ZombiU permadeath nearly scrapped

Ubisoft reveals it thought about removing unique feature of zombie shooter multiple times; writer claims "real" survival horror titles a "rarity" today.

During a panel today at the 2013 Game Developers Conference, Ubisoft Montpellier story design director Gabrielle Shrager revealed that ZombiU's permadeath component was nearly scrapped on multiple occasions.

"After rebooting the game's setting, we nearly killed the permadeath...a couple of times," Shrager said, referencing the game's transition from Killer Freaks From Outer Space to ZombiU.

Also speaking during the presentation was ZombiU writer Antony Johnston, who claimed "real" survival horror titles have become rare in today's market.

"We thought these elements through, we assessed their impact, and we focused on what was unique[...]especially in the current market, where real survival horror has become such a rarity," Johnston remarked of the game's permadeath component and "slow" gameplay.

This is not the first time Johnston, who also wrote the original Dead Space, has bemoaned the dearth of "real" horror titles. He claimed last month that Dead Space 3's action focus was a "necessary evil" for the franchise in order to broaden the player base.

For more on ZombiU, check out GameSpot's review.

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Discussion

100 comments
kreegan64
kreegan64

ZombiU isn't bad, but I would have preferred that killer freaks from space; haven't had an fps that looked that original since...well...the original Turok I guess....I'd like to see another crazy fps game, or at least one that seems to have an original take (kffos seemed much like a Gremlins-esque take on shooters)


I'd also bet that since they would've had a larger amount of time spent making the game that it would have had a better chance of being of higher quality, not to mention it would have a different focus.

theperm
theperm

I mean, in real life, when a zombie kills you, there's no coming back.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

No it wasn't. Capcom said the same absolute bullshit about RE5 and yet the franchise sales are not much improved.

NotQueuinForPS4
NotQueuinForPS4

Nintendo are more gooder than Sony. ZombiU GODY contindur. Next Gen WINNER. 1 place

ghstbstr
ghstbstr

ZombiU is one of the best zombie games ever.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

The way this game handles dying is pretty much my favorite way ever.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

It's an OK game - I thought it deserved much better than a 4.5.... maybe a 6.5 - 7 for me personally.

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

I played this on my friend's Wii U. It's not all that good. A few nice concepts--I personally hate permadeath but I could at least stomach its implementation here--but it's just not that good a game. I'm starting to think there's not really a place for what the old school folks call survival horror in the modern big budget marketplace. There might be one in indy games (that's where basically all the 2d platformers went) but the market for the kind of survival horror the horror freaks want just doesn't seem to be there.

DinoBuster
DinoBuster

The reviewers are whatever they are and troll ass sheep will say a game sucks even when they haven't played it. Nothing new.

The game is not without it's flaws, and regardless of what system it's on and how that makes you feel about it, ZombiU was most definitley built with the concept of "survival horror" at the top of it's list. Give the game half a chance if you can put your reservations aside and you might be surprised with it.

Blowing_for_Ps4
Blowing_for_Ps4

Crap game for a crap system, wake up people you are the sheep!

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

ZombiU is one of the few survivor horror games I've played that has managed to scare me.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

It's true, there are so very very VERY few real Zombie survival games out there. In fact, I can't really think of a single one that is a real zombie survival game.  Don't even consider bringing up the game Left 4 Dead.  However, DayZ mod for Arma 2 gets kinda close, but the game industry is still lacking a true zombie survival game, one where you need to scavenge for food, water, and other supplies, build up a stronghold to survive and maybe find a way to make your own food/water without having to scavenge.  



Gegglington
Gegglington

is it just me or the next batch of new consoles hasnt the hype. i remember a wii was rare as chickens teeth in the uk on launch and roits in the states for an 360 im playing walking dead survival at mo and zombi u looks twice as good

catsimboy
catsimboy

You know what's really scary? Not being able to open a door to escape zombies because the next area is loading. So Mission Accomplished Ubisoft, I guess. Maybe next time you scrap unopenable load area doors.

quigonzel
quigonzel

They should have thought about making a better game.

Scisor50
Scisor50

Still don't see how it's relevant how many sales a console/game got to be good and enjoyable. Original Mount & Blade got bad sales when it first came out and even a bad rating from Gamespot. But know what? That game was awesome.

The point is that you like it, not that the rest (some of it biased) of the world liked it.

Karjah
Karjah

Yeah because we really want to hear your thoughts after you were directly responsible for the horrible game that is ZombieU.

