News Article

Ubisoft's Killer Freaks Evolved From Rabbids

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Then shifted to zombies for a 'serious' tone

When Killer Freaks from Outer Space for Wii U was shown at E3 2011, some may have thought that Ubisoft had produced one of the more intriguing teasers for the system. It was a new IP with strange looking aliens that the player could shoot with impunity: it pushed some buttons.

This year we've learned that ZombiU, itself one of the most interesting titles set for the the Wii U launch period, had evolved from and ultimately replaced Killer Freaks. After some anguished looks amongst the staff on E3 duty and Nintendo Life HQ, we wondered how a shooter with strange looking aliens had become a Zombie-infested survival-horror title. Thankfully, Ubisoft senior vice president of sales and marketing Tony Key has spoken to IGN to explain how the freaks were created, and why they were replaced.

We look at Killer Freaks as more of a tech demo. They came up with this idea. It was an easy execution for them to use the Rabbids technology that they had built to create the Rabbids, the wire frames, to create these very quickly, these little goofy creatures. And they brought it to us as a tech demo for the Wii U saying ‘this is what we can do with the game.’ And we all thought ‘wow, that’s really cool. We should show that to Nintendo.

And before you know it, it’s here at E3 as a way to demonstrate the new system. And as time goes by, we start to see that there’s maybe bigger and better ideas around this actual game design, and these freaks slowly started turning into zombies because zombies are much more compelling than these stupid little rats we had running around, whatever they were.

The team really decided that they wanted to take a more serious tone. And it was going to be hard to do with the baddies that we had designed. It’s the same studio that made Rabbids, and their devs kept looking at it and going ‘these things need to be zombies. All I see is an ugly Rabbid when I look at this thing.

So there you have it, the dream of blasting away strange, ugly rabbids in a Wii U shooter appears to be over. Still, our first impressions of Zombi U suggest that it could be one to watch.


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User Comments (22)



BenAV said:

I figured that they were Rabbids when I first saw them.

I'm happy with how the game's evolved, ZombiU is looking fairly awesome.



Megumi said:

I'd wish they stuck with the aliens instead of zombies....I'm sick of zombies being everywhere....its getting old.



Tim_Slim said:

From what I remember reading about Killer Freaks, the whole game was the, now multiplayer mode, of ZombiiU(?)



Whopper744 said:

...I prefer Aliens over zombies.. Kind of sick of all the zombie popularity. I don't get it.



Alienfish said:

I kinda hope they still have those nasty looking little dudes in the game somewhere, even if it is just an easter egg or something. Maybe they'll be the cause of the outbreak.



Nintendoro said:

I was pretty much excited with Killer Freaks, but ZombiU is looking good too. Hope it'll be as good as it looks



Ryon said:

Rabbids you say? I'd believe that.

even in there cartoony form they scare me.




I was really disappointed when they announced this change since I was really looking forward to Killer Freaks and its goofy alien-ness, weapons, and overall feel that I saw in the debut trailer. Oh well, I'm not going to bash this just because it isn't Killer Freaks. That's IGN's job! What matters is that it's still the same game, even with the new changes. Here's hoping they can include some remnants of Killer Freaks as a bonus feature!



edcomics said:

I have to agree that the zombie thing is worn-out. When is this trend going to die? The Killer Freaks images look more interesting, but now we're getting just another zombie game. It's getting old. No, it got old a long time ago.



Gruntilda said:

Shame, I was actually interested to see how Killer Freaks would have been. Looked interesting and different. But I guess zombies are still "in" these days.



Koos said:

Good. Zombies much better than the ugly rabbids like they say. I agree.



luminalace said:

Honestly I am happy they changed direction and went with ZombieU. My mates cannot appreciate a game unless it's "ahem...mature" and the new direction means most of my friends will be sitting around my Wii U come X-mas!



Urbanhispanic said:

I actually don't mind the change from aliens to zombies as it's shaping up to be very good. Remember, we're getting the Aliens:CM game from Sega and Gearbox so they got us covered there.



Sir_Deadly said:

Even though Aliens were a more original approach for them, everybody knew they used rabbids and i dont think people could take ubisoft seriously in terms of a mature game knowing they were rabbids. I think it was a smart move to make the change so people take the game more seriously.

@BenAV I think its more of a remake to a very old game then a sequel.



theperson said:

This is stupid!
The killer freaks looked like a cool new game with interesting new enemies (despite being rabbids) whereas zombies are just the same old boring thing

what were you thinking Ubi...........................disapointing

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