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Post by Eorl @ 01:40pm 20/11/12 | 67 Comments
While Australia is still awaiting the release of the Wii U, Nintendo's next big console, America has been fortunate enough to get their launch early. One of the more promising titles to come out of the launch was ZombiU, a survival horror filled game developed by Ubisoft. The title will use the new gamepad controller, with several key game mechanics being pushed to the secondary screen. Players will also find a local multiplayer to help waste even more time killing zombies.

We got our fellow survivor Chad Drake to grab a cricket bat and head out into the wastelands of London amidst the zombie apocalypse and check out just what ZombiU has in store for us.
Whilst not being one of the coveted Ninty iconic characters in a launch title that fanboys are hungry for, it looks like this will satiate the hordes with its gritty realism (as much as it possibly can be in a title about fictional zombies), tense environments and an immersive control set-up thanks to Wii U’s GamePad. So, as it turns out Zombie U is more than just a blunt tool with which to bludgeon the heads of your zombified friends -- it’s to a wannabe zombie survivalist what a flight simulator is to a pilot in training.
Click here for our in-depth review.


Latest Comments
Posted 01:52pm 20/11/12
This game lost points because there are people who might buy it, a game called ZombiU about zombie survival which has zombies in it, but if they don't like zombies they probably won't like it and it's the games fault for not making it more obvious. Why didn't the creators see this flaw coming?!
Posted 03:26pm 20/11/12
Touché. I was just pointing out that with the Wii U launch titles being mostly ports of existing games and with the exception of Nintendo's usual launch fodder, this is one of the few proprietary titles that non zombie fans might take a risk with given it's adult content. Unfortunately, it doesn't have enough points of difference to alter ones opinion.
Posted 05:25pm 20/11/12
Im sure there are games with a zombie central theme, but you dont have to be one of those "omg zombies!!" people to like it.

There are some games which transcend their themes and have universal appeal, i guess the reviewer is saying this isnt one of them.
Posted 06:07pm 20/11/12
Nice review, I'm even more excited for this game now. I ordered it from Ozgameshop though, so I'll be waiting a little while after I get my Wii U. :(
Posted 06:19pm 20/11/12
I'm not to sure where I should get my first Wii U games from. I might pick up ZombiU from D*** Smith when I get the Wii U, and just buy the others from OzGameShop so I at least have something to play during the wait. Too many good games.

I'm actually glad that you enjoyed this Chad, as a few other review sites had some not-so-favourable reviews but I'm presuming it really comes down to the taste of the reviewer. It looks like a great survival horror that really tries to paint the picture of being alone in dark corridors with scary zombies.
Posted 11:02pm 20/11/12
Certainly one of the more positive reviews I've read.

Gamespot gave it 4.5.
IGN gave it 6.3

I'm waiting for the GiantBomb Review....
Posted 01:05am 21/11/12
Yeah, nothing on the Wii U so far has got stunning reviews, and as I feared, the ports of stuff like Arkham City are just made worse by gimmicky bits added on. Certainly hasn't been anything I've seen that has made me want to rush out and get one.
Posted 11:23am 21/11/12
The only reviews I've read are this one and Polygon's, both of which have been favorable. I generally avoid IGN and Gamespot, but I'll go see what their gripes were.
Posted 07:53pm 21/11/12
Posted 11:20am 12/12/12
My copy just arrived on Monday, and I've got to say, the is the most stressful survival horror I've played in years (in a good way).

I've never played a game where staying alive felt so critically important. I also love how everything feels like a risk, even just stopping to check your inventory. You actually have to take your eyes off the TV while the game keeps running, so you can't just manage your inventory whenever you want. I find myself pinging the radar really often, because everything just feels so risky.

I'm not very far yet, but I can see it taking a while to get through at my current pace.
Posted 12:22pm 12/12/12
You're supposed to be able to play Wii-U games using just the touchscreen. How does this work for games that already use the touchscreen for maps or inventory?
Posted 12:28pm 12/12/12
I think its up to the game, whether it supports that feature to play the whole thing on the screen in the controller, so I spose some games just don't do it.

Does ZombieU actually have a story? Or is it just more of a survival sandbox kind of deal like DayZ or something?
Posted 12:37pm 12/12/12
Has a loose story Khel, but really its just about surviving to the end. I've lost about 10 survivors now, most in stupid ways that ended in me being eaten by a hoard of zombies. Love it though, definitely has the Dark Souls feel to it that I truly enjoy.

