The Game That Should Have Been Terrible

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Posted by patrickklepek (4004 posts) -

It was probably unfair to write ZombiU off so quickly, but...it was called ZombiU. Between my disappointment in Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft’s track record with Nintendo launch games, and the silly name, anything more than surprisingly mediocre seemed like a longshot. But as the horror guy at Giant Bomb, if I wasn’t going to play it, who?

A few hours and a few completely unexpected deaths later, it became clear ZombiU was special. Besides being scary as hell, the game managed to turn me around on the whole idea of animation priority as it relates to game design (see: Monster Hunter). That’s no small feat, and it’s why ZombiU ranked in my favorite games of the year.

When I asked for the chance to fire off some questions to the developers at Ubisoft Montpellier, I had to ask about the damn name. There are no great revelations to behold, however. ZombiU was chosen because it was both descriptive of the game’s content, and it was a Wii U launch title. That Ubisoft’s first game was 1986’s Zombi had no bearing on why it was called ZombiU, either.

“As odd as it may seem, it was a pure coincidence,” said producer Guillaume Brunier in a recent email exchange. “Some of us on the team did play that game way back in the old days, but that’s it.”

The original Zombi was a first-person, point-and-click survival game heavily influenced by George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead film. Zombi gave players control over four different characters fending for themselves in a mall. Besides trying to stay alive amidst the zombie apocalypse, there’s not much overlap between Zombi and ZombiU. (That game actually looks pretty cool, though!)

ZombiU was not always ZombiU, either. When Nintendo first revealed Wii U at E3 2011, Ubisoft also announced a first-person-shooter called Killer Freaks From Outer Space. It didn’t look that great. While some of the concepts created for Killer Freaks From Outer Space carried over, including a multiplayer mode where one person acts as a humanized Left 4 Dead AI director, much of the game design was overhauled.

What the team always knew, however, was the game had to eventually ship for Wii U’s launch.

Killer Freaks From Outer Space was shown at E3, and then never seen again before ZombiU.

“Being tied to a release date always has an influence on what we are able to produce,” said Brunier. “For ZombiU, we decided early on what we did not want to compromise on: Wii U GamePad use, and a true survival experience. For the rest, we sometimes had to manage our ambitions.”

Managed ambitions explains why, besides guns, your character can only swing around a cricket bat for melee attacks. By the end of the game, you’re intimately familiar with that cricket bat. As someone who never quite understood why anyone could enjoy games where you were forced into canned animations, after spending 15 hours with a cricket bat, I became closely acquainted with its specific timing. There was certifiable merit in knowing a weapon that well, given how much precise timing played into surviving longterm in ZombiU. That said, the only reason there weren’t more weapons is because there just wasn’t any time to make them.

When the box for ZombiU showed up on my desk, I wasn’t sure what to think. All I’d heard about was a game vaguely influenced by Dark Souls. Truth be told, I hardly suspected that would mean a game interested in excitedly punishing the player every step of the way. I suspect ZombiU isn’t nearly as challenging as Dark Souls or Demon’s Souls, but it operates on the same principle: act with purpose. If you try to bite off more than you chew, if you try to act like the badass that other games actively encourage, the game will smack you to the ground and laugh.

That doesn’t seem to line up with what you expect from a launch game, and while I’m much happier with what ZombiU became, didn’t it make more sense to make a more mainstream experience?

“We figured if we worried about that and made decisions accordingly, we would have delivered a lukewarm experience,” said Brunier. “And we really did not want to do that. We want people to remember ZombiU as a game that lived up to its promise as a true survival horror game.”

“Actually, being so harsh with the player was not a goal in itself,” said story design director Gabrielle Shrager. “We were driven by our wish to deliver a realistic experience. Just for one moment, picture yourself, I mean really try to picture yourself in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Would you feel empowered? This powerlessness makes every zombie encounter epic, and the reward of surpassing oneself all the more satisfying.”

The moment more than one zombie shows up, you might as well turn around and run away.

Powerlessness was crystallized roughly an hour into the game. You’re returning from your first mission--an initial, brief flirtation with the outside world. Surviving a one-on-one encounter with a shambler in ZombiU can be intense, and that’s about all you’ve dealt so far. Then, moments before returning to your safe house, the one place you can reliably count on, you’re shut out, and told to defend the incoming horde. Horde? Yeah, horde. That’s not just one or two zombies, it’s a whole crowd of them. I barely survived the encounter, but it mostly felt like luck. It was a moment where players were supposed to die, learn about resurrection, and not have to walk very far for your precious, precious equipment.

