Zombi review: Back from the undead
Zombi (PS4/XOne/PC): rating: 7/10; age 18+
BACK from the dead after an impressive debut as a Wii U launch title, Zombi on other consoles is forced to ditch the gadget gimmicks that defined its post-apocalyptic fright night set in London.
You begin in an abandoned Underground station, alone except for the distant moans of the walking dead. But suddenly a voice crackles in your ear – it’s the Prepper, an enigmatic helper who guides you around the city as you hunt for supplies.
What follows is a standard first-person survival horror. As you explore the devastated city, you must take out the undead, usually with a melee weapon. They take several swipes to go down and the combat is deliberately clumsy. Guns are in short supply and ammo is typically scarce so your best friend becomes a hefty cricket bat.
In an amusing twist, if you fall victim to the undead, a new character regenerates back at base and you start over. But seek out the zombified old ‘you’ and you can recover your inventory by slaying yourself. How very post-modern.
The plot soon thickens as other mysterious survivors start to contact you, giving pause for thought about the Prepper’s instructions.
Publisher Ubisoft decided there wasn't enough interest to warrant a Zombi sequel but instead green-lit this port to more powerful consoles. Alas, it has lost something in the translation.
Where the Wii U cleverly insisted you take your eyes off the TV – and thus incoming zombies – to look at your inventory on the Gamepad, now rummaging in your backpack blocks most of the screen but still gives a glimpse of your enemies. Scanning the environment for clues with a handheld device used to require holding up the GamePad in front of your face – now you simply point with an on-screen cursor, deflating all of the tension felt on Wii U.
What remains is thus a competent if fairly routine survival horror – kill zombies, fortify base, collect supplies, repeat.
At just €20 for the digital download, however, Zombi does offer decent value and easily whiles away a few mindless hours.