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Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

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Confused as to whether you should buy it? Read on...

ZombiU has split opinion. From 4.5 out of 10 to 92%, Ubisoft's survival horror game has been on the receiving end of some negative and positive reviews which has confused many Nintendo fans who just want to know if they should buy it or not. But why has it polarised opinion?

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Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby Darkblizz » 19 Nov 2012, 12:46

No, I'm pretty sure it's because the game's set in London, and America doesn't want to play a game about 'limey tea-suckin' Britfaaaaaaags.'
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Why ZombiU has received mixed reviews

Postby BlockPunch » 19 Nov 2012, 12:48

Nice one for addressing this so quickly. I was hoping ZombiU would turn out to be a must-have Wii U launch title but these mixed reviews have defiantly thrown a spanner into the works. Even though I really trust ONM's reviews/ratings, I'm still not too sure. I'm hoping GaintBomb review it as I'm really interested to hear what they make of it.
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Why ZombiU has received mixed reviews

Postby theycallmejack » 19 Nov 2012, 12:49

This is a really great article. What have American's got against British culture?! This is the Olympic opening ceremony all over again... ANYWAY! I'm really not a fan of horror (I can't even watch the Simpsons' Halloween specials) but I do kind of want this game because of it's realism rather than gratuitous violence... I don't know... I'll wait and see, I can't afford to get a Wii U at launch anyway!
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Re: Why ZombiU has received mixed reviews

Postby tomonm » 19 Nov 2012, 12:51

theycallmejack wrote:This is a really great article. What have American's got against British culture?! This is the Olympic opening ceremony all over again... ANYWAY! I'm really not a fan of horror (I can't even watch the Simpsons' Halloween specials) but I do kind of want this game because of it's realism rather than gratuitous violence... I don't know... I'll wait and see, I can't afford to get a Wii U at launch anyway!


Without wishing to put you off what is a great game, if you can't handle the Simpsons Halloween specials, perhaps this isn't for you!
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Why ZombiU has received mixed reviews

Postby Slinkington » 19 Nov 2012, 12:51

I find New York to be a much more interesting location. However, I love that we're finally seeing a UK city, rather than your typical built-up American city.

My criticisms for the game are: It's too dark. There isn't enough variety in melee weapons. The graphics are below par. The character design is lacking for the most part.

I'd stil like to try it though. I'll wait 'til I see it in the bargain bins I think.
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Why ZombiU has received mixed reviews

Postby shadow663 » 19 Nov 2012, 12:51

I think the issue with some of the negative reviews was they were expecting something akin to Dead Island, which is much faster paced and you kinda just end up flinging your weapon around killing everything in sight. And to get something that you have to play, I guess more tactically rather than running in swinging, probably affected the reviews somewhat.

That and IGN got their resident Nintendo hater to review the game...
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Why ZombiU has received mixed reviews

Postby JamieRIOT » 19 Nov 2012, 12:53

At the end of the day, games reviews on websites, magazines etc are glorified opinions of a single party (usually). You take each one you read with a pinch of salt, but generally take the average score and pros/cons to weigh up what the games is like. Some people will think ZombieU is their favourite game of all time, others will hate it.
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby King Slazo » 19 Nov 2012, 12:53

Interesting. You have to wonder how much of this comes down to games like Resident Evil 4 (and 5/6) and Left 4 Dead, which in many ways completely flipped what people expect from "survival horror", although they're both far more "action horror" games. I don't think its down to the location and setting though, more just a changing of the times of what people expect in a title with the undead.
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby BIGBUTTER » 19 Nov 2012, 12:55

Hey, I live in Canada and I was extremely annoyed by Gamespot & IGN's Reviews. I felt they were being really stupid about their comments and made no sense at all. I for one don't care where a game setting is at just make a good game and I am sure Zombie U is a good game.
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Re: Why ZombiU has received mixed reviews

Postby theycallmejack » 19 Nov 2012, 12:59

tomonm wrote:
theycallmejack wrote:This is a really great article. What have American's got against British culture?! This is the Olympic opening ceremony all over again... ANYWAY! I'm really not a fan of horror (I can't even watch the Simpsons' Halloween specials) but I do kind of want this game because of it's realism rather than gratuitous violence... I don't know... I'll wait and see, I can't afford to get a Wii U at launch anyway!


