We Survived London's Worst Days in 'Zombi' for Waypoint 101


In our latest Waypoint 101 excursion, Patrick, Rob, and Austin tackle the grim London of Zombi. Originally ZombiU, an early Wii U game later adapted to other platforms, the game impressed the panel with its tension, early digital video aesthetic, and fresh, high-stakes take on surviving one of video games' most tired settings: the zombie apocalypse.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/59wnj3/zombi-waypoint-101


There was some debate between Austin and Rob/Patrick about whether Austin’s experiences with Zombi’s lack of difficulty was idiosyncratic and whether it was fair to judge the game on the ease of his playthrough. For what it’s worth everything Austin said could have described my playthrough as well. He brought up the corpse runs that had all the enemies cleared out already, which is exactly what I experienced. Zombies would respawn but not nearly in time to intercept me from recovering my loot.

There wasn’t a headcount but I got the sense that Austin played Zombi and Rob/Patrick played ZombiU. Is it possible that the port fucked the game’s balance somehow?

Like Austin I played Zombi and found it incredibly easy. They brought up the boss in the nursery basement, that’s a boss I could stun lock with the starter cricket bat. I didn’t take a sliver of damage from it because it staggered from every bat swing. I wasn’t actually grabbed by a single zombie all game, I had to look up afterwards what the viriuscide did.

I don’t mean this as a “you noobs had trouble with this?” thing. But I’m puzzled anyone could have trouble with the game as my experience was that you could take on every single enemy in the game with the starter equipment with ease. Groups of zombies could prove troublesome but I can think of only three times the game forces groups of enemies on you.


I hate that the ports of the WiiU game are just called “Zombi” because seeing it keeps giving me the glimmer of hope that Ubisoft has re-released the original instead of just porting the new one.


For the record Rob’s new name is Zrobmie Attackny


Really surprised Rob at least didn’t catch that the birds that bring down the helicopter are in fact the ravens of the Tower of London that in superstition spell the end of England if they ever leave the Tower or die.


Man, remember back when Left 4 Dead was announced in 2006, and we were all “wow, a game with zombies! Cool! I’ve always wanted to play a zombie survival game!”


My favorite thing about Left 4 Dead is that they didn’t think to make the hand on the cover a left hand with four fingers up until relatively close to the game’s release.


Here is the source of the italicized and bolded sentences in this post courtesy of IGN’s Andrew Goldfarb. I do not take credit for any of his work.

I just wanted to talk about the discussion on ZombiU’s story. In the podcast, Austin, Rob and Patrick joked about the devs making this game and then Ubisoft coming in and asking for a narrative backing for the game, which resulted in this conspiracy-laden B-movie zombie story. In reality, there could be a slight truth to this.

Since it was not brought up, I’ll assume they none of them know or remember this but ZombiU was not originally the game that was played for this podcast. At E3 2011, Ubisoft showcased a new Wii U exclusive title named “Killer Freaks from Outer Space”. At the time, Ubisoft described the game by saying “The dangerous and degenerate creatures from outer space we call FREAKS seek to eradicate the human species with single-minded fury”. During E3 2012, host Aisha Tyler noted that “as the game was developed, the tone shifted a bit” and the killer freaks “slowly evolved” into zombies.

On the matter, story design director Gabrielle Shrager said, “We were having a blast with Killer Freaks. The more we got into developing specifically for the GamePad, the more we realized how absolutely ideal it is for survival horror. The fact that you have to keep your eyes on two screens at once, it’s incredibly scary, [i]t’s a perfect fit."

So, the idea of the ZombiU story being added much later in development isn’t very farfetched at all. And as a little bonus, there is a little Killer Freak toy that you can find in some parts of the game, which I only know because I posted a screenshot of one of them to the Miiverse (RIP Miiverse). If anyone is interested in seeing “Killer Freaks from Outer Space”, then here is some gameplay, which mostly consists of very early and awkward gunplay as well as you character yelling “Oi, back off!” in a cockney accent. Turns out the British setting is one of the things that remained unchanged during the evolution of the game.


Killer Freaks > Rabids if I’m being honest.

Hope they revisit that IP idea because it doesn’t look half bad and I’m always down for more alien games.


For some really weird reason, after the chopper is ‘downed’ by the birds, my game glitches and I still had a chopper flying around which was pretty amusing