ZombiU: How long will you survive? (Answer: Not very bloody long) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 01-07-2013, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Given that ZombiU is arguably the best launch game for the Wii U I thought it deserved its own thread. I just started playing it myself last week and was wondering if any other AVSers were giving it a go (besides TroyHD, whose shambling corpse I've had to murder twice now!).

My relationship with the game is somewhat...complicated. I think the game is exciting, inventive, intense, and very well made, but on the other hand, I find myself not wanting to play it much. It's not really addicting in the way that many of the best games are. To be clear, this is not a knock, it's just a statement on the nature of the game. This isn't a game I want to kick back and relax with at the end of a long day like Mario, or something I want to aimlessly play for hours on end like Xenoblade. Due to the level of focus and intensity of the game, I actually find it somewhat exhausting to play for more than an hour or two at a time. I find myself desperately hoping for the next save point to be around the next corner just so I can have an excuse to put the game back down for the day. What I'm saying is -- and admittedly at least part of this is due to my being kind of a wiener -- this game is stressful.

ZombiU feels to me like it was made by some sort of "Zombie Pride" activist group that is sick of how their people have come to be portrayed in more traditional videogames. Zombies in this game, for once, are both scary and threatening. This isn't RE6, where a whole horde of zombies are just a minor annoyance, easily obliterated with your 17 guns and arsenal of bicycle kicks and hurricanranas. Here, even a single zombie is a threat that must be taken seriously; three or more zombies is practically guaranteed annihilation. You're not some musclebound, boulder-punching action hero, you're just a weak, scared, fragile human that is just a single bite away from death. This takes a lot of getting used to when you first start playing, because it feels disconcerting to be so vulnerable in the face of an enemy that's become piddling cannon fodder over the years. It's like firing up a new Mario game and having the first Goomba ****ing murder you because suddenly they take a half-dozen well-timed hits to kill. It's frustrating at first, but forces you to approach the game in a whole different way. And from there, almost before you realize it, the gameplay transforms from frustrating to rewarding.

ZombiU requires that you play it smart. That you play it realistically. It forces you to really think in a way I haven't really experienced in games. When you enter unfamiliar territory -- or even familiar territory, because you never know -- you should almost have a mental checklist: You check your flashlight battery levels. You make sure your weapons are prepared. You ping your radar. You scan the area for enemies or items to loot, new entrances/exits to open, and corpses that might not be just corpses. And most importantly, you always have an exit route in mind in case things go south. (My first few encounters in the game are almost hilarious to me now, with my survivors' short lives inevitably ending in their running panicked and blind into a dark corner, fumbling for the door before turning and futilely trying to take out the horde with just a cricket bat.) A seemingly simple decision like unbarring a door takes on real weight: Am I opening up an avenue of escape for myself if I do this? Or am I just leaving myself open to another route of attack?

The one-bite, one-death mechanic really adds to this. In my first couple hours, I lost five survivors in quick succession, three of them within ten minutes. I grew extremely frustrated, and almost quit. But eventually, something clicked, and I realized I was playing the wrong way. My sixth survivor, Owen Hussain, a dumpy, middle-aged army deserter, has now been with me for 70% of my playtime, due to playing smart, and playing cautiously. I feel weirdly proud of him. But I also find myself equally weirdly concerned for him, knowing that no matter how smartly I play, easy death waits around potentially every corner.

There was one time when I really thought he was done for: Trying to open a hidden room, I accidentally set an alarm off, calling almost a half-dozen zombies to my area. I threw a flare to distract them, followed by a precious molotov. But half of them kept coming. I decided to run, to try to climb a ladder I spotted leading up to a high scaffolding where they'd have a tough time reaching me. Unfortunately one of them grabbed hold of me mid-climb, pulled me off the ladder, and went in for the fatal bite. Usually, this is certain death, but something surprising happened: The zombie couldn't bite me, because it was wearing a riot helmet and thus constraining its own teeth. After some struggle, I pushed him off and sprinted away, luring zombies to an area where they'd have to crawl single-file over a barricade, where I was able to methodically bash their heads in one by one. So that was it: Owen managed to survive a little bit more. I made my way back to the secret room, successfully opened it, only to find...nothing. Just a small, empty room. After all that, after a nearly 20-minute fight for survival, there was nothing to show for it but reduced supplies and health. At this point, I want to stop, to just power the game off and never play it again, knowing that every time I start up the game, Owen will likely die. But it can't ALL be for nothing. So oh well. It's on to the next room.