Also it is up to the developer if they want you to use both gamepad and TV or gamepad only, like what New Super Mario Bros. U does where it streams to both. I think with ZombiU having it use both the TV and the gamepad is a lot better because it gives you that feeling that the gamepad is a part of the game in that you are using it to survive, and not just seeing a duplicate of what's on the TV. I'll have to bring it in someday Khel and you can try it out.
Posted 01:15pm 12/12/12
Umm, a little feedback:
If you're not into zombies you won’t like it

If your going to add sometyhing like this to the "Things we didnt like" section of reviews, you may as wel be adding:
"If you dont like having fun, you wont like this"
"If you dont play games, you wont like it"

just sayin
Posted 09:44pm 12/12/12
Does ZombieU actually have a story? Or is it just more of a survival sandbox kind of deal like DayZ or something?

As Eorl said, there's sort of a story, but it seems to be mostly about surviving. You're being guided via comms by a guy who calls himself "The Prepper," and he claims to have known that this was all about to happen, and had been preparing (hence his title). I'm assuming he'll eventually disclose how he knows and why he's trying to help.

It's not really a sandbox though, there's a definite "linear" progression, at least so far. You're free to revisit areas, and you probably have to later on, but yeah, there seems to be an intended path to take.
Posted 12:59am 14/12/12
I think this game is going to take me a while. I seem to be a giant pussy now that I've died a few times, and I'm progressing really slowly. I'm getting the hang of things now though.
Posted 01:30am 17/12/12
So I caved and bought a WiiU, but it seems it was a pretty worthless idea because I haven't even made it through the initial setup yet without the system crashing. And when its not the system itself crashing, its the gamepad losing connection to the WiiU system, even though I'm only sitting on the lounge in front of the tv and theres nothing between me and the console. Gamepad comes up with a warning about how the connection to the WiiU is unstable and to remove any obstacles, then it stops responding, and I have to turn off the whole system and try again. Even when I went over and stood 2 feet away from the console, it still happens =\

Considering I've read about people using the Gamepad from the other end of the house, rooms away from the TV, something is definitely not right.
Posted 10:00am 17/12/12
Yeah that indeed sounds like something is up, I've never experienced any crashes and my gamepad works from the end of my house/in my office. Probably suggest taking it back to wherever you bought and seeing if you could swap it, though that really sucks.
Posted 11:56am 17/12/12
Yeah, I've got a few more things I'll try tonight first, my internet uses the 5ghz band so I'm wondering if that interferes with the gamepad since its also using 5ghz, so I'll try switching that. Also, my new tv has a "smart remote" that connects to the tv via bluetooth so I dunno if that could somehow be causing interference, so I'll try turning that off too
Posted 02:03pm 17/12/12
Yeah, that doesn't sound normal, I've had no connection issues with the remote.

I was having serious speed issues on our home wifi though, but it wasn't just the Wii U. For a while, everything seemed a little slow on our wifi compared to ethernet, but the Wii U was especially bad. I changed our router to channel 11 and now the Wii U along with my tablet and phone are all much more responsive.

This is a really handy Android app. It scans all the wifi networks around and plots them on a graph to show how heavily populated the various channels are. Makes it much easier to get your Wifi on a less congested band.
Posted 02:15pm 17/12/12
was your microwave on?
Posted 02:16pm 17/12/12
Awww disappointing Khel.
Posted 02:18pm 17/12/12
Awww disappointing Khel.

Disappointing cos it doesn't work, or disappointing cos I caved? :P

But yeah, I'm gonna be on holidays soon, so I figured, gives me something to amuse myself with.
Posted 03:03pm 17/12/12
lol, disappointing because it doesnt work. I'm the last person who should criticise unnecessary console puchases. I even own a PSP Go.

I'll be keen to hear what you think of ZombiU, for me its the most compelling reason to buy a WiiU.
Posted 03:15pm 17/12/12
I hope you got ZombiU, I need more friends' corpses to loot. I already got Eorl's.
Posted 01:47pm 18/12/12
No luck, tried turning off everything: router, other consoles, my PC, my phone, even the tv itself, to the point where the only thing even plugged in and powered on was the Wii U, and still it'd get an unstable connection to the gamepad and drop out. Put it all back in the box (which wasn't easy cos I forgot how it was all packed in the first place) and I'm gonna take it back to JB tonight and hopefully exchange it for a working one.
Posted 02:02pm 18/12/12

I'll be keen to hear what you think of ZombiU, for me its the most compelling reason to buy a WiiU.