Shrager pointed to another moment where this was true, as well: ZombiU’s very first sequence. When the game opens, there’s a brief cutscene where players encounter The Prepper. In most games, you're given control in a safe, quiet moment. Nope! Suddenly, you’re thrust into this screwed up world, and dozens of zombies are chasing you.

“We wanted unprepared people to die so they’d understand what the game is about,” he said. “ [...] We are quite comfortable with killing your survivors in the game, because it is faithful to the zombie genre where most of the main characters die, and significant for the experience. Plus, you don’t ever see a game over screen. The story picks up with a newbie survivor where your last character left off...sort of like a deadly relay race.”

“A deadly relay race” is one hell of an accurate way to describe ZombiU. You’ll spend six hours with one character, make one false step on a platform, fall to your death, and start back at the safe house. Your "progress" is saved, but you don't spawn nearby. If you're lucky, maybe you were coming back from a successful mission, but chances are that area is infested with the undead, and the prospect of trudging back there, no matter what treasures were in your pack, aren’t worth it. These are the most infuriating moments of ZombiU, and also what makes it work.

Having players performing ambitious corpse runs upon greeting death came up early in the development process, the team told me, and quickly became a central pillar the rest of the game

All of these concepts mold a game I suspect many people might not finish. It would be no great surprise to me if someone bought ZombiU on launch day, and quickly shut it off. The developers aren’t losing sleep over this idea.

“The idea of players not finishing the game is not upsetting to us,” said Shrager. “The idea of players not being scared witless and not having a memorable experience does. “

One of ZombiU’s most memorable moments (this will be a mild spoiler!) comes during an extended sequence investigating a nursery. Nothing good happens during nursery sections in horror games, movies, or novels. Hell, hospitals in real-life are creepy enough, and it’s only made worse by someone dripping blood from the ceiling and sending the walking dead after you. What’s amazing about ZombiU’s nursery is how little actually happens. There is one jump scare from a closet, and otherwise...nothing. it’s quiet tension until a nail biting battle with one of the game’s few boss characters, a zombie nurse with the ability to zap around the environment. When you eventually take her down, you’re asked to use the in-game tablet to examine the zombie. You’ve never been asked to do this before, and so you don’t even really think about the request that much. As the tablet nears the zombie’s face, you look down at your real-life GamePad and BOOM! The zombie emerges, and utterly paralyzes the player.

“After that fight is over, the player is relaxed, relieved that he got rid of that ‘monster’ after a stressful fight,” said Shragrer. “At that particular moment, the player is definitely ‘off guard.’ It’s the perfect moment for a jump scare that takes you by surprise when you least expect it.”

Yeah, well, you got me.

Messing with players isn’t limited to scripted events, either. ZombiU was built with certain dynamic elements the development staff can tweak on-the-fly and without issuing a patch. Not long after the game was out, Ubisoft Montpellier started taunting the community for not having finished the game’s vaunted Survival mode, in which you’re only given one survivor to finish the whole game. The tauntings came in the form of in-game text that prodded players.

“Some players have spent more than 100 hours in the game!” said Shrager. “That surprised us. Some others are still trying to beat the survivor mode after 50 tries! That’s dedication. It’s been amazingly fun and rewarding for the dev team to watch players get the crap scared out of them in all the viral walkthrough videos--I think they hate us and love us with equal measure for making them feel so vulnerable.”

For the moment, Ubisoft isn’t talking about any downloadable content for ZombiU, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we never saw any. The developers do have the ability to spawn zombie hordes, craft new events, and deploy new challenges, though, and it sounds like that may be coming.

“I can’t talk about new content but I can say we will continue messing around with players,” said Brunier. “We’re having quite a bit of fun doing it!”

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (4004 posts) -

It was probably unfair to write ZombiU off so quickly, but...it was called ZombiU. Between my disappointment in Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft’s track record with Nintendo launch games, and the silly name, anything more than surprisingly mediocre seemed like a longshot. But as the horror guy at Giant Bomb, if I wasn’t going to play it, who?

A few hours and a few completely unexpected deaths later, it became clear ZombiU was special. Besides being scary as hell, the game managed to turn me around on the whole idea of animation priority as it relates to game design (see: Monster Hunter). That’s no small feat, and it’s why ZombiU ranked in my favorite games of the year.