So that's the blessing and curse of ZombiU. I fully believe the developers succeeded in creating the game they wanted to create, and that is a game I in a way find myself wanting to play LESS than the practically objectively abysmal RE6. But it's the fact that I DON'T want to play it (but keep doing so regardless) that speaks to its true quality.
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post #2 of 46 Old 01-07-2013, 09:22 AM
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Dang, you are making me wish I had bought this instead of ME3. I'll buy it eventually :-)
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post #3 of 46 Old 01-07-2013, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah sorry for the gonzo post everyone. But the game just inspires emotion.

Anyway, it's already been $45 a few places, I'm sure you'll be able to find it significantly cheaper within a couple months.
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post #4 of 46 Old 01-07-2013, 10:15 AM
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absolutely LOVED zombiu.

It's an experience you can't get anywhere else at the moment.

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post #5 of 46 Old 01-07-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

You're not some musclebound, boulder-punching action hero, you're just a weak, scared, fragile human that is just a single bite away from death.

So you're saying I can't swing my remote to do this?

I mean, c'mon. Look at the guy, he's struggling... wink.gif

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post #6 of 46 Old 01-08-2013, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Ha, that's one of my favorite parts in any game. It gets a lot of hate, but I found RE5 lovably stupid.

So any advice on what weapons to upgrade in ZombiU? I'm pretty much 90% cricket bat but otherwise I've been using the silenced pistol.
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post #7 of 46 Old 01-08-2013, 08:54 AM
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I've been enjoying the game, too, but it's frustrating. Once you're killed, your replacement doesn't have anything the predecessor picked up unless you happen to kill the predecessor's zombie and loot their stuff.

I had gone through about 9 different people before I erased it and started again.

This time, I'm doing better. One thing that helps is using the radar to figure out where the biters are before walking into a new area or room. I'm also mostly using the cricket bat and leaving the pistol as a last resort.
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post #8 of 46 Old 01-08-2013, 09:29 AM
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Just starting to get into it. I love the fact that it's more of a survival game, as apposed to an action FPS. Tough though. But in a good way.

"Good... Bad... I'm the guy with the gun."

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post #9 of 46 Old 01-08-2013, 04:44 PM
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I love the game, but about a month ago, I found a gamebreaking bug that prevented me from moving forward. I'm stuck in the nursery basement where I need to retrieve an item from my previous character, but there is a door that won't open. At this point I either need to completely start over or wait for Ubisoft to patch the game. Apparently, I'm not the only one who experienced this bug. I opened up a support ticket with Ubisoft, so hopefully, they will fix it soon. I tried restarting in Survivor mode, but I don't think that I'm ready for that yet.
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post #10 of 46 Old 01-09-2013, 03:25 PM
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Great review Mongo. I agree, it is a great game, but it's so tense I am am almost nervous to play it. A really good launch game. Hard though.

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post #11 of 46 Old 01-10-2013, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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A demo for ZombiU is going up on the eShop today, so hey, no excuses not for everyone to give it a try.
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post #12 of 46 Old 01-10-2013, 08:56 AM
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Agreed. Everyone should try this game. I need to get back to it myself but Trine 2 has been taking up most of my spare time.
Soon.

"Good... Bad... I'm the guy with the gun."

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post #13 of 46 Old 01-10-2013, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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It's also worth noting that this is the first game where I've really been inclined to take advantage of Miiverse. I'm not much inclined to post my thoughts whenever I get three star coins in NSMB, but I've posted questions several times and each time several people from the ZombiU Miiverse community got right back to me. This game already has several elements that make it feel like all players are playing in the same world, just at different times, and this enhances that.
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post #14 of 46 Old 01-10-2013, 10:33 AM
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Interesting. I'll have to use Miiverse more often. Haven't really looked at it too much.

"Good... Bad... I'm the guy with the gun."

