The lights are on
Right off the bat I'm going to say that I am a fan of this game; it is flawed, but I love it. The combat system is weak and fairly unappealing but that is not what made me enjoy the game. The game created a scary atmosphere and creepy
Gameplay (minus Combat) (8.5/10)
The game handles well. I thought that the controls were a little clunky before I discovered the 180 degree turn around command. After this I was able to navigate the environment and avoid being attacked (very important by the way). I really enjoyed the ways that ZombiU implemented the Gamepad. This is especially true with the item management in your backpack. I love the idea of looking away form the TV screen for a few tense seconds while I find a Medkit to use or equip a Molotov Cocktail. The scanning feature was fairly dull, but useful. Many will find these things gimmicky, but I thought that they were a unique and enjoyable way to demonstrate what the Wii U can do. One of the most unique parts of the game comes in the form of characters. Once you die, that character is dead. The end. You have to kill the zombified character you worked so hard to level up and survive with in order to reclaim your lost supplies and weapons. I thought this was a very neat addition that goes against the usual "die and start a few minutes before your death" approach that infests nearly every game on the market today. It is a bit frustrating that if you die while trying to kill your undead former self, those items are apparently gone for good, but that is just more incentive to not die a second time.
The melee combat is in need of tweaks, It makes fighting every zombie feel like a desperate struggIe. I enjoyed this initially but it just could not hold up against the larger hordes of zombies that will attack you. It would have been able to keep up had they included more melee weapons besides the cricket bat, or even a way to upgrade the default weapon (particularly speed!) The gunplay added a necessary portion to the combat when things become a little too crowded. I try to only use guns when when I get overwhelmed, so the ammo complaint did not apply to my playthrough as much. I thought that the lack of ammo in the environment brought back one of the principles that recent survival horror games have all but forgotten: starve the player for resources. Anyone who is a fan the original Resident Evil will enjoy this. The only problem with the starvation is that the melee combat is just too underpowered and a bit clumsy. The developers should seriously consider tuning this in a future patch after receiving the fan input.
I don't really have a rating for the story in this game, as there really isn't much of one. You just have to realize that a story isn't the purpose of this game, it is to survive. I personally don't think that games need a captivating stories to be a good horror game (like Slender Man). It is all about atmosphere and survival
Contrary to the GI reviewer, I actually enjoyed the dirty camera effects and a weak flashlight. I felt that these added to the overall mood of the game and added a sense of grittiness that would have been otherwise missing. The atmosphere was very tense, hearing the occasional moan or screech off in the distance was truly unsettling, especially when you check your radar and search around only to find nothing. The zombies show an appropriate level of detail, nothing terrible, but nothing stands out either. the rain effects and the lighting I thought were amazing, but many will not like having their vision obscured. I am one that believes this is what survival horror is mean to be
This game is not for everyone; there are some balancing issues, especially in the melee combat. Many will find this to be frustrating, but I just work through it to enjoy the game for what it's supposed to be: survival horror. This game does not put you in the shoes of an "everyman that can mow down waves of the undead without any challenge. You ARE an everyman, so generic that the game will sweep your character under the rug without batting an eye and unless you are very good at the game immediately, you will die. I recommend this game to people who are seeking a unique survival horror challenge, and I very much hope to seethe ideas that this game presented refined and put into a sequel
Any questions about the gameor portions I may have missed, add to the comments below and I wil update the review, as this is my first game review.
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