ZombiU isn't just the Wii U's obligatory FPS launch title - it's an original twist on the genre with no exact equivalent on console.


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Face-Off: Zombi

Considered a highlight of the Wii U's hardware launch, developer Straight Right decides that now is the time to give Zombi a run-around on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The single-player game is in many ways identical, but this budget release does promise some interesting visual tweaks. The question is: does this extend much further than a quick resolution boost to 1080p? And how have Wii U's off-screen controls fared in the move to the more conventional gamepad?

Using the LyN engine, the game's size is increased four-fold on these new editions - immediately suggesting some major upgrades to asset-work. On PS4, Xbox One and PC the game requires a meaty 22GB download, compared to only 5.6GB on Wii U. On close analysis of the PC game's directory, it's apparent that most of this data is inflated for level assets such as texture maps, while sound files also take up a good chunk of this increased 22GB download.

In terms of the basic rendering setup, both Xbox One and PS4 now push a native 1920x1080 while the original Wii U version's 1280x720 holds up surprisingly well upscaled in our comparison shots, largely due to the grim, dark London setting. It's fair to say that with a 2.25x boost to native resolution, PS4 and Xbox One offer a cleaner image with superior post-process anti-aliasing - but unfortunately, the chromatic aberration filter (used on all platforms) cuts a lot of the clarity we'd expect from a full 1080p title. The result is a superior presentation overall, but with such heavy filtering, the gains aren't as great as we'd usually expect from the divide.

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Zombi review

RecommendedZombi review

Platform alteration.

A mad scientist is pumping music through the decaying state rooms of Buckingham Palace: William Byrd, whose distinctly English compositions effortlessly conjure a Renaissance world of precision and calm, a realm of serene order. But there's something else being carried on the air, too. Simple chords - lumpen, plodding, arrhythmic. Somewhere nearby, a zombie is playing the piano.



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Video: ZombiU vs Zombi graphics and gameplay comparison

In my opinion, ZombiU - despite being a launch title for the console - is still one of the best games for the Wii U. It mixes survival horror and permadeath mechanics together perfectly, and to this day remains one of the only games on the system that actually bothers utilising the gamepad for something other than just a secondary map screen.

Now almost three years since ZombiU's launch, Ubisoft has finally decided to release the game on the PS4, PC and Xbox One - minus the 'U' and minus the multiplayer. In terms of how it actually plays, Zombi is very similar to ZombiU; the level layouts for the campaign are identical, and the only real change comes from the lack of the Wii U gamepad's second screen. Digging into your backpack, scanning for items or tearing down barricades now happens on your TV and, rather than it having the effect of losing tension, as some people had feared, I actually think it improves the overall experience no end.

Graphically there have been quite a few changes though, not least the new field of view which allows you to see much more of the game world than before. I've placed the Wii U and PS4 versions side by side in the graphics and gameplay comparison video below, so do give it a watch if you want to see how they stack up. There's also a few insights into the improved lighting, textures and added gore too.

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Ubisoft's cancelled ZombiU 2 would have featured co-op - report

Co-op play would have been included in Ubisoft's now-cancelled ZombiU sequel, a new report states.

Between 5-10 staff at Ubisoft Montpellier worked on a ZombiU 2 prototype back in 2013, but the project was canned before it ever passed the pre-production stage.

Details uncovered by Unseen64 (via NintendoEverything) show that the series would have returned to a "run-down, zombie apocalypse setting", now with the possibility of a second player by your side.

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Ubisoft holding back an unannounced, finished Wii U game until console sells more

Ubisoft holding back an unannounced, finished Wii U game until console sells more

"That has been done for six months. It's on the shelf."

Ubisoft has an under-wraps Wii U title ready to launch, but it is waiting to see if and when the console will sell more units.

Company boss Yves Guillemot revealed the news in a roundtable interview at E3 (thanks, Polygon), where he said that the unannounced title was finished and ready to be released.

"We have another couple of products that we are waiting to launch," he said. "Specifically we have one game that we wait for the machine to be more mass market to launch.

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There are no plans for a ZombiU sequel, says Ubisoft CEO

There are no plans for a ZombiU sequel, says Ubisoft CEO

It was not even close to being profitable.

Despite being totally awesome, Ubisoft's Wii U launch game ZombiU was a massive commercial flop.

The first-person survival/horror game was not profitable, according Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in an interview with GamesIndustry International. The report added that it was "not even close" to turning a profit and "there are no plans (or even desire) for a sequel."

This flies contrary to reports only a couple of months ago that Ubisoft was allegedly prototyping a sequel to its critically-acclaimed horror curio.

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Ubisoft "working hard" on ZombiU sequel prototype

Ubisoft "working hard" on ZombiU sequel prototype

Undead survival horror to rise again?

Ubisoft is currently prototyping a sequel to its well-received Wii U survival horror ZombiU.

That's according to Ubisoft Montpellier's Jean-Philippe Caro, who mentioned the project to a fan via Twitter (as spotted by NeoGAF).

"Thank you for your interest in ZombiU," Caro wrote, having been questioned about the likelihood of a sequel. "The team is working hard on a prototype. It's too soon to tell you more."

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Games of 2012: ZombiU

London's calling.

New York's had Grand Theft Auto 4, Paris had Broken Sword and Tokyo's had both Jet Set Radio and The World Ends With You, but London's never really had the same treatment. There's been the rubble-rousing rewritten history of Resistance, or the city seen through a Guy Ritchie filter in The Getaway, but there's never been a game set in the London that I live in, the London that's equal parts mystery and misery, where Hawksmoor spires pop up in the middle of dreary council estates.