Without wishing to put you off what is a great game, if you can't handle the Simpsons Halloween specials, perhaps this isn't for you!


Haha! Ok! I might get one of my friends to buy it and then hide behind a pillow while they play it! :P
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Re: Why ZombiU has received mixed reviews

Postby JamieRIOT » 19 Nov 2012, 13:00

shadow663 wrote:That and IGN got their resident Nintendo hater to review the game...


For sure. It's a well-known fact that Greg Miller bums Playstation; I think it was a poor choice having someone with such a bias towards one platform review some of these games.
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby K-tet » 19 Nov 2012, 13:01

You see, America doesn't understand British humour or pastimes, when let's be honest, they were once British (and actually the USA had a pastime in Cricket too, hosting the first International Game against Canada). However, the reviews tend to focus on the fact that it's not an Action Shooter, and criticise the single-player aspect as being a flaky non-intuitive FPS, when we all know it's a classic survival horror. The moment they start criticising the lack of light, and each environment being tight and claustrophobic and marking down a survival horror for those aspects is when it's time to disregard the review altogether. I bet you this game would be praised highly if the setting was in New York rather than London.

Yes people are entitled to their own opinions, but they shouldn't be allowed to make them if they do not understand the genre they're reviewing. That's like me reviewing Black Ops II and giving it 0% because it's exactly the same as Halo 4, which is the same as every other generic FPS game out there, etc etc, because clearly I don't know what I'm talking about in that regard.

Another issue is that they've written the game off, classing it as the Wii U's 'Red Steel', which turned out to be a disappointment in their books. Also if Americans can't play the game, they enter ragequit territory and criticise the game heavily (case in point: Mario Kart Wii. They slated the game for too many powerful items that hamper skilful racers, which in actual fact that level of difficulty was praised by European reviewers for keeping things on an even keel. I've had no problem with this myself, as I prefer the super-anal hard difficulty. It makes you an even better racer). This is why I disregard mostly every American review out there, they just don't know what they're talking about half of the time. All such reviews should just be taken with a pinch of salt, especially from sources like IGN and Gamespot. Remember, you can't spell ignorant without 'ign'.
Last edited by K-tet on 19 Nov 2012, 13:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby master sword » 19 Nov 2012, 13:02

honestly expecting a fair Nintendo review from IGN or gamespot is like asking for cake to fall from the sky (awesome and suprising if it does but it'll never happen)
I still remember IGN's review of Skyward Sword... ughh ¬_¬
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby tomonm » 19 Nov 2012, 13:08

K-tet wrote:Another issue is that they've written the game off, classing it as the Wii U's 'Red Steel', which turned out to be a disappointment in their books.


That's an interesting point. Do you think some reviewers are scared of getting it wrong? Red Steel received some great reviews (not just from us!) but many were disappointed by it.
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby toffeeman30 » 19 Nov 2012, 14:09

good reviews from uk sites but mediocre reviews from the us. bet the opposite happens for playstation allstars
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby NintendoForLife » 19 Nov 2012, 14:32

Ahh, I see ONM. This could be just like Red Steel was, after all! (Expect without the hype 'cause people have learned somewhat since then. 8) )
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby MushroomBandit » 19 Nov 2012, 14:37

typical american ways if you ask me, usually all they want to do is go in all guns blazing and think afterwards. they are keep basing it on things like lack of ammo etc...which if your trying to keep it realistic, its not like London is full of gun shops etc.

i think the game is going to be brilliant and i can't wait for launch day to play it. the whole point of the game is to use the old noggin.
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby K-tet » 19 Nov 2012, 14:38

tomonm wrote:Do you think some reviewers are scared of getting it wrong? Red Steel received some great reviews (not just from us!) but many were disappointed by it.

Perhaps they are. I personally didn't have an issue with Red Steel. I thought it was a very good game, but to me it felt like an elaborate tech demo on what the Wii could do. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as proven by future games that got the formula right (e.g. Skyward Sword, despite its documented technical flaws from time-to-time), but it can be seen as a negative rather than a positive by others.

