In pop-culture, it seems as though the theme of zombies has been done to death (excuse the pun). But just like zombies themselves, the theme keeps coming back from the dead in new and interesting ways. 2012 saw the release of Zombi U, a survival horror game from Ubisoft that sought to give the Wii U some more adult-centric gameplay. Now three years after its initial release, Zombi (drop the U) has been ported to PS4 and Xbox One. But how does it fare?
London is gone. A zombie apocalypse known as the “Black Prophecy” has come to pass, after being foretold of by John Dee over 400 years prior. You are under the watch and guidance of ‘The Prepper’, a mysterious man who only communicates via radio but has set up a safe house and ‘bug-out bag’ to keep you alive. The Prepper guides you through the destroyed streets of London in search of supplies to stay alive and keep track of the undead menace; however there is more at play – along the journey the Player meets Dr Knight, who is seeking to find a cure and whose plans with the player lead to disappointment from The Prepper.
Throughout the journey The Player will come into contact with the Ravens of Dee (of whom the Prepper is an ex-member) as well as other survivors, struggling to make their way through the chaos that is London and the zombie apocalypse.
The most obvious, and annoying thing about Zombi is that being a port of a game from a graphically weaker console, little has been done to improve the quality of the appearance. The game is meant to appear gritty and dim, amplifying the whole idea of the zombie apocalypse and the end of London, however this is soured by the fact that it feels like last-gen graphics on the new consoles. Let nothing take away from the gameplay itself, it just feels like a little more time could have been spent to give it a decent polish before release.Putting this aside, the game still holds up relatively well; the gritty, smoky and foggy atmosphere causes fear at every turn, and the narrow side streets of London add a sense of claustrophobia and panic when exploring. Lighting is scarce above-ground and even darker below-ground, and the torch you are given only lasts so long. The colour palette for most environments is very dark and grey, or fluorescent and white, and the only flashes of vibrant colour are from explosions or flares. This adds to the overall gloomy feel of the game.