When I asked for the chance to fire off some questions to the developers at Ubisoft Montpellier, I had to ask about the damn name. There are no great revelations to behold, however. ZombiU was chosen because it was both descriptive of the game’s content, and it was a Wii U launch title. That Ubisoft’s first game was 1986’s Zombi had no bearing on why it was called ZombiU, either.

“As odd as it may seem, it was a pure coincidence,” said producer Guillaume Brunier in a recent email exchange. “Some of us on the team did play that game way back in the old days, but that’s it.”

The original Zombi was a first-person, point-and-click survival game heavily influenced by George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead film. Zombi gave players control over four different characters fending for themselves in a mall. Besides trying to stay alive amidst the zombie apocalypse, there’s not much overlap between Zombi and ZombiU. (That game actually looks pretty cool, though!)

ZombiU was not always ZombiU, either. When Nintendo first revealed Wii U at E3 2011, Ubisoft also announced a first-person-shooter called Killer Freaks From Outer Space. It didn’t look that great. While some of the concepts created for Killer Freaks From Outer Space carried over, including a multiplayer mode where one person acts as a humanized Left 4 Dead AI director, much of the game design was overhauled.

What the team always knew, however, was the game had to eventually ship for Wii U’s launch.

Killer Freaks From Outer Space was shown at E3, and then never seen again before ZombiU.

“Being tied to a release date always has an influence on what we are able to produce,” said Brunier. “For ZombiU, we decided early on what we did not want to compromise on: Wii U GamePad use, and a true survival experience. For the rest, we sometimes had to manage our ambitions.”

Managed ambitions explains why, besides guns, your character can only swing around a cricket bat for melee attacks. By the end of the game, you’re intimately familiar with that cricket bat. As someone who never quite understood why anyone could enjoy games where you were forced into canned animations, after spending 15 hours with a cricket bat, I became closely acquainted with its specific timing. There was certifiable merit in knowing a weapon that well, given how much precise timing played into surviving longterm in ZombiU. That said, the only reason there weren’t more weapons is because there just wasn’t any time to make them.

When the box for ZombiU showed up on my desk, I wasn’t sure what to think. All I’d heard about was a game vaguely influenced by Dark Souls. Truth be told, I hardly suspected that would mean a game interested in excitedly punishing the player every step of the way. I suspect ZombiU isn’t nearly as challenging as Dark Souls or Demon’s Souls, but it operates on the same principle: act with purpose. If you try to bite off more than you chew, if you try to act like the badass that other games actively encourage, the game will smack you to the ground and laugh.

That doesn’t seem to line up with what you expect from a launch game, and while I’m much happier with what ZombiU became, didn’t it make more sense to make a more mainstream experience?

“We figured if we worried about that and made decisions accordingly, we would have delivered a lukewarm experience,” said Brunier. “And we really did not want to do that. We want people to remember ZombiU as a game that lived up to its promise as a true survival horror game.”

“Actually, being so harsh with the player was not a goal in itself,” said story design director Gabrielle Shrager. “We were driven by our wish to deliver a realistic experience. Just for one moment, picture yourself, I mean really try to picture yourself in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Would you feel empowered? This powerlessness makes every zombie encounter epic, and the reward of surpassing oneself all the more satisfying.”

The moment more than one zombie shows up, you might as well turn around and run away.

Powerlessness was crystallized roughly an hour into the game. You’re returning from your first mission--an initial, brief flirtation with the outside world. Surviving a one-on-one encounter with a shambler in ZombiU can be intense, and that’s about all you’ve dealt so far. Then, moments before returning to your safe house, the one place you can reliably count on, you’re shut out, and told to defend the incoming horde. Horde? Yeah, horde. That’s not just one or two zombies, it’s a whole crowd of them. I barely survived the encounter, but it mostly felt like luck. It was a moment where players were supposed to die, learn about resurrection, and not have to walk very far for your precious, precious equipment.

Shrager pointed to another moment where this was true, as well: ZombiU’s very first sequence. When the game opens, there’s a brief cutscene where players encounter The Prepper. In most games, you're given control in a safe, quiet moment. Nope! Suddenly, you’re thrust into this screwed up world, and dozens of zombies are chasing you.

