ZombiU was a high-profile system exclusive on Wii U's launch day, grabbing a lot of headlines and even having its own hardware bundle in Europe. It's also a survival horror title that we rated rather highly here at Nintendo Life, yet it attracted a broad range of diverse critical opinions in various reviews around the web.
This is a title that does go against a variety of current gaming trends, eschewing frantic zombie-slaying action in favour of careful survival and a permanent death system: it's challenging and every player will lose lives and curse the sky. With such a specific gameplay style and some shortcomings perhaps typical of a console launch title, some early reviews on high profile websites were either critical of the game or, in some notable cases, rather damning in their assessment. One look at the game's Metacritic page is illuminating, an average of 76% underlined by a range of scores from 92% to 45%.
Speaking exclusively to Nintendo Life, ZombiU producer Guillaume Brunier admitted that some early reviews had frustrated the developers, but that the team felt vindicated by the gradual improvement in results as more opinions surfaced:
We were really disappointed with the early US reviews. We are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the experience we created but we did not expect so harsh a feedback. However as more and more journalists and gamers played the game, these opinions proved to be a minority. So right now we’re rather pleased with the overall reception of the game.
Asked whether some may have been frustrated by the survival horror aspect being predominant over FPS action, Braunier argued that "we never hid ourselves", making it clear what kind of experience ZombiU was offering.
Have you played ZombiU? Are you in agreement with those reviewers that were critical, or are you a fan of the game? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned for our full interview with Guillaume Brunier later today.