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post #15 of 46 Old 01-10-2013, 12:51 PM
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miiverse is stupid great

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post #16 of 46 Old 01-10-2013, 05:01 PM
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IGN stated that a ZombiU demo is now available in the Wii U shop

Money does not buy happiness. It can, however, buy you a giant boat that you can pull up alongside happiness. - David Lee Roth

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post #17 of 46 Old 01-11-2013, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearHuntr View Post

I love the game, but about a month ago, I found a gamebreaking bug that prevented me from moving forward. I'm stuck in the nursery basement where I need to retrieve an item from my previous character, but there is a door that won't open. At this point I either need to completely start over or wait for Ubisoft to patch the game. Apparently, I'm not the only one who experienced this bug. I opened up a support ticket with Ubisoft, so hopefully, they will fix it soon. I tried restarting in Survivor mode, but I don't think that I'm ready for that yet.
I think I'm getting close to this point in the game, so thanks for the heads-up. Seems the only real fix at the moment is "Be super careful not to die in there."
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post #18 of 46 Old 01-14-2013, 06:12 AM
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ZombiU is scary as all heck. I can't play for more than a couple of hours at a time.

I ran into a glitch that's going to force me to restart the game though. I lingered in the doorway of a door that was supposed to close and lock behind me. Instead it locked in front of me and now the door won't open. If I'd been thinking, I would have hit the Home button and exited the game without saving. I was dumb and I saved, hoping that the door would somehow be open again.
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post #19 of 46 Old 01-14-2013, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, the presence of game-breaking glitches I'm hearing about (most of which seem to be near the end) is concerning. Ubisoft is well aware of the issues, I wish they'd hurry up and patch it. I've taken the same survivor through 80% of the game now, and I'll be pissed if he ends up finally going down only because of a glitch. I almost got killed when playing recently only because I got lodged in a wall I was trying to crawl under. Thankfully I managed to still just barely kill the zombie after me, and his corpse sliding to the ground seemed to nudge me out of the wall just enough to set me free. Annoying.

That said, I'm still enjoying the hell out of the game. They got me good with a scare: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Shortly after the boss fight in the nursery. If you've done it, you know what I'm talking about.
Like, I literally jumped a bit off my couch. That hasn't happened since the dogs jumping through the window in Resident Evil 1.
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post #20 of 46 Old 01-14-2013, 07:15 AM
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"Like, I literally jumped a bit off my couch. That hasn't happened since the dogs jumping through the window in Resident Evil 1."

Boy... does that ever bring back some fond gaming memories. smile.gif

"Good... Bad... I'm the guy with the gun."

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post #21 of 46 Old 01-16-2013, 05:43 AM
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The door that locked before I went through reset to being open when I exited the game and restarted it. I can move forward after all.

The game so fills me with dread that I was kind of looking forward to starting over.
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post #22 of 46 Old 01-16-2013, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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A moment of silence for my star survivor, Owen Hussain, finally going down after 11+ hours of playtime. My guy had become an overly cautious machine, I figured able to handle anything, but one of the last missions really pulls the rug out and I ended up losing like four guys in a row. I have to say, I'm a bit embarrassed by how sad I am to see Owen go, especially so close to the end and as kind of a chump in storyline terms. But it's also strangely freeing in that I no longer have to worry about keeping his streak going, and find the game less stressful.

Fellow AVSer TroyHD sent me a screenshot on Miiverse showing my name on the wall as #7 in the Top 10 Survivors of the Day. Pretty cool! Really love the Miiverse integration in this game.
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post #23 of 46 Old 01-22-2013, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally beat the game, and got (I think?) the best ending. The game falls apart a bit starting from the clearly labeled Point of No Return, for instance arbitrarily blocking off all the shortcuts you've spent the entire game opening for the sake of artificially increasing the difficulty, but all in all this remains one of the tensest, stressful, most unique gaming experiences I've ever had.

Now I never want to play it again.
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post #24 of 46 Old 01-23-2013, 05:50 AM
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Congrats for finishing the game!

