Considering this is the Wii U's first outing in the UK it is surprising just how much attention Nintendo lavished on this new game with their own games taking almost second stage to a third party title; if Nintendo are backing ZombiU like this there must be some credence to how good a game this will be.
As with any zombie based game the undead apocalypse has taken full hold of a city, which for a pleasant change is set in London; with the playable demo set alongside the Thames and heading towards Tower Bridge, traversing wooden jetty's, sand banks and sewers.
A mixture between a first person shooter (FPS) and a survival horror the demo allows us to catch up with Jack White who appears to be wandering around a very dark and spooky looking set of alleyways and sewers. The story was not explained but the task was simple, survive. Considering how quick the game disposed of the players before me in the queue it was clear it was going to be a challenge.
Presented as a FPS, the action is slow but brutal, making you keep constant stock of what weapons you have. With survival being such a key element the main tool of the game is the backpack, with your character raising it above their heads when traversing deep water and using the GamePad to check its inventory and move items around from either storage to on hand items using a simple drag and drop technique.
Controlling Jack is relatively straight forward, using the trigger buttons for attacks, blocking and also bringing up the aiming reticule, with each weapon acting differently from shotguns and pistols to a rifle that when using the sight will change to the GamePad view, granting a fantastic scope view that you can fine aim by changing the GamePads position.
Other items to use also include a scanner that when turned on will again place the gameplay onto the GamePad screen, allowing you to look around the area in real time, trying to find helpful items and hints that glow to grab your attention.
The zombies themselves seem to be the slow and dense kind, not really reacting unless provoked or in close proximity so luring them seemed to be a better way kill them, taking a shot from safe distance and getting them to walk over a well-placed mine was most satisfying.
With all these zombies lurking around you will die a lot, but ZombiU has a rather unique approach to death in that rather than a game over screen you are granted another chance. Waking up as a new female character you are able to follow in Jacks footsteps, locating where he fell and finding he is now a zombie himself. Killing him will then give you a chance to loot his backpack for your own use, just don't forget that whatever killed him is still lurking around. It is not clear if this is infinite like in Demons/Dark Souls or just a spare life, the booth guys could not confirm but either way this is a genuinely great idea.
ZombiU is the first FPS style game on the Wii U and has already proven that Nintendo made their new console a lot more accessible for this sort of game and the GamePad, whilst not a traditional controller will be a game changer when it comes to shooters in the future and this is why it is the ShopTo Wii U game of the Eurogamer Expo.
Words by Ash Buchanan.