News Article

ZombiU Structure "Really Inspired by Metroid"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"Difficult but fair" challenge also a focus

ZombiU is arguably the highest-profile third-party title on Wii U at launch, dominating the system's demo areas at trade shows and even getting its own console bundle in Europe. Despite the occasional bug and glitch, the builds that we've seen are also promising, with a potential level of immersion and challenge that should satisfy enthusiastic gamers.

A major feature in ZombiU will be the sizeable game world, playing into expectations of being in a zombie-infested London. One of the biggest challenges within this environment is ensuring survival, clearly, with the task of finding and hanging onto important items and weapons of paramount importance. In an interview with, ZombiU's associate producer Nicolas Robin explains the principles behind this structure and the Nintendo franchise that inspired it.

And regarding the structure of the world we were really inspired by Metroid. So basically you will gain some abilities or new tools that you will discover in the game. There are very open areas that we show but you are not able to go there. Most of the interaction that the player does with the environments is done with the Wii U GamePad. As we said, to balance the immersion in the game we didn’t want the guy to lockpick the door by pressing a button twenty times. We didn’t want to have just a button or Quick Time Event stuff. We had this huge technology of a touchpad in the middle of the two sticks so we really wanted to use that. So when you want to lockpick a door you really lockpick the door with the Wii U GamePad. When you want to enter a code you really put the code in and if you miss then you put it in a few times. When you want to manage your inventory and backpack you manage it on this side. When you want to loot a box you will loot with your Wii U GamePad and when you want to scan you use it this way.

Another important aspect reinforced by Robin was the level of difficulty, with inspiration unsurprisingly sought from the gruelling Dark Souls and Demon Souls on Xbox 360 and PS3.

Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls inspired our online features and yes, it inspired us more in terms of making the challenge demanding – difficult but fair. And at the end when you achieve the thing you say, “Whew!” This feeling in videogames that we used to have when we were young. In modern videogames we have cool emotions also but we kind of miss sometimes the emotion of, “Okay, I tried many times, it was difficult, but I have a really good memory of that moment that I will tell to the other ones and share with the other ones”, and that’s really what we wanted to communicate with the game. We had this type of conversation around Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls with Mounir. And yes, basically that’s more where Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls inspired us is to make a fair challenge but a difficult one at the end of which the player will say, “Okay, you see the gas station, I shot the flare…” We had a lot of conversations with the playtesters and lots of very memorable moments.

For gamers that complain of modern games being too easy and accommodating, those words are surely music to their ears. ZombiU doesn't need much more hype than it's already received, but it seems that the sources of inspiration are at least strong places to start.

What do you think? Does this interview make you want the game more, or does the possibility of a large game world, tough level of difficulty and being snacked on by zombies seem like too much hard work? Let us know in the comments below.


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User Comments (17)



Kirk said:

Well I look forward to seeing the final game. I really hope it lives up to the hype.



Moshugan said:

What does the third sentence mean?
''And regarding the structure of the world we were really inspired by Metroid. So basically you will gain some abilities or new tools that you will discover in the game. There are very open areas that we show but you are not able to go there.''
Does this mean that you can't ''go there'' until you have the aforementioned abilities and tools, or that they're just for show?
I hate these confusing statements from reps.



ThomasBW84 said:

I think they mean locked gates and that kind of thing, based on what I've played anyway. There are areas when you might need a key/code etc.



Chunky_Droid said:

The first difficulty most people will have with this game is the control scheme, it takes some getting used to.

Once you've mastered the controls, the next difficulty you face is SURVIVING. Man it's a hard game.



MAB said:

I know what this all means... I'm gonna love this freakin' game is what it means



Nintenjoe64 said:

I'm still waiting for a couple of US reviews before I order this one.

It looks great and also looks like it could be a killer app but I still remember Red Steel. To be fair, ign had been talking about how Red Steel was horribly clunky in the build up to wii and besides the odd moan about graphics being dull, not many have complained about the controls for Zombiu...



Xilef said:

Really want to play this but i can't really handle horror that well...



LeVideoGamer said:

It will probably be a good game, but to me it just seems like another generic zombie game. I'm much more excited for things like Rayman Legends and Tekken Tag Tournament 2.



Sir_Deadly said:

I still say that 8th pic is an actual picture they took and says it is from the game lol!!!!



waiko said:

This is the game I want to buy WiiU! ZombiU and WiiU is good for You.



sinalefa said:

It could be interesting. If they want to portray the difficulty of surviving in a world like this, it makes sense that it is tough, so hopefully it is fair. And hopefully that does not limit its appeal and therefore its sales.



Henmii said:

But of course it won't be nearly as good as, lets say, the Metroid prime games! It could still be fun though!

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