I think it's based more on the reviewer's reputation rather than just personal interpretation. Some reviewers would rather keep their bias and preferences than actually try to be impartial (which is what they're paid to do; impartial reviews). I'd be interested to hear what others think in relation to that.
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby aerosmith20 » 19 Nov 2012, 15:20

I'm guessing ZombiU is like Marmite. You'll either love it or hate it!
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby Redfish20 » 19 Nov 2012, 15:21

Moral of the story, you will like this game if you aren't an American?
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Re: Why ZombiU has received mixed reviews

Postby mushroomchow » 19 Nov 2012, 15:40

shadow663 wrote:That and IGN got their resident Nintendo hater to review the game...


H'okay, I'm gonna have to come out and disagree with you on this one. The IGN review pointed out the legitimate flaws in the game. He didn't go as far as to completely dismiss it, simply for being on a Nintendo platform, as some people are suggesting (unlike a certain, condescending arsehat on Gamespot), and gave the game a fair score.

I don't want people here getting all tribal about IGN again based on ZombiU getting an average - not bad, average - score. Over the last few weeks, my perception of the site has changed a great deal. They're genuinely giving the Wii U a chance and moving away from the PS360 fanboy tag they used to have. People here need to know this.

Gamespot, on the other hand, can suck it.
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby Timcanpy » 19 Nov 2012, 15:40

Hahaha really guys, c'mon this is borderline racism here. Who knows, maybe people just actually don't like the game WOAH, crazy thing there right? Ubisoft have always been good with presentation but not actual gameplay. And please for god's sake stop saying things like IGN being biased to another console, we all know this isn't true. They may take bribes but this doesn't make them review other consoles games worse. Have any of you actually played the game? I know a few people who have and they also agree it's very boring/bad.
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby jimbob555 » 19 Nov 2012, 15:53

Reviewers don't get bribes but they can be put under pressure from advertisers. I highly doubt that this review had anything to do with the writers being American. While I haven't personally played the game myself, I couldn't be bothered to queue for it at the MCM expo, it did look a tad dull from watching a friend playing it there. Good ideas but overall not coming together. At the start I wrote off the game straight away because I just thought it was "Dead Island in London". I guess people who get the game though will probably enjoy it though and I'm sure I would get a kick out of it. And Ubisoft isn't exactly low on the sales front.

What I find more bizarre that ONM should jump to the defense of this game or any game for that matter. I don't really think i've ever seen this except from the time Tom or Chris or whoever wrote a comment on gamespot/ign (I forget who exactly) defending Red Steel when it got like a 7. The consoles just come out. There's always going to be bad/average games no matter how good the trailers look.

I remember the little phase in the past two years where reviewers defended all their reviews by saying it was solely their opinion at the end of the day. So what does it matter what they wrote, hm? This is a game for big boys and girls as well who I'm sure can make up their own minds.

We are also living in an age where more worryingly review scores like 8.5 out of 10 are dismissed as terrible/worthless review scores (there's so many examples I can give if you want them) and you're really not helping with this ONM. 6.5 is usually an average score not a bad score. I'm a little bit sad that you would write this article.
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby Dan-the-Wii-man » 19 Nov 2012, 16:19

I'm glad someone on the internet has decided to help clear things up. This is a similar conclusion to what we came up with so I'm still gonna buy it :) I'd get bored if it was actionactionaction all the time
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Re: Why ZombiU has got mixed reviews

Postby tomonm » 19 Nov 2012, 16:37

jimbob555 wrote:What I find more bizarre that ONM should jump to the defense of this game or any game for that matter. I don't really think i've ever seen this except from the time Tom or Chris or whoever wrote a comment on gamespot/ign (I forget who exactly) defending Red Steel when it got like a 7. The consoles just come out. There's always going to be bad/average games no matter how good the trailers look.

I remember the little phase in the past two years where reviewers defended all their reviews by saying it was solely their opinion at the end of the day. So what does it matter what they wrote, hm? This is a game for big boys and girls as well who I'm sure can make up their own minds.

We are also living in an age where more worryingly review scores like 8.5 out of 10 are dismissed as terrible/worthless review scores (there's so many examples I can give if you want them) and you're really not helping with this ONM. 6.5 is usually an average score not a bad score. I'm a little bit sad that you would write this article.


I'm not jumping to the defence of ZombiU. All I'm doing is trying to make sense of the fact that it got such mixed reviews. On the back of these reviews, many people are wondering if they should buy the game or not. So I'm giving my advice, saying it depends on what sort of horror game you want. You'll notice I was very careful not to criticise another reviewer's opinion. By the way, I know 6.3 is an average score but many would have expected higher.
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