“We wanted unprepared people to die so they’d understand what the game is about,” he said. “ [...] We are quite comfortable with killing your survivors in the game, because it is faithful to the zombie genre where most of the main characters die, and significant for the experience. Plus, you don’t ever see a game over screen. The story picks up with a newbie survivor where your last character left off...sort of like a deadly relay race.”

“A deadly relay race” is one hell of an accurate way to describe ZombiU. You’ll spend six hours with one character, make one false step on a platform, fall to your death, and start back at the safe house. Your "progress" is saved, but you don't spawn nearby. If you're lucky, maybe you were coming back from a successful mission, but chances are that area is infested with the undead, and the prospect of trudging back there, no matter what treasures were in your pack, aren’t worth it. These are the most infuriating moments of ZombiU, and also what makes it work.

Having players performing ambitious corpse runs upon greeting death came up early in the development process, the team told me, and quickly became a central pillar the rest of the game

All of these concepts mold a game I suspect many people might not finish. It would be no great surprise to me if someone bought ZombiU on launch day, and quickly shut it off. The developers aren’t losing sleep over this idea.

“The idea of players not finishing the game is not upsetting to us,” said Shrager. “The idea of players not being scared witless and not having a memorable experience does. “

One of ZombiU’s most memorable moments (this will be a mild spoiler!) comes during an extended sequence investigating a nursery. Nothing good happens during nursery sections in horror games, movies, or novels. Hell, hospitals in real-life are creepy enough, and it’s only made worse by someone dripping blood from the ceiling and sending the walking dead after you. What’s amazing about ZombiU’s nursery is how little actually happens. There is one jump scare from a closet, and otherwise...nothing. it’s quiet tension until a nail biting battle with one of the game’s few boss characters, a zombie nurse with the ability to zap around the environment. When you eventually take her down, you’re asked to use the in-game tablet to examine the zombie. You’ve never been asked to do this before, and so you don’t even really think about the request that much. As the tablet nears the zombie’s face, you look down at your real-life GamePad and BOOM! The zombie emerges, and utterly paralyzes the player.

“After that fight is over, the player is relaxed, relieved that he got rid of that ‘monster’ after a stressful fight,” said Shragrer. “At that particular moment, the player is definitely ‘off guard.’ It’s the perfect moment for a jump scare that takes you by surprise when you least expect it.”

Yeah, well, you got me.

Messing with players isn’t limited to scripted events, either. ZombiU was built with certain dynamic elements the development staff can tweak on-the-fly and without issuing a patch. Not long after the game was out, Ubisoft Montpellier started taunting the community for not having finished the game’s vaunted Survival mode, in which you’re only given one survivor to finish the whole game. The tauntings came in the form of in-game text that prodded players.

“Some players have spent more than 100 hours in the game!” said Shrager. “That surprised us. Some others are still trying to beat the survivor mode after 50 tries! That’s dedication. It’s been amazingly fun and rewarding for the dev team to watch players get the crap scared out of them in all the viral walkthrough videos--I think they hate us and love us with equal measure for making them feel so vulnerable.”

For the moment, Ubisoft isn’t talking about any downloadable content for ZombiU, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we never saw any. The developers do have the ability to spawn zombie hordes, craft new events, and deploy new challenges, though, and it sounds like that may be coming.

“I can’t talk about new content but I can say we will continue messing around with players,” said Brunier. “We’re having quite a bit of fun doing it!”

Staff
#2 Posted by DarkbeatDK (1263 posts) -

Proper games always focus on animation priority.

I think it's part of the reason why I generally prefer Japanese games.

#3 Edited by Poppduder (460 posts) -

Great read.  Now can we remove the mutilated corpse from the front page, please?

#4 Posted by Imsorrymsjackson (855 posts) -

Good article Patrick.

Patrick hate commencing in 3,2,1...

#5 Edited by benjaebe (2783 posts) -

OH LOOK THERE GOES CLICKBAIT KLEPEK AGAIN WITH HIS.....oh.

Hey, good article Patrick. Zombi U was an interesting game.

#6 Posted by Abendlaender (2782 posts) -

How did this game do?

#7 Posted by zeekthegeek (387 posts) -

I thought this game was mostly a mediocre event by all accounts.

#8 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

I'm not one of those mindless zombie haters that spews their hatred about zombies every time they come up, but I prefer the alien angle to zombies. I think that would have been a cooler game to play. Trying to survive an alien invasion while trying to figure out what these aliens are, why they are there, what all the different types of them do and how best to kill them could have been interesting.