I'm finding it hard to get motivated to continue. I made it to the outside of the nursery. I've heard so many horror stories about it that I decided to go back and find CCTV boxes I missed. I have no more room in my locker or my BOB. I should get going but that game is really stressful! Maybe tomorrow night.
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post #25 of 46 Old 01-23-2013, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Once you've made it back from the nursery you've pretty much gotten past the worst the game has to offer, at least in terms of scariness/game-breaking glitches. In terms of difficulty, though, the worst is yet to come.
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post #26 of 46 Old 01-23-2013, 07:02 AM
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Congrats, Mongo. I have to admit, the frustration of this game is making me start to lose interest. I'm not that good of a gamer, and I've still not gotten what I need from the basement of the guy's flat. I've died about 45 times!
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post #27 of 46 Old 01-23-2013, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Whoa! This uh, game may not be for you. That said, if you're interested, here is my #1 tip:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Use the shove. Seriously. It's practically god-like. It's almost instant, stops any attack, and will always stun zombies for longer than it incapacitates you (even if just by a bit). It can even be used to stun multiple zombies by shoving them into each other. Shove, cricket bat, shove, cricket bat, repeat until dead. A single zombie won't be able to touch you. Even better: shove, walk up to stunned zombie, aim gun -- the aim-assist will line up a head shot, bam, easy one-shot kill.

With the shove, a string of zombies forced down a narrow corridor/doorway can be hilarious. You almost feel like you're bullying them. "I said gimme your lunch money, nerdlinger!"

Other than that, just play slow and smart. Cowardly, even. I like to use my flashlight to try and peel one zombie off from the pack, and get it to follow me to an easy kill area. Goad it into crawling after you through a narrow space or stumbling over a barrier -- once a zombie's on the ground for any reason, you'll get a prompt for a one-hit cricket bat kill. It's slow. But safe and very effective.

Good luck!
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post #28 of 46 Old 01-23-2013, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

Whoa! This uh, game may not be for you. That said, if you're interested, here is my #1 tip:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Use the shove. Seriously. It's practically god-like. It's almost instant, stops any attack, and will always stun zombies for longer than it incapacitates you (even if just by a bit). It can even be used to stun multiple zombies by shoving them into each other. Shove, cricket bat, shove, cricket bat, repeat until dead. A single zombie won't be able to touch you. Even better: shove, walk up to stunned zombie, aim gun -- the aim-assist will line up a head shot, bam, easy one-shot kill.

With the shove, a string of zombies forced down a narrow corridor/doorway can be hilarious. You almost feel like you're bullying them. "I said gimme your lunch money, nerdlinger!"

Other than that, just play slow and smart. Cowardly, even. I like to use my flashlight to try and peel one zombie off from the pack, and get it to follow me to an easy kill area. Goad it into crawling after you through a narrow space or stumbling over a barrier -- once a zombie's on the ground for any reason, you'll get a prompt for a one-hit cricket bat kill. It's slow. But safe and very effective.

Good luck!

Just changed my tag to nerdlinger... Pure poetry, Mongo. Poetry.

'grats on the finish. Now what's your take on this on vs say REmake or SH1-era genre defining survival horror games?
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post #29 of 46 Old 01-23-2013, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

Finally beat the game, and got (I think?) the best ending. The game falls apart a bit starting from the clearly labeled Point of No Return, for instance arbitrarily blocking off all the shortcuts you've spent the entire game opening for the sake of artificially increasing the difficulty, but all in all this remains one of the tensest, stressful, most unique gaming experiences I've ever had.

Now I never want to play it again.


Completely agree with you. I really enjoyed most of the game but the ending segments are a confusing mess. I don't think I wanna play through again anytime soon and try to get the "good" ending, it just left me annoyed at the end.

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post #30 of 46 Old 01-24-2013, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

Whoa! This uh, game may not be for you. That said, if you're interested, here is my #1 tip:

Other than that, just play slow and smart. Cowardly, even. I like to use my flashlight to try and peel one zombie off from the pack, and get it to follow me to an easy kill area. Goad it into crawling after you through a narrow space or stumbling over a barrier -- once a zombie's on the ground for any reason, you'll get a prompt for a one-hit cricket bat kill. It's slow. But safe and very effective.

Good luck!

Thanks for the tips.
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