Please explain more. I'm on the verge of jumping into console land and will probably buy a 360 but curious to know if I should rethink the WiiU.
Posted 05:03pm 18/12/12
I hope you got ZombiU, I need more friends' corpses to loot. I already got Eorl's.

The amount of survivors I have killed is beyond 20 now. Seriously some of my deaths have just been plain stupid and other times its because zombies will just pop out at me in random spots.

Shame Khel, definitely sounds like a bad batch as I'm going strong here on the EB one I purchased at Indro's midnight release. Only problem I can remember was wireless not working automatically so I had to enter DNS settings manually.
Please explain more. I'm on the verge of jumping into console land and will probably buy a 360 but curious to know if I should rethink the WiiU.
The main grab for the Wii U for me was some interesting third party launch titles (ZombiU and Scribblenauts) plus the usual fun first party ones like NSMBU and the eventual Pikmin, Zelda, Yoshi etc. Really it's a great console and is heaps better then the Wii in terms of more entertainment. Great for parties too.
Posted 06:08pm 18/12/12
Is there a limit to how many survivors you have? Or is it just that each time you gotta start over with no gear and thats the penalty, rather than having a limited number of 'lives'?

Yeah, I did get ZombiU though, so my corpses will be littered around the place I'm sure, got a nice deal on the couple of games I got actually, they knocked ZombiU down to $59 for me and Mario Brothers about $62
Posted 06:34pm 18/12/12
Nah, there's no limit to your survivors as far as I know, you just have to deal with losing your stuff (you can track down your former self to salvage the contents of their bag, but any equipped items are lost forever).

Sucks that your console was faulty. Better to find out immediately rather than a few months down the line though.
Posted 07:47pm 18/12/12

Mario Brothers

I require number of Khels out of 10 for this title stat!
Posted 08:24pm 18/12/12
I haven't been able to play it yet :(

Jb wouldn't swap my console for a new one though, cos it worked in the store. The problem is sometimes it works for a few minutes utes before dropping out and it wasn't on for long enough for it to happen so as far as they're concerned it works. My only other recourse is to send it off to Nintendo to get it fixed. Gay.
Posted 08:30pm 18/12/12
Nah no limit on survivors in casual play, though there is a survival setting where you die and that is it.

Also I'm pretty sure you are able to get a full refund within a week of purchasing and that they need to test it for more than a quick switch on.
Posted 09:28pm 18/12/12
I got nfi anymore, maybe there really is some kind of weird undetectable interference at my place cos now it's not working at all at home
Posted 09:55pm 18/12/12
As annoying as it is, relocate TV and Wii to another room and try it?
Posted 10:25pm 18/12/12
Worked for a little while, long enough for me to start the download of the new firmware, but then the gamepad lost connection again, so I dunno if the download is still going or what. This is bulls*** =\
Posted 10:40pm 18/12/12
That's bulls***. =/

Take it into work tomorrow and see if it works there? If it does, you might have ghosts or something at home.
Posted 12:41am 19/12/12
Finally got the update downloaded and installed, cos I realised it was still downloading even when the gamepad lost connection and died, didn't make any difference though, same problem. Sitting with the gamepad a foot away from the console and it works for a couple of minutes then goes "Connection to the Wii U console is unstable, please get closer or remove any obstacles" then 10 seconds after that, connection lost.

Tried it on a different tv, in a different room too, and same problem
Posted 09:14am 19/12/12
Are you able to sync up a Wii remote without issue?
Posted 09:25am 19/12/12
Definitely bring it into work Khel, see if it works there. I've never actually heard or had any problems like this before and the only time I ever get interference issues is moving too far out of range.
Posted 11:36am 19/12/12
Yeah, I sync'd up a Wii Remote fine, could use it to navigate menus and stuff and it wasn't disconnecting
Posted 12:32pm 19/12/12
Just did a quick google search and lots people are having this issue and they reckon its defected Wifi chipset
Posted 01:39pm 19/12/12
If it's faulty, isn't the retailer required to supply a replacement?
Posted 01:43pm 19/12/12
Take it back to them, it's up to them to sort it out for you. Otherwise I'd be demanding a refund.
Posted 01:52pm 19/12/12
If it's faulty, isn't the retailer required to supply a replacement?

Yeah, thats the problem though, guy at JB refused to admit it was faulty cos when he plugged it in it worked, but a lot of times it would work for me too when I first powered it up then lose connection and die 5 - 10 minutes later, but he was in too much of a rush to leave it for that long.

