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ZombiU creative director and producer discuss dropped game mechanics

In a recent interview, Florent Sacré, creative and artistic director of ZombiU, and Guillaume Brunier, producer of ZombiU, discussed the launch as well as the subsequent journey their team has had with ZombiU.

Upon release, ZombiU received fairly mediocre reviews. Many criticisms of the game revolved around a lack of action and limited multiplayer. When asked about this, Brunier discussed that the team had considered other gameplay options, but were focused on maintaining the game’s survival horror atmosphere.

“We did, but we ruled it out quickly as we thought we could not deliver it on time,” Brunier said. “How to bring a cooperative experience and still keep fear and tension is a question we would love to address though.”

ZombiU

Survival horror is one of my favorite game genres, and I’m a huge fan of ZombiU. Today, so many survival horror franchises seem to be adding multiplayer and more action elements in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience, even though this often diminishes a large portion of the actual survival horror aspect of the game. I find it admirable that Ubisoft felt strong enough about adhering to that style of gameplay that they didn’t want to risk compromising it, especially with a new IP.

Brunier went on to discuss the the design choice of meta-communication, having the dev team communicate with the players through messages on the walls and floor, as well as tease some information about our zombified bodies that the team has been collecting.

“The team came up with this,” Brunier said. Nintendo was very supportive as it’s close to the Miiverse spirit. We wanted to be able to surprise players by being very close to them. We’re having a lot of fun doing this. And we have many ideas to get this ball rolling. One in particular is about our 300k+ zombified friends stored on our servers. Who knows what we could do with them.”

ZombiU Dev Team Message

At the end of the interview, Brunier added some details of what they would have like to have seen from multiplayer in ZombiU, perhaps this may be something incorporated in a sequel.

“We did not spend a lot of time contemplating online multiplayer as we had other issues to address,” Brunier said.” “In our most exciting dreams, we would like to create an online experience where players never quite know where they stand between coop and player vs. player. Doubt is a great nest for tension and fear.”

What are your thoughts on ZombiU? How do you feel about the state of survival horror games in general, and how ZombiU fits into that category? And, what would you like to see from a sequel?

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  • Zelly Jeffers

    I enjoy it, but it also scares my pants off. The mood of the game is incredible.

  • Lazara the Last

    The game is great! And the graphics is good to be a launch game. I really want’s to turn the game off every time I get scared, but I just keep playing. Until a Zombie kills me, then I rage and play some Mario instead. But overall, it’s a fantastic game. I have never been that happy and scared at the same time before :D
    And the multiplayer is awesome!!

  • RyuNoHadouken

    Best gaming experience ive had in years, hands down!!!!

    • Desiderio Lazaro

      me too

  • Johny

    just finished the game today and i gotta say… it was one my MOST immensive experiences i experienced in games in a LOOONG time. the game is just SO well put together and it really sets the atmosphere brilliantly. its a game that other ‘horror’ survival games should look up to. i say bravo! ubisoft. it was a bald move and some of so called reviewers just obviously werent ready for such game.

  • ConCity Soldier

    I bought ZombiU a couple days ago & this game is sick!!  Online multiplayer & more fighting mechanics would make this game even better. Please do a sequal Ubisoft!!  I love ZombiU.

  • chageeya

    Using permadeath I think would make for a great online “coop” experience.  

    When your avatar dies, it could become a zombie avatar in some other people’s game.  From the zombie avatar’s perspective, it may look like you are encountering wave of humans (other players).  And when a zombie avatar kills a human or “kill” another zombie, it could add to its zombie horde.

  • Andrew Gonzalez

    I’m glade they chose the survival horror atmosphere over just shoot shoot shoot.  The experience I had on zombieU was a unique one and I hope they make another.

  • kevinaaaa

    This game was promoted incorrectly.   They should had made it more clear that it was not a shoot up game.   I watch the expos and at the end of the video didn’t think it was what it turned out to be.

    This explains why at first it got not good reviews but leveled out after, because once people figured out what it was and accepted the type of game and  then have to wait for the right type of person to get the game that likes that type of game.