#9 Edited by Bakumatsu (354 posts) -

I thought this article was going to be about Sleeping Dogs. Shame that it's about a game I'm not interested buy but hey I give it a read.

#10 Edited by tremors (31 posts) -

At least the picture of a mutilated torso isn't front and center on the homepage anymore.

edit: It wasn't when I posted this at least. I guess they switched it back for more clicks.

#11 Posted by Miketakon (513 posts) -

This was a lot better than yesterday's hit grab.

#12 Posted by mozzle (159 posts) -

Cool beans. Good read, Patrick. Please continue with these articles, as I feel like they really do contribute to Giant Bomb.

#13 Posted by rulerofeden (20 posts) -

An article by Patrick Klepek? About the WiiU? And zombies, too? Sounds like the perfect recipe for an all-out internet explosion of rage.

#14 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

I don't know when Giant Bomb is going to quit making dumb assumptions about how good/bad a game is supposed to be based on the title. I bet they just assume sequels to good games are going to be just as good as the original, too.

#15 Posted by jbuchan76 (151 posts) -

eyes roll back and forth quickly.. wait.. this is a article about a game??? OMG Really! There is a god!

Good article Patrick :)

#16 Posted by RiccochetJ (18 posts) -

Great article Patrick! I really want to play this game, but I have no interest in picking up a WiiU yet.

#17 Posted by Cykke (56 posts) -

I rented this and put it down after about 30 minutes.

The controls were just so clunky and it was really annoying, as well as the store (even in those 30 minutes) aready terrible. "Hey, I'm this guy that's still alive and hey, go get some stuff for us." Yeah, know.

Just did not like it one bit. To each his own, I guess.

#18 Posted by Eribuster (486 posts) -

Nice article. I never thought of dismissing ZombiU because of Ubi Soft launch games or its name. Red Steel is awful, but they made good on Red Steel 2 (from what I hear). The Ghost Recon strategy launch game on the 3DS was very well received (though it looks pretty much like a DS game). As for the name, ZombiU seems a tidy straight-to-the-point title to me. I think I've gotten too used to and appreciative of the wacky and stupid titles Japanese games can have.

@Abendlaender: I've read a developer comment that they have 300k Nintendo Network IDs logged on the ZombiU servers or something like that. I don't think that's awful for a new system.

#19 Posted by mrfluke (5130 posts) -

great read, i stand by my statement that this is what i wanna see more of.

too bad everyone is still killing each other over on the other story :P

#20 Posted by JesterPC238 (341 posts) -

Great article!

I'm not prepared to shell out the cash for a Wii U just to play this, but it looks like I'd enjoy it, always great to hear how developers feel about their work.

Thanks

#21 Posted by TheLastGunslinger (223 posts) -

ZombiU was one of my favorite games last year and one of the primary reasons I got a WiiU at launch. It's scary, well paced and the gamepad is used in a lot of clever ways. A lot of people I've talked to haven't even given it a shot do to some early bad reviews but once I explain to them what it does so well their interest is peaked. It's a shame people ignore games because of numerical scores they see instead of actually reading up on games. I feel that as time goes on ZombiU is going to build up fame similar to what happend with the original Darksiders.

#22 Posted by rentfn (1279 posts) -

Great Read. Not sure I want to buy the game but I just put it on the top of my gamefly Q

#23 Edited by GaspoweR (2942 posts) -

Well, there are people who are of the opinion that the game is terrible. Just wanted to point that out and I've yet to try the game out myself and I'm pretty intrigued by it but unfortunately I am of the opinion that the Wiiu is not a worthy purchase at the moment. Kind of a bold choice for a title but a great read nonetheless.

#24 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1560 posts) -

I've never understood the hate for so-called "animation priority." It seems less like animation priority and more like common sense. Taking actions take time, whether swinging a sword, reloading a gun, or crouching. I just don't get it, how else would you expect these things to work?

Online
#25 Posted by fox01313 (5069 posts) -

Not getting a WiiU anytime soon but if I or friends do, definitely getting this game. Great article Patrick.

#26 Posted by JoshyLee (177 posts) -

@gladspooky said:

I don't know when Giant Bomb is going to quit making dumb assumptions about how good/bad a game is supposed to be based on the title. I bet they just assume sequels to good games are going to be just as good as the original, too.

