ZombiU is too good a game to languish on the WiiU. That’s the thinking behind Ubisoft re-releasing it for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on August 18th (or “reanimating” it, as they put it in the press release). They’re partly right. But the part they’re right about is the part that only works on the WiiU.
As a zombie survival game, Zombi (awkward…) should be on par with any middling zombie survival game. A little less than a Dead Island, and little more than the half-baked Dead Rising 3, with a touch of Demon Souls for how you play through the risk/reward of your inevitable deaths. Fair enough.
But the real value of ZombiU is as a multiplayer game, in which two players in the same living room go head-to-head. The main action takes place on the TV screen, with one player trying to stay alive long enough to kill a certain number of zombies. Or, better yet, the mode in which one player tries to capture a certain number of flags. This latter mode introduces all sorts of cool strategy about running the map, collecting upgrades, retreating, rearming, dealing with specific kinds of zombies. The other player uses the WiiU’s gamepad for an overhead view, dropping zombies on the map, researching upgrades, and being the zombie god in a head-to-head real-time strategy game. There’s nothing quite like ZombiU’s multiplayer in terms of two people in the same living room having a grand old time with the undead. You and your friends can squander entire evenings this way.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to recreate this on the single-screen PS4, Xbox One, or PC. The main appeal of ZombiU is unique to the WiiU. Fortunately, you can get ZombiU here for $13. The WiiU will cost you another $300.