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ZombiU: Why I ignored negative reviews

Blog: John Vekinis has enjoyed ZombiU so far

Like many others, in the build up to the Wii U launch I was consumed by the hype. Many a review was read and trailer watched as I awaited getting my grubby mitts on the system. By far the game I had the most vested interest in was ZombiU, simply because it's the game I chose to pre-order well in advance as my launch game. Judging by reviews, it seems ZombiU ended up dividing opinions more than Marmite and I was pretty worried that I would be wasting my money on a mediocre launch game. But along came ONM's review, a noble score was dished out and I immediately felt better.

I've been playing ZombiU for a couple of days and thoroughly enjoying it. Within the first half hour I had this image in my head of lots of games designers from Ubisoft sitting around a table and asking each other "what are the cleverest gameplay mechanics we can put in this game?" There are just so many clever little features - I love the way you leave yourself vulnerable by looking away from the screen while sifting through inventory. Using the WiiU controller as a scanner to check for items and the undead is great, too.

ZombiU is truly scary and delivers the frights by making you feel anxious. There's an extreme ammo drought while limited bag space just adds another layer of fear. Hearing that click of the pistol when you run out of ammo is a dreaded sound.

The thing with ZombiU is that it's a proper old school survival horror game - it's been many a year since I've played a zombie game featuring one bite deaths. The gaming world has changed a fair amount since horror games played like this and for many a gamer these slow-paced, tense games can be a bit boring.

But the zombie games that people play these days are not in the same vein as the original Resident Evil games anymore. You've got the zombies mode of Call Of Duty but even Resident Evil 6 is an all-action affair that can't be compared to ZombiU.

Of course reviews are just an expression of the reviewer's opinion; some loved it, some hated it, that's just what they think. The bottom line is: if you want a claustrophobic, fairly slow brewing, cricket bat swinging survival horror then go out and get ZombiU but if you're expecting a high speed, gun toting shoot 'em up then you will probably not like it. Just go get Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and rack up high scores on Zombie Survival. I won't judge you too much for it.


16 comments so far...
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  1. 3DSRulesO.K Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 16:57

    Exactly! This game is actually a proper zombie survival game. People have come to expect every game with guns in it to be a big explosion! This game focuses on fear and suspense. The negative reviewers didn't play it properly and didn't understand the point of Zombi U! :x

  2. dave666 Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 17:31

    Zombi U has done for zombie games what goldeneye did for first person shooters,what arkham asylum did for batman,but more importantly it has brought proper survival horror back to gamers. This is the only horror game I have ever played that makes me wanna down a few shots of whiskey before booting it up, and I don't even drink !

    for me zombi u is the gold standard by which I will judge all future horror titles by,and to anybody that has disregarded this game as some poor launch title then your just being a fool to yourselves and missing out on one hell of game. But make no mistake you are not some trigger happy meat head out to save the world,you are a nobody that's fighting a desperate,loosing battle and that in itself creates a feeling of dread and unease.

    Zombi U has set the bar very high indeed and has actually done something that hasn't been done by a video game in a long time.......scare people

    well done ubisoft :twisted:

  3. rayboi Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 17:52

    Everything this article said was true. Everyone (including gamer reviewers) have forgotten what proper horror games actually play like. ZombiU is a return to that classic form, which is infinitely better than games that try to replicate it (e.g. Call of Duty). I think the reviewers that gave it a bad review have become so accustomed to the way that CoD and modern Resident Evil games deliver Zombie Horror. I personally think that they suck. I don't care what those reviewers say.

  4. 5OUNDWAVE Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 18:16

    ur just right it's what u make of the game not some-one else , haven't played mine yet but 2-moro night it will be time 2 kick some zombie ass , i've just been enjoying mario and sonic 2 much

  5. craigbigedd Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 20:54

    I've been gaming for 35 years and its about time we has a survival horror title like this.
    Once you master the gamepad,play mechanics and surroundings it really becomes a pure class game.
    The problem is people have had dumbed down game difficulty for a while now and when a traditional hardcore game like this comes around they slag it off.My advice buy a wii u and a copy of this game and grow a set of balls :P :P

  6. Zing06 Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 21:05

    I totally ignored the bad reviews and have been have so much fun with it, my only concern is that it's not scary enough :twisted:

  7. Riverlution Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 21:20

    My god. I was so worried about the negative reviews (Espescially since I ordered the Zombi U set) but this video has put me at ease. The game looks amazing, 25th of December can't come soon enough... but even then I'll have to wait a couple of days for all the youngen's to disperse before I can get this going properly.

