ZOMBI isn’t quite the same without the “U”.
There are so many flaws with ZOMBI that it’s relatively difficult as to where to begin. For those who are unaware and as unlikely as that may be, ZOMBI itself is not at all a new game. Infact, it’s a direct port of the former Nintendo Wii-U exclusive and launch title; ZombiU. Worked into the Wii-U’s original line-up as Nintendo’s way of appealing to the “Hardcore gamer”, the title was actually received fairly well by critics, including us.
If you want to know about the game’s plot and what is happening in the dark London Underground, I suggest checking out our original review of the game here. This review will focus on whether developers have made any improvements in gameplay mechanics and visuals.
"As evident by the lack of graphical settings within the options menu, PC gamers will find themselves greatly starved. Field-of-view, resolution, and Vsync are just about the only aspects of the game that let you know which version you’re playing."
In what is supposedly taking place in modern-day London, the player takes the role of a random survivor in the city and lead is on a spree of errands across the corpse-engulfed city by an unknown assailant on a radio. I did find it strange how all of the escalators seemed to have disappeared in what “appears” to be the London Underground. It’s this lack of authenticity that places this re-release in such a sad state of affairs, and has me wondering as to how well the studio actually pays attention in recreating real-world locations.
Now while it’s fair to counter this perspective just by saying “Assassin’s Creed”, it then makes me question how much effort went into the development of ZOMBI, or better yet, what went wrong? Given the three year time-span of the original’s release, the missed opportunity to adjust the game’s visual qualities to that of a more modern game is a severe disappointment.
As evident by the lack of graphical settings within the options menu, PC gamers will find themselves greatly starved. Field-of-view, resolution, and Vsync are just about the only aspects of the game that let you know which version you’re playing. But since the original assets of the game remain largely identical to its last-generation original, you’d be half-pressed to notice any minimal changes that the game actually offers. To provide a little perspective on how the game holds up to current releases…in short, it doesn’t. While the fun-factor may differ from player-to-player, the technical achievements found it Madfinger Games’ Dead Trigger, easily outweigh those that have been incorporated into ZOMBI.
"Had the developers incorporated additional content along with the graphical overhaul that it’s clearly screaming out for, then it’s existence on the current platforms would’ve felt a lot more justified. This is where Rockstar truly excelled with the remastered version of Grand Theft Auto 5 on PS4, Xbox One and PC."
Taking into account Dead Trigger’s exclusivity to mobile platforms, the performance headroom that has been given to ZOMBI makes it all the more embarrassing to just how vexing it actually is. Among the linear dark hallways of the many train stations and the barricaded streets of Covent Garden that do little to nothing, except to serve as a “Gamey” mechanic that delivers upon that dreaded subliminal message of “You can’t go past this point in the level”, ZOMBI is by all its inherent namesake; dead.
Had the developers incorporated additional content along with the graphical overhaul that it’s clearly screaming out for, then it’s existence on the current platforms would’ve felt a lot more justified. This is where Rockstar truly excelled with the remastered version of Grand Theft Auto 5 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Like every other game that makes use of zombies, acquiring a gun is relatively easy when the world has come to an end. The game also contains some interesting jump scares, and if you ignore the fact that it supposedly takes place in London then it does serve as an intense, claustrophobic stumble through the dark and forsaken streets, that’s been littered with the reanimated. This is where the game actually holds strength, it’s grim, it’s gritty, and the tone of the game is present throughout each and street corner and alleyway.
"The only redeeming quality to this resurrection of the game is a 60Hz refresh rate, but even then it is still extremely difficult to recommend since there’s nothing that appears to be improved or even justified for a re-release."
The mood and atmosphere that the game attempts to deliver is infact a great one, the problem however, is that everything feels like a tease. Like a baby in a cot that’s struggling to reach the mobile on high but continues to laugh away regardless, much of the scarce enjoyment that exists within its gameplay seem to root from the technical limitations of its original platform. This begs the question that many PC gamers have been rioting against for a great number of years: What’s with the console ports?
When you have high-end hardware that in many cases can cost as much as a small car, that easily outmatches that which is present inside their console brethren, then the complaints for underutilized hardware and performance being flushed down the drain, clearly stand strong. ZOMBI is an underwhelming port that boasts no real difference from its original incarnation. There’s nothing visually within the game other than a bump in resolution, that makes this is worthy cause of purchase over Nintendo’s.
Textures may be higher but as to how much the player actually notices it or even cares is something I wouldn’t care to wager on. The only redeeming quality to this resurrection of the game is a 60Hz refresh rate, but even then it is still extremely difficult to recommend since there’s nothing that appears to be improved or even justified for a re-release.
This game was reviewed on the PC.
Delivers on jump scares and a somewhat interesting atmosphere.
Dated visuals, lackluster gameplay mechanics, non-existent advantages over the original debut.
A failed opportunity to make use of reasonably more powerful hardware leaves ZOMBI in an unfortunate position whereby the original game is actually more appealing.