The true horror games may move to the indie scene but at this point I'm not the least bit worried after playing amnesia and lone survivor.

sammoth
sammoth

@emptycow What a TOOL meaning you. Posting crap on something that has nothing to do with the article.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@emptycow  

How can you know that when even Sony doesnt know what the CPU or GPU will be.

tptimmy
tptimmy

@Bl4KD37H Not really, this game was a really good survival horror game! Can't wait for ZombiU two

AlexFili
AlexFili

@OJ_the_LION Good graphics and controls but the combat is shockingly bad. Dead Island is much better

Derock161
Derock161

@Blowing_for_Ps4 how can you say wii u is crap if it has only been out less than a year?

I will admit there is not many good games but like the 3ds that will change.

tptimmy
tptimmy

@Blowing_for_Ps4 ALL console systems are sh#$! PS4 as well!

DinoBuster
DinoBuster

@Blowing_for_Ps4 grate comment dude i came here to post the same thing but you are the more smarter and was able to think of it thirst.

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

@ABEzilla116 I once got into a conversation in a comments section for a review on one game about how Gamespot was just one place and one opinion and that aggregate score sites like Metacritic give a general idea of how good something is based on everyone's opinion.

Then someone replied that Gamespot's scores apparently do mean a lot to certain people.

I think it's a bit of a bad habit to obsess and trust one opinion/source.

thetravman
thetravman

@Landsharkk I have faith that a sequel to ZombiU will try achieve that. This game's premise was promising but it was marred by a strict deadline to release on launch day. I think it's the same case with Red Steel on the Wii. The sequel was what the original should have been.

catsimboy
catsimboy

@Landsharkk Exactly! That's why I get pissed off when people complain about too many zombie games. I want one that does it RIGHT. ZombiU tried but it's far too restrictive in it's environments and food is just a health power-up. I hope the Day Z standalone can pull it off.

flamingboard
flamingboard

@Gegglington That's because the WiiU doesn't really have anything to get really excited about. It's a slightly more powerful Wii with a touchscreen on one controller. Whoopity doo.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@emptycow  

Itll probably get ported to Wii U or a last gen console like every other third party game on PS4.

emptycow
emptycow

FORGET THE WIIU ITS LAST GEN HIS IS NEXT GEN PS4 UNREAL ENGINE 4

jedinortd_basic
jedinortd_basic

@Karjah it actually wasn't that bad. I'm still not far in because it keeps freaking me out lol

kreegan64
kreegan64

@AlexFili @OJ_the_LION Why? that game was so....not good.....it hardly felt like I was trying to survive and it was just an action game with a zombie skin over it.

kreegan64
kreegan64

@Derock161 @Blowing_for_Ps4 

Only if it can get a good amount of games, and even then it might have some trouble. What saved the 3ds was price drop and then good games. Looking at the release list for the Wii U...it's not looking so hot for the next few months, and having a price drop will not do much for it if there aren't many enticing exclusives.

Personally, I hope that they don't drop the price any time soon; I just bought my $350 deluxe and would hate to have spent unnecessary cash.

emptycow
emptycow

@hatieshorrer @emptycow yea it will get ported and play like trash its like porting  this game to the wiiu would be like porting assassin's creed 3 to the wii  it wont work

Blowing_for_Ps4
Blowing_for_Ps4

@jedinortd_basic @Karjah Denial jedinortd! LOL you know it sucks

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@jedinortd_basic @Karjah  

Its funny how everyone on this site brings up the 4.5 gamespot gave it and ignores the seven and above scores from everyone else.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@emptycow  

But most of the third party games shown at Sonys press event have been announced for Wii U.  If the Wii U is suffering from lack of games the PS4 will be even worse.

emptycow
emptycow

@tptimmy @flamingboard @Gegglington  if the ps4 and xbox720 are crap then the wiiu is pure shit when you get a wiiu then you are geting excited  about not having games  the ps4 and xbox 720 wil have games from all the 3rd party game devs the wiiu wont have anything the wiiu also wont have graphics that look any better then anything you see today you need to go look up the fact sheet for the ps4 the thing wont only look better but the games will play better

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

@Karjah @hatieshorrer @jedinortd_basic Well... It's one of those games that has a slow start. I'm still playing through it. My initial score of the game would be a 6 or 6.5 out of 10, but the more I progressed into ZombiU, I began to consider that the game is more or less a solid 7/10.