Gonna try it in a few different places, work, my brother's place, etc and assuming its still f***ed (which I'd imagine it would be cos I can't honestly imagine there is interference at my place strong enough to disrupt the connection when the pad is a foot away from the console), I'm going to take it back again and insist on a replacement/refund.

Its just a pain in the ass cos I'm on holidays in a few days time and wanted it for then, so I'm hoping it doesn't come down to "We need to send it away to get it repaired".
Posted 01:56pm 19/12/12
Have you considered aliens?
Posted 02:16pm 19/12/12
Khel - go buy another WiiU, swap them around and return the broken one in the new box then buy $300 worth of games!
Posted 02:37pm 19/12/12
You're a much more patient man than I am khel, I would've just said "It's totally f***ed, give me a new one now or else I'll become one of THOSE people who cause a scene."
Posted 02:53pm 19/12/12
They don't even have to prove that it's faulty to refund or exchange it. It doesn't work for you as intended. Even if that was because you live in some crazy signal-blocking area and the device is fine, it isn't working as intended for your needs, so you're entitled to a refund.
Posted 04:56pm 19/12/12
what midda and ticman said.
Posted 07:53pm 19/12/12
Added one of these to the kid's Christmas haul today. I saw Mario in HD at JB Hi-Fi which looked pretty good, and Zapo got one. This video really sold it for me though:

I find the guy's enunciation a bit annoying but its a good review of a few launch titles. The Darksiders II review (which he annoyingly calls Darksouls) looks f*****g awesome and exactly the sort of thing the WiiU should be bringing as a point of difference for x-platform games.

Was also pleasantly surprised to pick up Super Mario for $64 bucks and the Premium Console for ~$370 from BigW on sale today! Protip (thanks Zapo) if you're getting one for Christmas, pre-load the f*****g thing, apparently it takes a while to update (like a gig or more of updates...)
Posted 10:06pm 19/12/12
Tested mine at my brother's place tonight, its definitely stuffed. The gamepad would switch on the console, but then after a matter of seconds would disconnect.

Maybe I should just buy a new one from Big W for $370 and make JB refund the other one.
Posted 10:19pm 19/12/12
Become THAT guy khel..

Can one of you guys confirm the ports on the console? Does it have an optical audio out?
Posted 10:22pm 19/12/12
It does not have optical audio out. It has a HDMI out, and then you can buy an adapter if you need need the old school red/yellow/white cables.
Posted 08:19am 20/12/12
Just a few comments since I played it yesterday, and a few comments generally.

1) The console itself is small compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3. It's a bit larger than the Wii if memory serves well.

2) If you have a Wii and want to transfer your saved games / downloadable games off it and onto the Wii U there is an application available from the Store you can download. Otheriwse you will need an SD card.

3) Patching takes between 2-3 hours out of the box. If your download fails (like mine did about 75% through) the next time you go to do a system update it will resume (phew!).

4) ZombieU, Nintendoland & Mario U all required patching. These take a few minute each, but I found Nintendoland took longer.

5) The Wii peripherals are comptable with the Wii U. It's great playing Nintendoland with 4 Wii Remotes and the Wii U controller - you don't have to go and buy $70 controllers again!!

6) I haven't confirmed it yet, but battery time on the Wii U controller is about 3-5 hours. There is a charging dock, I would suggest just using it all the time when you're not playing.

7) You get a HDMI cable with the premium system so don't worry about that. If you don't have a HDMI input you will need to buy an adaptor. I 'think' the Wii cables will work but don't quote me on that.


1) First off, this game is hard. You will need to take your time and play carefully. This isn't Left 4 Dead. If you want a quick shooter than you will be disappointed and you will die often.

2) I found the graphics a little disappointing. In the systems defence it is a f1st gen title, and everything I've read suggests on-par or slightly behind the PS3 and Xbox360.

3) The way they've used the Wii U controller is kinda cool, not sure if the gimcky stuff will wear out or not. Basically the bottom screen is your backpack. You have a sonar thing there which you have to activate to see if there are enemies near by. Looting etc shows up on the bottom screen too.

4) Seems to be a reasonable launch title, but fairly niche and not a system seller I'm afraid.


1) I'm looking forward to some decent RPGs on this system. Inventory/weapon management / maps on the bottom screen would be awesome and streamline gameplay.

2) If someone can make a Wii U game where someone can play as the dungeon master or something and dynamically tweak the gameplay / enemies as their friends are playing it that would be awesome!! Perhaps even to the point where you have a basic map editor or something and you could share it to others would be brilliant.