Dude, don't you know a game's quality is based on a few non-game related things like title, when it comes out, and what the advertising is like?

#27 Posted by Daveyo520 (6678 posts) -

I thought this was going to be about Sleeping Dogs.

#28 Posted by PompousDawson (77 posts) -

Best article yet Patrick. Glad I picked this up on eShop as its the most challenging game I've played in awhile.

#29 Posted by Neurotic (632 posts) -

Do the guys you spoke to know that you called the article this? Cos I wonder what they'd feel about that. ZombiU is a dumb name undoubtedly but I don't think it's a solid basis for dismissing a game. For me the mention of the phrase 'Dark Souls with zombies' assured that I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. That and it being on the Wii U, a console I never plan on owning (despite SMT x Fire Emblem's best efforts).

Interesting article though. A nice insight into how the game was made. Makes the game sound marginally more interesting to me and if it can do that then I'm sure it can convince others to pick it up. That's gotta be a good thing for you, right?

#30 Posted by benu302000 (212 posts) -

Fantastic Game, my 2013 GOTY.

#31 Posted by heatDrive88 (2302 posts) -

Those of you still accusing yesterday's article of being 'clickbaiting' or 'hitgrabs' by Patrick is a sad and disgraceful show of ignorance, which really only elevates the further-disconnect of how the general public and business marketers perceive video games and their associated enthusiast communities.

Nice work, fellas. You're never allowed to complain again as to why video games can't be a media taken seriously like other modern media formats.

#32 Posted by Alorithin (125 posts) -

it was one of 2012's best experiences.

Selling 2012 short.

#33 Posted by Vod_Crack (713 posts) -

I was hoping that this was going to be a new video feature on the site or something. I would like to see more!

#34 Edited by BlueWolverine (97 posts) -

This game had potential. But once you figure out that a cricket bat always beats a Zombie Head in rock, cricket , zombie the game loses all tension. It was also easy to figure out the best way to deal with large amounts of zombies, first throw a flair then a Molotov cocktail. The game becomes too easy, thus the game loses the only thing it had going for it.

#35 Edited by VaultDweller13 (99 posts) -

ZombiU was one of the main reasons I bought the WiiU at launch, being a lover of both zombies and video games it made sense. That said, I was incredibly disappointed with ZombiU. For some reason while I'm playing it I just don't have fun. In fact it doesn't really inspire any emotions in me, be they fear, suspense, etc. I don't find the gameplay to be tense at all, and if anything find it very tedious and boring. Being stuck with the same cricket paddle all the time, and having to "wind up" and swing it the same number of times to take down every zombie gets very old very fast. All I can think the whole time is how much I wish the melee could be more like a Condemned or Dead Island. It doesn't feel visceral at all the way it is. It also really grinds my gears when games that claim to be about "survival" give you so few options as how to play the game, such as sticking you with that god damn cricket paddle when you can see all sorts of other impromptu weapons in the environment.

#36 Posted by PresidentOfJellybeans (302 posts) -

Were the load times and boot problems for the WiiU ever fixed? Seems odd to name a single game making the purchase of a system worthwhile, let alone one with such operating problems. Is the game "that" good?

#37 Posted by reichaos (10 posts) -

Interesting article. I was particularly intrigued by the concepts that the developers decided that they couldn't compromise on, and those that they gave up on for the sake of time. I'm now more than lukewarm about the game, thanks for the information!

Also, shouldn't it be "...defend against the incoming horde"?

#38 Posted by MildMolasses (3218 posts) -

@JoshyLee said:

@gladspooky said:

I don't know when Giant Bomb is going to quit making dumb assumptions about how good/bad a game is supposed to be based on the title. I bet they just assume sequels to good games are going to be just as good as the original, too.

Dude, don't you know a game's quality is based on a few non-game related things like title, when it comes out, and what the advertising is like?

Did neither of you read the explanation? Ubisoft has a less than stellar record NIntendo launches. He was coming off the disappointment of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 3, which soured him a little Ubisoft games. Combine that with an uninspired name, which in the grand tradition of shovelware, is horribly generic. If they are going to put so little effort into "creatively" naming their game, I don't think it's an unfair assumption to have low expectations going in. After all, when you hear Wii Party, Wii Play or any other game that has 'Wii' in it, do you immediately think quality?

#39 Posted by killacam (1284 posts) -

I read Patrick articles for the comments.

