When Nintendo released the Wii U in North America back in 2012, there were 32 titles available at launch. While most of these were ports of games existing on other platforms, there was one exclusive that garnered quite a bit of attention. ZombiU might not have been the strongest game in the launch, but its unique mechanics coupled with a challenging gameplay experience helped set to the game apart from its peers.
Unfortunately, the Wii U didn't take off quite like its predecessor and the majority of gamers didn't have the opportunity to check out Ubisoft's zombie survival game. The console exclusivity hurt the game and Ubisoft confirmed that the game did not meet their financial expectations. Fans hoped for a port to other systems, but the game seemed destined to remain exclusive to Nintendo indefinitely. Recently, however, rumors have begun to circulate that a port was coming after all.
Ubisoft has now confirmed these rumors, stating that the game will be re-released as Zombi on the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. The game is set to launch on August 18th across these platforms as a digital download. At this time there are no plans for a physical release of the game.
Here's the official synopsis for Zombi, released by Ubisoft:
After being one of the Wii U flagship titles in 2012, ZOMBI returns to challenge gamers on multiple new platforms to find out how long they can survive in the dilapidated, infected London. For the second time in history, a great plague has shrouded the city in a fog of death and thousands have died, or worse, been infected by a sickness more gruesome than death. Once again, this fear-fueled first-person shooter invites all players to dive into the horror, chaos and tension found in the best of the genre. The nail-biting survival experience has been optimized for PlayStation4 system, Xbox One and Windows PC, using the power of the latest generation of hardware to bring gamers to a new level of horror.
Players will experience the original oppressive and intense elements that made ZombiU so innovative. The bug-out bag is a necessary component for survival for each player as it contains all the player’s tools, inventory, first aid kits and maps, and more. With Permadeath, players are faced with a death mechanic that puts them in the body of a different survivor each time they die. In order to retain the equipment they previously gathered in their bug-out bag, they are forced to track down their old, infected character. Should players risk it all to get their bag back or start scavenging anew?
Zombi producer Hélène Henry confirmed that the game will be largely unchanged, promising "small technical improvements on what was already there." These improvements focused on faster load times and adjusting the controls to make the game playable without the Wii U GamePad. Unfortunately, without the GamePad, the multiplayer component of ZombiU had to be removed from this new version.
Part of what made the game unique was the implementation of the GamePad. To build tension, the game forced players to take their eyes off of the television screen to look at the map or their inventory screen on the GamePad. It was an effective mechanic that forced players to manage their resources on the fly as the game continued progress around them. To simulate this experience, the relaunched version will have an inventory screen that you can access at any time, but the game will not pause while you're on that screen.
At the time of its release, many fans expressed a desire to see the ZombieU game made available through other consoles. While re-releasing it now is sure to pique interest among some potential players, it has been nearly three years since the game initially launched. It's largely been forgotten in that time as similar games have been released across the platforms.
If there's one sure way Ubisoft can reignite interest in this game,though, it's with the price. Should the developer try to sell this game at the full $60 price point, most will pass over the title without a second glance. With the release strictly digital and the lowered distribution costs that entails, it would make sense for Zombi to be released at half that price. Best to wait and see what happens with that one, though.
Zombi launches on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on August 18th, 2015.