3) Nintendoland is a great packin and some real fun when you've got 4-5 people around to give it a whirl. There's some really fun mini games and the use of the Wii U controller is great. Good party game, just would love it if there was more multiplayer minigames.

Overall I'm quite happy with the system, but it is missing the killer app that makes you go oooh. Then again I don't think there's been a killer app out for a console release since Mario 64!
Posted 08:59am 20/12/12

7) You get a HDMI cable with the premium system so don't worry about that. If you don't have a HDMI input you will need to buy an adaptor. I 'think' the Wii cables will work but don't quote me on that.

How will JB try and upsell me!! The main reason I was asking is because my TV does some weird stuff with the audio on HDMI inputs. I set it up ages ago so that all my devices plugged into the TV, then the TV plugged into the amp for the audio.

This was fine for a PS3 and Wii but my HTPC (Win7) would only recognise the TV as supporting 2-ch audio. No amount of d***ing around would get it to to override what the TV said and just push through 5.1. I ended up having to do separate audio connections to the amp for it.

Since there's only HDMI out, I'm hoping the WiiU lets you override the setting as well so I don't end up stuck on 2-ch audio!
Posted 09:33am 20/12/12
I'm hoping the WiiU lets you override the setting as well so I don't end up stuck on 2-ch audio!

Unsure about override, but this guy has 5.1 sort of how you are set up:
well, my surround is working great, Wii U > HDMI > TV > Optical cable > Home theater.

i get discrete sound from every speaker.

Kind of dumb that there's no dedicated 5.1 out though, only via HDMI..
Posted 09:37am 20/12/12

well, my surround is working great, Wii U > HDMI > TV > Optical cable > Home theater.

Yeah that's how I had it all before which was fine for the PS3, but the HTPC would only do 2-ch because thats all the TV said it could do. Only one way to find out I suppose .. Big-W trip tonight!
Posted 11:20am 20/12/12
The Wii U only supports surround sound via 5.1 PCM. There's no Dolby or DTS support at all. As far as I'm aware, optical doesn't have the bandwidth to send 5.1 PCM, so I'm skeptical that these people are achieving what they're claiming. Their receiver is probably just virtualising 6 channels from 2.0 PCM.
Posted 09:12pm 20/12/12
Get back there and scream khel! I just picked mine up from JB and is working fine. I mentioned to the guy selling it that I knew someone who bought one recently and can't get it to work because the gamepad keeps disconnecting between 5-10 minutes. He said if it happens to mine, just bring it back and it will replaced with a new one on the spot.
Posted 10:00pm 20/12/12
Another reason why Melbourne is better! The JB Hifi guys don't d*** you around :(

Yeah, I haven't had a chance to take it back yet, too busy today and I might be too drunk tomorrow, so prolly hit them up on the weekend.
Posted 11:19pm 20/12/12
Another reason why Melbourne is better! The JB Hifi guys don't d*** you around :(

I think the guy who helped you was just a d***. I'm sure Melbourne has d****.
Posted 01:00am 24/12/12
Got a working Wii U now, my nintendo id is Khelzor, so everyone should add me and stuff.
Posted 08:14am 24/12/12
Nice! Will add you when I get a chance over the next few days. I tried out ME3 yesterday for about an hour, game needs a warning about the 30 minute story introduction before actually getting into the game.

Graphics are nice and smooth, load times are reasonable. The only disappointment is they seemed to not make full use of the gamepad screen. All it shows is a map while things like inventory and what nots would have been good.
Posted 08:54am 24/12/12
My ID is Zapo82. I've added you Khel. I think both parties need to register before it becomes official, so post your IDs in here!
Posted 11:36am 24/12/12
Think mine is froodleme, will have to double check. Did you end up getting a refund or something Khel? Did you become "that" customer?

Also Ticman the inventory is shown on the gamepad, just have to scroll down from the top. Also all the details about game lore etc are shown on the gamepad.
Posted 03:59pm 24/12/12
Yeah, I got a refund, I didn't quite have to become "that" customer, but I got the same douche who I dealt with last time and even though this time he was willing to admit that yes it was a fault, he didn't want to give me a refund, he wanted to give me a new one. I made sure to read up on Australian Consumer Law beforehand though so I was able to throw some of that in his face and got my refund then went and bought a new one from Big W.

Could have just exchanged it I guess, but if it was a bad batch I didn't want to end up with another one from the same batch or something. Also, it was just more satisfying to make them give me my money back and go buy it from elsewhere.
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