  8. Xenobladeperson Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 21:53

    A few hours in and so far, it's a solid and genuinely terrifying survival horror. I've only used my pistol for five or so enemies in the game, two outside Buckingham Palace and the rest because the pistol ammo was taking up too much room in my BOB. It's starting to become a little repetitive, as I've used by cricket bat for nearly enemy in the game so far.

    I ignored the reviews because I had the game pre-ordered before the reviews came out, I probably wouldn't have bought the game if I hadn't already ordered the ZombiU bundle, but I'm glad I got.

  9. CraigEmberson Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 22:07

    Unfortunately, so many gamers have changed. They care about the best graphics and shooting everything in sight... Bizarrely, people I know who still play Nintendo consoles have stayed grounded and care about the important things in games (and in life). It upsets me when I hear kids obsessing over shooters they're not meant to play, making gun signs at random people and genuinely enjoying the thought of it. The mechanics of this game and the general idea of it feels like gaming used to be, not just about all that. For me, if you're frustrated and all - turning to games lets it all out and makes you feel good after. Whereas so many gamers genuinely only grow into loving guns and blood, not caring about story or mechanics and the like. They've forgotten the point of gaming and the point of the experience.

  10. adamatsu Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 22:30

    i dunno, ign was really hyped for the game and most reviewers were hoping for a survival horror game. most of the criticism was because it was frustrating, repetitive and not actually that scary. that's what put me off, i've ordered project zero 2 for wii instead, apparently it's TERRIFYING!

  11. TrunStrat Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 23:18

    This is one of the best games I have played in years! I was sick to death of action games in the vein of CoD and Modern Warfare. I absolutely love the feel and tension of ZombieU. Ubisoft have come good!

  12. andisart Monday 3rd Dec 2012 at 23:21

    yes yes YES! I totally agree with this blog post too!

    I played the original Resident Evil titles on the Gamecube back in the day and it scared the s**t out of me and my sister!
    We actually screamed A LOT playing it! What fun this was :mrgreen:

    And ZombiU is the FIRST game since those days that made me scream again!
    Well done Ubisoft :D

    I predict this game will reignite the interest in actual SURVIVAL-horror games and cause a new trend.
    It is one of the biggest launch games and it seems to sell well so far (UK first sales ranking it was 3rd highest WiiU game, is high up on Amazon rankings). Just as I predict the WiiU will be a new trend in itself, because it is friggin AWESOME! I cant stop playing it :D

  13. jaco_p Tuesday 4th Dec 2012 at 12:32

    Yes the reviews may have been mediocre, and i was slightly worried at first, but i ploughed on and bought the game anyway, knowing that i would probably love it. Aside from the 2 people who reviewed it for IGN and EDGE i haven't heard a single person that has played it and doesn't love it!!! Yes, i suppose it could get quite repetitive using the cricket bat but i just think it's scary as hell as you have to time your swings properly to stop yourself from taking damage.
    In short i agree with the blog! Proper survival horror. I'm not sure even dead space scared me this much. Emphasis is on careful inventory management, planning, and running away!!

  14. nintenu Tuesday 4th Dec 2012 at 13:02

    There just reviews, good or bad the end of the day, it's just one person’s opinion!

  15. leftoverlunch Tuesday 4th Dec 2012 at 23:12

    I agree 100% not much more to add other than i am loving zombie u. It's been a long time since i agreed with so many people in the same thread. The other thing is the reviewers wouldn't of been able to use the online features. It's so much fun finding an old buddie that passed on and left me a bob full of ammo.

  16. Piplup Wednesday 5th Dec 2012 at 17:28

    I'm getting it when I get my Wii U, but I don't know what to expect really. I doubt it will scare me at all but it looks like a fun game. My main reason for getting the Wii U was a prospective Project Zero game in the future, really, but I do like the look of this.

    I doubt it's any Forbidden Siren difficulty wise but it'll be fun I hope.

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