ZombiU has split opinion. From 4.5 out of 10 to 92%, Ubisoft's survival horror game has been on the receiving end of some negative and positive reviews which has confused many Nintendo fans who just want to know if they should buy it or not. But why has it polarised opinion?
Looking at the review scores, you can see a split between the American and UK reviews. I have yet to see a single negative review from a UK-based publication or website. Edge gave the game 7 out of 10, CVG awarded it 8.4 and Eurogamer 9 out of 10. If you subscribe of Official Nintendo Magazine and have read the review or seen our summary in our best Wii U games article, you'll know that we gave it 92%.
Yet look over the other side of the pond where ZombiU is actually out now and it's a different story. IGN went with 6.3, Gamespot gave it 4.5 while Game Informer thought it deserving of a 5 out of 10 review score.
I'm not going to say that these reviewers are wrong (I'm not in the business of criticising the work of members of my own profession - it's a bit rude) and everyone is entitled to their own opinion but one common criticism has focused on the cricket bat. IGN, for example, said that killing zombies with the cricket bat becomes a chore while CVG commented: "there's something brilliantly English about smacking a pinstriped, bowler hat-wearing London banker with one."
CVG's reviewer added that a few more would have added variety to the excellent melee combat. We presume he's talking about melee weapons in general rather than a variety of cricket bats. Although wouldn't it be fun to choose from different bats? A Duncan Fearnley or a Gray & Nicholls? I think I'd go for the Gray & Nicholls - those ridges on the back would do some damage.
Gamespot also said the world was uninteresting. That's our capital city you're talking about, pal! Joking aside, it does make you wonder if the game had been set in New York and you had to pummel zombies with a baseball bat, would the reaction have been different?
Despite being made by Ubisoft Montpellier, ZombiU is very English. Not in a quaint Professor-Layton-cup-of-tea-and-cake kind of way, you understand, but it's set in London and the Prepper (your mentor) speaks in a thick Yorkshire accent. It's gritty, too - like the sort of low-budget horror movie we do so well.
But the mixed reviews can't be down to cultural differences can they? After all, US-based website Destructoid gave it 8 out of 10, its reviewer writing: "ZombiU is awkward, ugly, crawling in its pace, and often nonsensical with its narrative... and I remember when horror games weren't ashamed of any of that, even actively exploiting it to create alienating, frightening atmospheres that stuck in a players' memories and made them too spooked to want to take another step forward."