When you die in ZombiU, and you will die, you take control of a new survivor. Your new survivor is just that, new and with none of the cool stuff the guy who just died had. You will have to go hunt down the now zombified corpse of your predecessor to get the backpack. Except for the name and face, there really aren’t any differences between your incarnations. There are a few cots that serve as save points but they are few and far between. This means that there is also quite a bit of backtracking, so much so that you might decide that dying is a better alternative.
Zombie U also features a local multiplayer option for those who have a Pro controller or a Wiimote and Nunchuk. It is pretty limited and without the online capability many will never have an opportunity to try it out. The way it works is that the player with the GamePad is a zombie overlord who can see where the second player is and place zombies to obstruct his progress. Not quite a zombie version of Tower Defense, the zombie king is also trying to achieve objectives and if you can find a second player, there is some fun to be had.
Having played through a handful of Wii U games, I find that ZombieU makes the best use of the GamePad. I must confess that I am a huge fan of the original Resident Evil games and the number of games that copied them on the Dreamcast. For that reason I may be a bit more forgiving of survival horror games, but despite a couple of technical issues, ZombieU is an immersive experience. There’s no great narrative and the game can be tedious, but if you were really in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, how much fun would you really have? ZombieU isn’t easy and doesn’t give you any really great abilities – your handheld scanner and the prepper are the only legs up you get. Games like Deer Hunter don’t give you suitcase nukes or let you get 50 hit combos and neither does ZombieU.
ZombiU is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language.