Nintendo confirms German law to blame for Europe-wide Wii U eShop 18+ content restrictions

Nintendo confirms German law to blame for Europe-wide Wii U eShop 18+ content restrictions

"We always aim to provide a safe gaming experience for fans of all ages."

Nintendo has explained the restrictions on Wii U eShop 18+ content.

Last week Eurogamer confirmed that Nintendo of Europe blocks access to 18+ content on the Wii U eShop at certain times of day.

We were unable to buy 18-rated content, such as ZombiU and Assassin's Creed 3, during the day time. This, it emerged, was because access to content Nintendo deems unsuitable to minors is restricted to the 11pm to 3am time window on these shores.

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ZombiU review

RecommendedZombiU review

Plenty of brains.

ZombiU is a re-imagining of the very first game that Ubisoft ever published, and represents a back-to-basics approach of the best kind. No timid attempt at carving off a slice of the bloated zombie market, ZombiU takes a new path - one that cuts a swathe through the horde. If it's not quite perfect then that's no terrible criticism, and whatever else, it is one hell of a launch title.

The concept of ZombiU comes down to an overly familiar combination of words: survival horror. Discounting the Day Z mod (which is quite distinct from this), it's been a long time since zombies have lived up to that idea. ZombiU's zombis [sic.] are the classic shambler - slow-moving but relentless when roused, invulnerable to anything but headshots and invariably deadly up-close. It's a game where you have to remain in total control of every encounter, or death follows.

The first time I died in ZombiU was during the tutorial. Surrounded by zombis, I dashed to a ladder under the instructions of a mysterious cockney. The first-person perspective showed my hands gripping the rungs and movement upwards: relief. Except the view then jerked downwards to a zombi grabbing my leg - which began clumsily grasping my waist as I kicked out at its mouth, panicking. We both fell, the viewpoint hitting the ground at 90 degrees with a dull thud. I scrambled up and, facing another two zombis, tried to go for the ladder again. First, and last, mistake. I was hauled down again and, this time, unceremoniously mauled.

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Wii U: Hunting for the star of the launch line-up

Wii U: Hunting for the star of the launch line-up

Asymmetry and a focus on local multiplayer suggest great promise for Nintendo's new box of tricks.

Console launches can be tense affairs, can't they? First there's the worry about getting home from a midnight opening without being mugged by the bigger kids. Then there's the fear that the arrival of expensive new hardware will magically coincide with your rent going up and your wife walking out, landing you on the streets with an old paper bag for a house and no electrical sockets to plug your brand new Fairchild Channel F into.

More importantly, though, there's the software line-up. You've probably got a limited amount of money to spend - if you don't, incidentally, have I ever mentioned that I'm a bone marrow donor and I love receiving gifts? - and you want to make sure you end up with Twilight Princess rather than Red Steel. Nintendo showed off quite a few of its launch titles in Frankfurt earlier this week, and with Red Steel still fresh in my mind, I wandered around trying to spot potential winners - and also eating some of those weird menthol boiled sweets I can only ever find in Germany. Tangy!

Let's put aside the ports and the cross-platform stuff for the sake of this piece. The likes of Darksiders 2 and Mass Effect 3 look great, but the true star of any launch is going to be something console-specific, right? When Nintendo's involved, you can bet the true gems will probably be self-published, too, and sure enough there are two titles you should keep an eye on.

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Ubisoft Wii U offering not a "huge investment"

Rayman, ZombiU won't break the bank, third-party ally explains.

Ubisoft has said that, financially, it "doesn't have a huge investment" in Nintendo's Wii U, despite being the most prominent third-party publisher for the console's launch line-up.

ZombiU Preview: Wii U's Surprise Package?

ZombiU Preview: Wii U's Surprise Package?

Ubisoft channels Dark Souls for its ambitious Wii U survival horror.

It was very tempting to ignore Ubisoft's Wii U survival horror ZombiU on the E3 showfloor last week. The combination of that anonymous title and the seemingly gimmicky gameplay demo shown during Nintendo's conference gave off a very distinctive whiff of Red Steel, the French publisher's limp attempt at a quick core offering for early Wii adopters back in 2006.

But in the interests of being fully comprehensive we duly hauled ourselves over to Ubisoft's booth for a quick look. And believe it or not, what lay in wait was one of the few genuine surprises of the week, offering some of the most creative, imaginative design on show not just for the Wii U but for any console shooter on display.

Here's the rather wonderful central conceit. You play as an unremarkable survivor of a zombie apocalypse, setting out from a central safehouse hub on various missions. Should you be bitten by a zombie, that's it - game over, you're dead. The player then respawns back in the safehouse as a completely different survivor. You'll venture out again, hunt down your reanimated predecessor, put them out their misery and retrieve their inventory to allow you to continue exploring the city. Similarly, any friends killed while playing the game on another machine will also pop up as a zombie and attempt to rip chunks off you.

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Ubisoft announces ZombiU exclusively for Wii U

Ubisoft announces ZombiU exclusively for Wii U

UPDATE: First gameplay details, multiplayer confirmed.

UPDATE: First gameplay details from ZombiU have been revealed by Ubisoft. Players will use the Wii U GamePad as a survival kit, known as the "Bug Out Bag".

The bag is a backpack containing the maps, tools, weapons and supplies that you'll scavenge from the devastated cityscape. The Game Pad's touch screen, gyroscope and camera will also be used somehow.

ZombiU will also include "Zombie Master", a multiplayer mode that allows one player to spawn and control enemies using the Game Pad. A second player must then fight for survival on the big screen.

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