Zombi was originally released as ZombiU as a Wii U exclusive on November 18, 2012. It was later expanded to other platforms on August 18, 2015 and retitled without the U as simply just Zombi.
The game is a first person survival horror game.
Zombi begins with you wandering around the streets of London cluelessly when a camera spots you and a voice begins calling you to come to safety.
However, this call becomes a double edged sword in that while you can hear this, it’s loud enough to attract every zombie in the area and immediately you are chased into the safe house by an endless horde of zombies around every corner.
When you arrive at the safehouse, a man known as The Prepper immediately puts you to work in staying alive by having you take the Bug Out Bag from the last survivor, looting the area around you and hacking into CCTVs so you both have an eyes in the city.
As you scavenge the city, you’ll find yourself at the majestic Buckingham Palace where you end up losing contact with The Prepper and find yourself befriending a Junior Doctor that is the only person still alive at the palace.
You’ll find him cooped up in a small room struggling to find a cure to the virus that has hit the area. The virus epidemic is known as The Blight in the world of Zombi. He’ll send you out on errands for him while the Prepper tries to keep you alive.
Essentially, that is the story of Zombi. It is a series of seemingly unending errands for you to run by either The Prepper or the Junior Doctor. It’s an extremely dull story that is difficult to get attached to. No-one is written well so you’ll never get attached to the characters either.
The Prepper is trying to keep you alive and it’s admirable but there’s no personality behind the voice. The doctor is the same way with the exception that you can actually see his body. The doctor is the generic man racing against time to find a cure.
You’ve seen these characters a million times in zombie stories and without a doubt there are far better likable incarnations of them.
The Prepper will bore you saying “There’s a lot of them coming!” “Preparation is the key to surviving,” “Try to gather as much as you can,” and so on and so forth.
The Doctor will piss you off saying, “Can you go get me this book?” “That book wasn’t enough, can you go get me THIS book?” “Oh wow…yes, this is interesting…now…can you go get my 7 letters scattered throughout the world you literally just went through?”
There is some “lore” to this world in that the virus or Blight was foreseen by a man named John Dee and a group called the Ravens of Dee tried to stop his predictions from coming true but it’s even more boring than The Prepper. There’s nothing wrong with it but it’s just dumb and if the story is dull, the characters are dull, than the background lore is going to be dull.
Towards the end, even The Prepper will anger you with his constant “I told you sos”.
The game has three different endings to encourage extra play throughs but they aren’t worth it either.
Zombi has a few creepy parts to it, but it’s like being served a pile of shit and as you eat it you find a few bits of a 30 dollar steak.
The game takes place in London which is great but the visuals don’t do it any justice.
The game altogether doesn’t look great. I did take into account that the game was originally developed for the Wii U, which has inferior hardware to the PS4 and Xbox One. To compare it to games that came out in 2015 when the remaster came out is unfair. But to compare it to games that came out in 2012 when this came out…you have Max Payne 3 which is ahead of it’s time in terms of visuals, Dishonored came out with it’s own distinct look, Assassin’s Creed 3, another game by Ubisoft that still looks pretty decent in 2017.
You character looks like something out of Team Fortress in a bad way. The first character I got looked like a beta version of the fella from inFamous: Bald, no distinct facial features, awkward expressions.
In one cutscene, I got a look at another character that looked decent but that was through a cutscene that loaded and it wasn’t what they looked like in game. AND IT WAS ONLY ONE CHARACTER.
The look of your zombie enemies are nothing special. You can’t really be original with a state of the art zombie but at the very least the outfits that the zombies are wearing are varied.
The animations are awkward too in that when you get a view of your entire character when he has to pull off wood panels on the door, it’s done so exaggerated that you look like a cartoon. The same is when you lay down on a mattress to save the game. It’s almost mechanical when you go to sleep.
The environment is bland to say the least. Even for it being in London, there’s nothing that makes me go, “Wow, this is what London would look like if it was in an apocalypse.” The environments aren’t big to begin with. Each area is relatively small and boring and if you tweaked certain assets here and there, you’d believe it was in any city ever.
The only exception is Buckingham Palace which is actually massive and even the doctor apologizes for it seeming like a labyrnth. The visuals are also pretty nice in here too. I wouldn’t go as far as impressive but compared to every other area in the game, you can tell the developers went above and beyond here.
Perhaps it’s because it’s a constant recurring area you have to visit but that doesn’t mean the rest of the environments can look as boring as they are.
There are environments in video games that make you want to explore every nook and cranny, that make you want to just stare at the beauty of it, sometimes they even make you want to travel there if it’s a real place.
Somehow, this game make London feel boring to me and I’ve been wanting to go. Even when it looks like an apocalypse, London looks boring here. There just isn’t anything that really makes the backdrop of this game outstanding. It’s just there.
The frame rate and loading also have some issues here too. There weren’t any that really negatively impacted my gameplay but in the rain, my game would lag lightly and there were some loading issues where some things wouldn’t render until I got close. When you get up from bed, you backpack is supposed to be on your back. One time, my character got up and his backpack just popped into existence at the last second.
The audio side of the game isn’t spectacular either. The voice acting is decent. When you hear top quality voice acting like in The Order and then hear god awful voice acting from Ride to Hell, Zombi sits perfectly in the middle. It could have been worse but it could have been better too.
There’s not much to say about the voice acting.
Your character never speaks but they do make noises as they run and fight. The running is industry standard huffing and puffing. When they fight however, the man will yell and laugh like a maniac sometimes and I can’t tell if it’s on purpose. The woman however, will just yelp each time you make an impact with a weapon. All of these repeat zombie after zombie kill so don’t expect variety and expect yourself to memorize it all within an hour.
