After musing about the idea of bringing their Wii U launch title, ZombiU to more platforms, along with a recent leaked listing that seemed to suggest such an action was underway, Ubisoft has now officially announced Zombi, an overhauled, multiplatform version of ZombiU. The “U” in the title is now obviously dropped for the new versions of the game, which will be headed to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC surprisingly soon after the announcement, specifically, on August 18th of this year, which seems to be a big day for delayed ports, as the PC version of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD and the PlayStation Vita version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 are also releasing that day. That dropped letter is not the only change that Ubisoft will be making for Zombi too.
ZombiU, despite its mixed reception and somewhat poor sales in its initial run on Wii U in 2012, was a launch title that was singled out as having especially ambitious use of the Wii U Gamepad, which was a cornerstone of gameplay. Obviously, this is no longer an option for the new PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions. Ubisoft has detailed a few ways that Zombi will be realized on more traditional gaming platforms however.
To start, the map that normally took advantage of the dual screens available on Wii U has now been moved to the television/monitor, though it only shows up when necessary, to avoid cluttering the HUD. The sounds that normally came from the Wii U Gamepad are now also moved to Surround Sound speakers, or just the television speakers, if you don’t have a Surround Sound setup. Finally, the fact that rummaging through your backpack takes up most of the screen and doesn’t pause gameplay will be unchanged as well, once again forcing you to make decisions urgently and quickly, especially with perma-death still being very much a factor in Zombi. Naturally, achievements/trophies will also be added to the game, giving you new and exciting milestones to strive for that weren’t acknowledged on Wii U.
Aside from some gameplay tweaks, Ubisoft is also adding a handful of new weapons to the game, including a long-range shovel, and a critical hit-heavy nail bat. A better flashlight beam is also being added, though one that also carries a higher risk of attracting zombies, and drains battery faster.
One casualty in the new Zombi releases however is the multiplayer of ZombiU, which relied on one player using the Wii U Gamepad’s Touch Screen to add zombies for the other player to try and get around. Due to the asynchronous setup and touch input that’s specific to Wii U, this feature was impossible to replicate on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and thus, it had to be scrapped. That’s unfortunate, but it at least maintains one exclusive feature in the Wii U version, which should help early Wii U adopters from feeling as much like Ubisoft is betraying them with the new ports for competing platforms. Then again, maybe this won’t come as a surprise, after Ubisoft declared, following the ill-received and long-delayed Watch Dogs port for Wii U, that they would never make another mature video game for Wii U ever again, not to mention that the formerly Wii U-exclusive Rayman Legends ended up going multiplatform before launch, which infuriatingly resulted in the Wii U port being delayed to release alongside the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions in September 2013, despite the original Wii U build being fully complete at the start of that year.
Zombi is not being sold at retail on any of its three platforms, unlike the original Wii U release, and will only be available to purchase digitally. The price is currently unknown, though it may hover around the neighbourhood of $19.99-$24.99, at most. Currently, the Wii U version can be purchased in most retail stores for around that price point. The game can be bought now for a slight premium on the Wii U eShop, at $29.99 USD, though it’s currently discounted to just over $19.99 on Nintendo’s digital storefront.
Keep infecting Eggplante for all news and updates on Zombi/ZombiU.