Top Ten: Games to Play This Halloween

Come read how to get all the scares without the legwork and face paint!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 10/29/2013 09:00 2 Comments     ShareThis

Triforce Pumpkin masthead

5) ZombiU

Play it on: Wii U

On the surface, ZombiU doesn’t seem to be all that different from other survival-horror games. Zombies, a post-apocalyptic setting, scrounging for supplies, a foreboding atmosphere, and a weary survivor to brave it all alone. While that’s often enough to foster a satisfying video game experience, what makes ZombiU special is that when said lone survivor dies, he’s dead for good. This perma-death feature adds a different sort of stress to exploring the surroundings, as all of the player’s inventory of weapons will be lost if they die. Making things evens more interesting, that original lead becomes a zombie that the player must then find and kill with their new survivor in order to recover their lost items. As a result of this ingenious play mechanic, ZombiU leaves the player in a state of perpetual vigilance, as avoiding death takes on a whole new level of importance.

ZombiU‘s first-person perspective also inspired some cool implementations of the GamePad. Some uses are fairly pedestrian, like item management and easy map viewing. Where the GamePad really shines is when it’s used to scan the environment, pick locks, and break down barricades. While those actions might not seem particularly groundbreaking, what makes them memorable is how the player’s survivor remains vulnerable during these interactions. This makes the simple task of picking a lock much more taxing knowing there’s no reprieve when a couple of zombies are in hot pursuit. The story is fairly predictable, and combat can be floaty, but ZombiU crafts a nearly unparalleled sense of place and danger that will have you going for the lights in a flurry of dropped candies.

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