    It comes down to bad advertisement.

  • angel

    i have rage quit this game so much

  • bxbombers007

    Awesome game!

  • Seth S. Scott

    it has become my all time favorite survival horror game. i only play it at night and i turn off every light in my house. its fuckin intense….and great
     

  • Valsh Lowery

    Its fucking scary!!! I get to scared to play, and that’s why I haven’t finished it. In multiplier I say do what Brunier would have liked to do… I have always wanted to play an open world multiplier game, where it is the players choice whether it is PVP or co-op… kill players when ur low on ammo… or save them and ask for ammo. it opens up more possibilities and would make the game an even better survival horror. Also I would like to see: some player vs environment things like wild dogs, more hazards, more variety in weapons ( if i was trying to survive almost anything would become a weapon) also a few more NPCs wouldn’t hurt. I’m already excited for a sequel and i can’t find the courage to finish the first one.

  • Leland Bixby

    Zombiu is one of the most innovative and immersive gaming experiences I’ve ever had! As much as I love the game I am scared to turn it on sometimes because I don’t want to die and and start over again. I only play this game when I’m alone and with all of the lights off so I can truly experience the fear this game instills. I really hope Ubisoft does a sequel with slightly better graphics and smoother combat, but in the mean time I really look forward to finishing up this one. Happy zombie hunting!

  • Bravyoura

    Damn I was hoping for details on a patch:^(

  • Oblivion

    They need to fix the game breaking bugs. Their official forums are filled with people that can’t finish the game and they won’t even let us know they are working on a patch. Not one single word has been spoken by them about it.

  • Bravyoura

    NOT A TROLL JUST THE OPINION OF A WII U ZOMBI U BUNDLE OWNER:

    I can’t get over how many people are scared of this game when I played through I was never low on ammo or health and the radar/map prevented any surprises. I hate to sound like a graphics whore but the Unreal engine 3 has been around for many years if the game had looked as good as Titles using the engine maybe it would have been scary but the game just looked to bland but on the plus side it still has great level design unfortunatly let down by the engine.

  • Bravyoura

    For the sequel I’d like to see

    The use of Ubisofts Dunia Engine 2 for improved graphics.

    The ability to create your own melee weapons similar to Dead Rising 2.

    The ability to loot a veriety of shops for improv weapons (weights,sports equipment etc),

    Much greater numbers of zombies on screen (12 tops in origonal)

    The inclusion of infected packs of dogs.

    Mini Bosses such as infected zoo animals (elephants, rhinos, tigars, polar bears etc)

    Set the game in the same time period but in differant cities Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham….

    Have the US army step in similar to 28 Weeks Later.

    Have special froces swat teams spread throughout the cities.

    Have a story plot where someone wants to harvest the infected for bio weapons (Resi).

    Etc……..

  • Takarashi282

    I don’t have the game, but the demo scares the crap outta me!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YKQGYOBX73PR3DD3DCURO44HWA Sir Feeny

    The game was mediocre. I could forgive the repetitive combat with the lack of ability to choose how hard or quickly you could hit a zombie, but when you have to hit a zombie over and over and over to kill it and then get more zombies to kill, it gets insanely tedious. Difficulty is one thing, but the redundant gameplay is one of the game’s biggest downfalls. The once dead, always dead concept is good, but it doesn’t seem like they really tried to improve upon it. In a game, when dying you want to just give it another try and move on, not back track ridiculously far with long loading screens in between. The best thing in the game is the item management, keep the useful stuff, throw away the trash, and choose between useful items. The item management and the atmosphere were the only good things about the game honestly. ZombiU isn’t a bad game, but it failed to execute great concepts and ideas.

  • mikeybruises

    This is a very good game.  I like because its different.  The intensity is unmatched among this genre.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jorgealberto.mendozazuniga Jorge Alberto Mendoza Zuniga

    i want a sequel of this game with more action and more terror, this zombie u was a great game for me, a sequel is what  it needs…..and zombie dogs too :D….some demons could give it the touch ,or ghosts maybe