The music is barely noticeable. It’s merely background music and hardly a score or a soundtrack. The same piano notes will play whenever it loads and you’ll have some decent music play and end when you fight and kill a zombie. If anything the music in game is there to say, “Okay player, you’ve dealt with all the zombies in the area. Going to fade out the music now.”
The silence was a nice touch sometimes in that attempted to add some horror to the game but when everything is boring, the silence adds on to the bore.
Like the audio, the gameplay is balanced. It doesn’t feel great but it’s far from bad. You have to use two buttons to use melee weapons, you shoot with the regular trigger, hold an analog stick to sprint, been there done that in other games.
There is an interesting gameplay element in that when you die, you don’t re spawn as the same character but rather spawn as a new character. This may be why the player character looks as bad as they do because they might be randomly generated. My first character was an executive assistant and my second character was a researcher. It doesn’t make a bit of difference because they don’t speak and one time, I died on an errand for the doctor, came back as a woman, and he responded with “Hey, you’re back! Still haven't found it?”
It would have been a great opportunity to at least add a line there. Something like “Last person didn’t make it? Well, best of luck to you!” Even something generic to add to the feeling that you’re playing as a new character.
This whole new character each time you die doesn’t make all that much of a difference. It’s interesting but matters **** all. If anything, it actually hinders you. Whatever you were carrying in your backpack, stays on the person that died. This means that when you spawn as a new character, if you want your supplies back, you have to go all the way back to where your last character died, kill them, and then take the bag back.
That being said, I think that’s the most defining element of this game. Everything else has been done. You can only carry a few items with you at a time and you have to be tactical with your resources. Anything else has to go into a box. That is basically Resident Evil however unlike Resident Evil, there is no magic crate in every area that if you put something away in one box, it’s in all of the boxes. In fact, in Zombi, there’s only one safe box and it’s all the way in your safe house so if you want to put something away or get something out, you best hope you’re not extremely far from the safe house.
The shooting is stiff and you can get upgrades but it never really changes the stiffness.
Beating enemies to death is always the best route because it saves you ammo and you can see a bit of their skull fly off but it becomes annoying with the sounds your character makes.
Sprinting is limited so you can’t really just dart back and forth and even then the sprinting feels slow which is a shame because revisiting areas is a key element to this game.
In the Wii U, you would use the second screen as a map and as a radar. In the PS4 version, this is all on your tv screen and to my surprise, it’s not bulky and is pretty out-of-the-way. However, this is your only map. You can’t open a bigger map for the entire area which becomes problematic when you are backtracking and looking for a specific area.
The game isn’t massive and it’s small enough for you to memorize some key landmarks but that’s not an excuse. Even Resident Evil 2 has a massive map to help you out even if it was bare.
You can also ping your map to see if there are any enemies on the map around you. When you ping, they will show up as red dots on your mini map. This works well most of the time too except when the game has a scripted jump scare that will make no sense because for some reason, that zombie wasn’t picked up by your radar.
There’s another feature of your map/screen thing that you can scan around you to see if there are any items that you can pick up. This makes life much easier because you aren’t going to trash cans or suitcases that can’t be opened. This feature tells you what can be looted and what can’t.
There are upgrades for your map as well which will constantly update your map to show you enemies in the area and upgrades where you can see which items exactly are in zombies or suitcases or dumpsters.
In terms of gameplay, there are a few different special zombies. You have the regular zombie, then you encounter a screaming zombie early in the game that attracts more to your location, then you have a spitting zombie that blinds you for a few seconds with its vomit projectiles and then you have a special ghost zombie that teleports.
If some of these sound familiar it’s because I’ve fought them before in Left 4 Dead and even in Left 4 Dead the special zombies are a lot more memorable.
In fighting them in Zombi, your technique will hardly ever change and those special zombies will hardly ever appear. I think I fought that screaming zombie only twice in the entire game and that teleporting zombie only three times.
In summation, this game is far from the worst game I’ve ever played but it’s definitely not good. If it means anything, I got this for free on Playstation Plus a while ago and I played one hour before I gave up and played something better. Zombi is just a series of cliches at it’s basic form.
If it means anything, the trophies for this game on PS4, list beating this game in any mode are as of March 19, 2017 in the 1% area and are considered ultra rare. Even beating this game in the easiest of modes is an ultra rare trophy. People didn’t even bother to finish this game in the easiest difficulty and it’s not hard to see why.
The three endings aren’t great enough to want to replay this entire game either. There are three possible endings in the final level where you only have one life. The endings are a) Escape b) Die on your way to the escape and c) what you do with the virus information you get from the doctor. I died on the way to the escape because I got trapped by crawling zombies.
It was a shitty way to go that got me a shitty ending to an overall shitty experience.
There isn’t anything that comes out of this experience. The combat is extremely repetitive, the audio is boring, the writing and dialogue and story are all incredibly boring, and the area the game takes place in looks like those old timey sets where they are constantly running like on a treadmill.
I was actually fine playing this game running generic errands up until I was told that I had to find 7 envelopes to progress the story. Seven envelopes and in a game that is already a pain to traverse without markers, it actually made me just shut off the system. That’s how much I was bothered.
My recommendation for Zombi on the PS4 is to simply let it go unless you get it in the bargain bin for a fiver or for less. It really isn’t worth much more than that. I suppose the game may have been fun on the Wii U with the Wii U’s gimmicks but with a regular controller on a system that can do so much more, there’s really no incentive to play.
Zombi gets a 3.5…out of 10.