#40 Posted by Vexxan (4618 posts) -

Interesting article, the day I pick up a Wii U I'll might give this game a go if I can find a cheap copy. Although I still think the name is terrible and off-putting, they should have gone with something that didn't sound so bad.

#41 Posted by Undeadpool (4922 posts) -

I would absolutely love for this to become a recurring feature (even reach back for some bygone games that should have been terrible).

Also, the ultimate MOVIE version of this: Clue.

#42 Edited by ProfessorEss (7309 posts) -

I love the concept but I still don't see the WiiU being worth it for me, especially after trying one out myself. I can appreciate "innovative and interesting" but I feel like these are the words that are always used to describe how Nintendo's new input device is used in the game, and it often sounds to me like it's a soft way of saying they're okay but would probably be better on a controller, or just without them. 
 
I really like the idea, and if I already had a WiiU (or had any interest in getting one) this would be relatively high on my to-do list but I think I'd rather wait for someone to make a better, deeper version of it for a regular console or PC. 
 
...preferably with more than just one choice of melee weapon. 

#43 Posted by MiniPato (2727 posts) -

@ll_Exile_ll said:

I've never understood the hate for so-called "animation priority." It seems less like animation priority and more like common sense. Taking actions take time, whether swinging a sword, reloading a gun, or crouching. I just don't get it, how else would you expect these things to work?

And I hate when the bombcrew talks about Monster Hunter, they always act like the only weapon class in the game is the greatsword. Yeah, it's a 100 pound greatsword that is twice your height, of course it's going to take a couple seconds to wind up and hit! Go use a bowgun, lance, or longsword if it bothers you.

Weapons need an apparent physical weight to them, not just numbered stats like damage and status effects. Games like Monster Hunter and Dark Souls are just slower paced fighting games.

#44 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

@MiniPato said:

@ll_Exile_ll said:

I've never understood the hate for so-called "animation priority." It seems less like animation priority and more like common sense. Taking actions take time, whether swinging a sword, reloading a gun, or crouching. I just don't get it, how else would you expect these things to work?

And I hate when the bombcrew talks about Monster Hunter, they always act like the only weapon class in the game is the greatsword. Yeah, it's a 100 pound greatsword that is twice your height, of course it's going to take a couple seconds to wind up and hit! Go use a bowgun, lance, or longsword if it bothers you.

Weapons need an apparent physical weight to them, not just numbered stats like damage and status effects. Games like Monster Hunter and Dark Souls are just slower paced fighting games.

and this game has turned patrick around on them so assumingly we will get better content from him about dark souls 2/monster hunter whatever

#45 Posted by conmulligan (424 posts) -

I would absolutely adore this game if it didn't have zombies. Still, it's nice to see original IP and new ideas find an audience.

#46 Posted by kkotd (293 posts) -

Me thinks the Patrick hate has turned more into a running gag... Sometimes I love this community.

#47 Posted by mrpandaman (864 posts) -

@ll_Exile_ll said:

I've never understood the hate for so-called "animation priority." It seems less like animation priority and more like common sense. Taking actions take time, whether swinging a sword, reloading a gun, or crouching. I just don't get it, how else would you expect these things to work?

I think it's sometimes the inability to get out of the animation that becomes the problem. The inability to interrupt yourself.

#48 Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles (1700 posts) -

@Imsorrymsjackson said:

Good article Patrick.

Patrick hate commencing in 3,2,1...

#49 Posted by cannonballBAM (601 posts) -

@Daveyo520 said:

I thought this was going to be about Sleeping Dogs.

#50 Posted by PXAbstraction (333 posts) -

Cool article Patrick. I hate horror anything and am not a fan of super hard games either but I bought ZombiU after getting a Wii U for Christmas because the ideas behind it seemed so cool. I'm just about to finish the game (no spoilers but I'm in the "final sequence") and have absolutely loved it, despite the scares and punishing difficulty. It just feels so satisfying when I actually make progress in it and the game really shows the potential of what the Wii U GamePad brings to the table. I do hope DLC is coming, I'd dive into it for sure.

Did they give any kind of hint in your interview as to whether a sequel is coming? I have no idea how well this sold but I'm hoping given the kind of weak visuals that it didn't have a massive budget and didn't have to sell a couple of million to justify a sequel. I would love to see them take the ideas they had with this and be able to fully flesh them out into a more expanded scope.

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