I love all things zombie related; I have my own beginner’s zombie apocalypse survival kit, zombie blood shower gel, the zombieopoly board game and even zombie slippers. If it’s got a zombie in no matter how bad or good something is, game or film, I’m going to enjoy it. In fact sometimes the worst zombie related things are the best such as the film Zombeavers, terrible really but at the same time amazingly funny. I love them that much that I almost bought a Wii U just so I could play ZombiU, but being in the process of saving for a house I couldn’t really justify it. Luckily for me (and all of you) though Straight Right and Ubisoft made the smart move of bringing the hit Wii U game to more consoles, and I managed to grab it for my Xbox One.
The game starts with a quick tutorial where you find yourself underground in a dark tunnel, surrounded by Zombies. Now you get told a couple of buttons to get you started but not a lot which means if you’re like me you’ll die pretty quickly as you’re just left to try and survive whilst finding your way to a safe room. Don’t worry though, if you do die it just skips the torture of being mauled at by zombies and drops you straight in the safe room. But that is literally the whole idea and story of this game, to see how long you survive; so whilst I thought the tutorial could be better, it pretty much lets you know what you’re facing right away which is good.
Once in the safe room which you locate with the help of some random guy watching you on cameras dotted around the area, you have time to breath. You’ll be set objectives by him from here which see you travelling all over the city to achieve certain goals, as well as activating more camera terminals in the city so your guardian angel can keep watch of you and monitor the zombie situation as it develops. Now this isn’t the most gripping story line really but it isn’t meant to be, it’s a survival game and that is first and foremost what you have to do in this game, survive for as long as you possibly can.
In terms of gameplay, this is unlike most zombie type games you’re probably used to playing. It’s not crazy like Dead Rising where you can attach a circular saw to a sledge hammer, it isn’t like Resident Evil where you’ve a virus mutating people in unrealistic fashions and it isn’t like House of the Dead where you just go through levels blasting away multiple waves of undead corpses. No, instead Zombi is more focused on realism which is its first person view really helps with, giving the feeling you really are in a zombie apocalypse. There are no oversized bosses, evil bad guys or corrupt organisations here trying to stop you, just plain old zombies who want to eat your brains. This makes playing the game a fresh take on the zombie genre in a sense because usually developers will try and go over the top like directors do with zombie films.
That’s not to say the game is 100% focused on realism, there are elements of the game which aren’t all that believable. The majority of items, tools and weapons in Zombi are the kind of things you’d likely find such as food (to heal you), a torch (to see in the dark) and bats (to bash zombie’s brains in before they get yours). You can also get which is slightly less realistic with this being set in the UK where we don’t really carry them, but they are handy despite causing noise that attracts more zombies. Your main tool you’ll use throughout Zombi though is the one which is your radar device. This allows you to scan the immediate area around you to sense flesh eating corpses and also identify objects that you can interact with like doors storage containers.
Your radar will be one of the most important tools in the game as it helps you track where is the safest area to head to, as well as tracking and identifying your objectives and locating helpful items. The second most useful is your torch, helping you navigate the city streets and locate more helpful items. Now like the gun, despite being useful it can attract the unwanted attention of zombies so be careful when you use this. You’ll also have to be weary of the fact your torch has limited battery and will run out. Don’t worry it will recharge in 30 seconds, no need to go round looking for a spare pack of AAs in the apocalypse. You can preserve your battery for longer though by using the shorter beam to navigate your way around, if it does get too dark though you will need the brighter more powerful beam and this is when you notice your battery life dropping quickly.
In terms of graphics and sounds Straight Right have done a pretty decent job. It’s not some amazingly detailed simulator trying to make things look as realistic as possible like the recent GTA V mod I’m sure we’ve all seen for PC, but it does enough to take it away from being one of those unrealistic zombie titles. There is a lot of detail in the environment around you which has to be admired, and the flickering lights as you walk through creepy parts of the map are a nice touch. The sounds you hear really fit into the game well too, and despite me being brave, they have perfectly timed everything to try and get chills going up your spine and to keep you looking over your shoulder.
The one downside for this title though is that unlike its sibling ZombiU on the WiiU, there is no multiplayer available. It was said that the developers wanted to focus more on the single player mode which I admire because for far too long multiplayer has taken the front seat, I’m thinking mainly of CoD titles here where story is sacrificed for PvP. However, I would like to see a multiplayer mode introduced in time because I do like playing games with friends. It doesn’t have to be the same as the WiiU version where you have one player as the survivor whilst the other places zombies on the map to kill you, instead with these more powerful systems they could do a co-op or survival mode where you work with others to survive as long as possible.
So to conclude my review I really do like this game, I knew I would before I even played it because it has zombies in. Although the story is weak, the gameplay is fun and has a fresh take on the genre, although I would like to see more weapons and such available considering the amount available in games such as Dying Light. The graphics and sound are well received and work brilliantly together to the point I can see Zombi giving some gamers the feelings that a lot of horror games fail to deliver. I am going to admit though that I was disappointed slightly in the lack of multiplayer gameplay but do admire that the developers wanted to focus on single player because it gets overlooked far too often in modern times. Definitely worth getting if you’re a zombie lover.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.