I personally don’t understand the appeal of zombies, other than that we’re allowed to kill them en masse in movies and video games without fear of legal action. Zombies, robots and Nazis are fair game, because who’s going to stick up for them?
Maybe people are attracted to zombie entertainment because there’s never just one zombie. They always outnumber the heroes, making the threat constant, unlike with, say, Friday the 13th, where you’ve got one guy systematically taking out half a dozen idiot teenagers. You can sit in an audience and know you’d be able to outsmart Jason. But how do you outsmart an enemy that outnumbers your bullets?
We’ll find out on November 18th when UbiSoft releases the unfortunately named ZombiU.
With that title, I’m immediately picturing undead college students in their Ugg Boots and Greek sweaters engaging in skullduggery, much to the chagrin of the uptight living dean played by Martin Mull or Mary Woronov. It’s not even a good name within context of the Wii U, because it makes it makes it sound like a kiddie game. Imagine if The Exorcist had been called Wacky Demon Possession Funtime Dessert, and you’ve kind of got ZombiU.
I guess there’s a history to it, as I’m reading that UbiSoft’s first commercial game was called Zombi. I still don’t like it. It originally was going to be Killer Freaks from Outer Space, which implied goofiness as well, and seemed like it was going to carry through based on the trailer that’s no longer at the website that’s no longer there either, as it now redirects to zombiu.ubi.com.
Anyway, I’m going to forgive the name because the game looks fantastic. As I’ve mentioned in reviews before, I can’t get scared watching movies. I’m too disconnected from what’s going on. But with video games, my actions and decisions are right there. I’m part of it. Safely part of it, of course, but because I’m concentrating so hard on what I’m doing within the game, the startles and scares are more effective because of how close I am to the moment.
In ZombiU, the GamePad will put the action all around me and right in my face. It’ll create actual depth for what I’m doing and what the zombies are up to nearby. Play this game in the dark, and now there’s nothing between my GamePad and the zombies on the TV. When I’m working out something on the GamePad, the zombies will keep coming, and I’ll see them coming. It’s going to be sweet.
Also, it takes place in London, and London’s just a creepy town by nature, right? My wife and I had that Walking Haunted London book on our honeymoon. We did some ghost hunting, but didn’t find any. No zombies, either, but we’ll call that a plus.
I guess the point to all of this here on Halloween night is that I enjoy being scared. And since that hasn’t happened in a movie theater since…well, since this…
…I have to turn to games. Hopefully ZombiU will provide those scares more effectively than the Wii was ever able to. I’m confident it will…goofy name and all.
Read all entries in the Wii U Countdown.