games is coming to PC and new consoles, and it’s been totally retooled for the transition.
First up, here is the truly brilliant reveal trailer for Zombi. The music is the best thing ever.
Coming purely as a digital release for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, the game will be pretty different from the WiiU original, but still seeks to capture that claustrophobic and terrifying feeling. While the mini-map is now on the screen because there is no gamepad to display on, the HUD is still as minimal as possible and disappears when not required. Other display tweaks include slightly increasing the field of view and improving the look and feel of the first-person movement.
Big changes come in the form of melee weapons:
While the cricket bat was your only melee weapon in ZombiU, Zombi adds two more implements of death for you to ferret out. The shovel offers longer range and the ability to hit more than one zombie at a time, while the nail bat gives you more damage and a higher critical-hit chance (while also being able to hit more than one enemy at a time). Even the flashlight is changing, letting players switch to a wider, further-reaching beam at the expense of battery life and a greater risk of attracting zombies. It’ll also have to be kept off for 30 seconds to recharge, forcing players to be even more careful than before about how they use it.
One of the most terrifying parts about ZombiU, though, was the use of the second screen. On the WiiU, when you would look in your backpack, the game didn’t pause and you were unable to see if any danger was coming. Despite the removal of the second screen, that tension is maintained.
We kept the central idea that you’re always vulnerable. Rummaging in the backpack still doesn’t pause the game. We’ve added a dedicated button to access the backpack, which lets players see their full inventory and assign shortcut keys.
While doing so players won’t be able to see approaching zombies unless they’re coming from the sides of the screen.
While I’ve been skeptical of how this game could transition to other platforms, it sounds like the team was determined to take the best elements of the game and bring it to PC and new consoles. They know the parts that worked so well in the game, and wanted to preserve them.
Without hesitation, the general sense of claustrophobia, and not knowing what is coming next – at least for new players. It’s mostly small technical improvements on what was already there – the faster load times, and the small changes to controls. In fact, a lot of time was spent getting the controls mapped as intuitively as possible, to keep the original atmosphere.
I never finished ZombiU back in the day. I loved it, but when you die, you have to go find your old corpse (who is now a zombie you have to kill) in order to get your loot. If you fail, you lose all your stuff. I was having such an awesome run as a former IT professional, but when that character died and I had to find her as a former security guard, my heart just wasn’t in it. I died, lost everything, and gave up. I think it’s time to give that game another whirl – but should I play it on WiiU again, or just wait to grab my digital version on PS4?
Last Updated: July 31, 2015