I've been playing Zombi U for the better part of a month since I got it for Christmas, and I must say I'm really not sure I'm playing the same game as many of you here in this forum, or the critics for that matter.
To begin, I am willing to give any game a chance, despite it's difficulties and shortcomings. To be fair, Zombi U has an entertaining premise, great atmosphere including the music and sound design, and a compelling story with the prepper being one of the best good guys you love to hate. BUT THIS GAME IS BROKEN!
Never in my almost 40 years of electronic gaming have I experienced such a glaring collection of poor mechanics and programming. I'm not the best gamer but I'm persistent, and when I decide I'm going to conquer a game, I usually do, but Zombi U is too fractured to mend no matter how many times you start over. Poor positioning of controls, lack of configurability and a host of other issues is totally unforgivable.
Anyone who has raged over this game must be thinking the same thing; "Is Ubisoft trying to punish gamers or give them a memorable challenge?" I'm starting to wonder, and keep in mind as you read this I'm not even playing in survivor mode yet!
It's not easy to accept one's destiny to reincarnate over and over (at least your primary firearm retains it's upgrades), however I did, and was enjoying it for a little while, till it's shortcomings revealed themselves. I am quick to believe this game was just not ready for release, or they simply did not care in the end. Updates should have fixed some of the issues, but well into the game's second year of it's life cycle, the fact these issues are still finding their way into the experience is truly sad.
Some of the more frustrating problems for me include the run button being L3. This works for other controllers but not the game pad, as L and LZ are right underneath it. If we had the option of switching to the Pro Controller it might be a different story, but this is a gamepad only game. To effectively run you have to remember to hold your index finger just underneath L so you don't accidentally hit LZ. And how about some kind of stamina meter? You can't run forever but it might be nice to know if you can run at all after you've exhausted yourself from a wave of undead.
Another big problem I have is the timing required for Melee attacks with the stick. It's all about getting LZ and LR in sync and when you've just wasted precious seconds to switch from your depleted firearm, often you end up being Zombi food if you're being overwhelmed. This makes interaction with the game pad and actually PLAYING the game, glaringly counterproductive. This doesn't even include the fact that you cannot invert axis on the gamepad view as well. Some might not find this important considering targeting is done with the gamepad's gyroscope, but I think it should have been implemented to make switching between the two views less uncomfortable. In other words, not everybody is going to hold up the game pad to look around every time! I am one of those idiots from the old flight simulator days that believes when you pull back on a stick, you should look up, not down.
Anyway, so you're dead, no big deal, right? WRONG. Because if you're in the final chapter of the game, and you happen to cash in one too many times, Zombi U has this wonderful way of setting you back by way of removing your shortcuts! This was what happened on my first play through, and why I decided to start completely over. I'm sorry however that I gave this game another chance because of what happened next: the game glitched out in one of the safe rooms in Buckingham Palace.
Just before you get to the flaming scaffolds there is a small door in the wall with the key code written in blood. I had no problems with this room on my first play through, but on the second, once I got in there I literally could do nothing but move the outside camera around, or quit! Of course once you quit, all your progress is lost, so for the next 10 minutes I tried EVERYTHING! I moved the game pad every possible direction, I pushed every button, I went to the option screen, I switched over to Miiverse for help, I prayed to Baby Jesus Fetus, BUT I GOT NOWHERE! All I got was that stupid camera staring blindly at the door in which my current game was hidden on the other side. So I quit Zombi U.... for good.
I've read many reviews of this game, and most gave it positive marks, which is why I'm wondering if I'm playing the same game they did? First assumptions would be that the poor quality of this game indicates that it was rushed to launch and they have no desire to fix it because people aren't buying it. Something else tells me that they just tightened up the game to make it challenging in lieu of content. That worked in the old 8 bit days when storage and memory limitations were part of the reason why games were so hard. But at least they didn't leave you at a dead end.
Because of Zombi U, Ubisoft has lost me as a consumer of their products. Any future releases from them will be avoided, and I'm tempted to take note of the creators of this game as well, so as to know who's making the games I might be spending my hard earned money on, or not.
Ultimately I really wanted to like this game, yet I can't say I've hated any other game as much as I do Zombi U.