Zombi was first released as a launch title for the Nintendo Wii U (ZombiU) in 2012. It’s since been re-released on all the major platforms including Xbox One in 2015.
Zombi is a first-person survival horror set in the city of London, England. In the midst of the zombie apocalypse, the player takes on the role of a random survivor saved by ‘The Prepper’ & taken to an underground bunker.
The story surrounds an ancient prophecy (The Black Prophecy) predicted by John Dee & said to be realised in 2012. Well, lo and behold the prophecy comes true. The Prepper had been part of a secret group called the Ravens of Dee who researched John Dee’s predictions. He had a falling out with them about what the prophecy meant & spent the following months preparing for the end of the world.
Zombies are in town & London is falling. It’s up to you to try & survive while savaging for supplies in what’s left of the city. You’ll get to visit some of London’s famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Brick Lane Market & parts of the tube system.
These locations & more are overrun by zombies & they are a serious threat to your survival. When they attack, they do significant damage & being surrounded by a few of them is guaranteed death. What makes Zombi a bit different to many other survival horror zombie games is that should you die you’ll respawn but in the body of a new survivor.
You’ll reawaken in the safehouse bunker able to continue your quest but with none of the loot the previous survivor was carrying. It is possible to recover their supplies by returning to the location where they fell. They might even be a zombie now!
Dying isn’t actually an issue provided you take your time. The zombies are easy to kill & the game dishes out weapons & ammo at an alarming rate. Good players will quickly realise you can get through the entire game rarely using any firearms. The melee weapons are more than sufficient to bash in the heads of zombies & they’ll happily line up for you too.
The only real risk of dying comes from zombies that carry gas canisters & blow up when struck. They’re few & far between but can be easily dispatched with a well-placed bullet.
The plot of Zombi isn’t exactly thrilling, most of the quests being nothing but fetch items/find people stuff. The locations are interesting especially if you know London well but they are very restrictive & the path is very linear. There really isn’t that much deviation needed other then finding all the CCTV junction boxes (hacking these unlock mini-maps of the area).
The game is very dark & not pretty at all. Your torch is often useless when in sewers & you’ll end up relying on the scanner. The scanner is a tagging tool that you can use to tag zombies, items & doors. It’s really useful to scope out areas as it uses night vision. Frustratingly though, it doesn’t allow the player to move while using it which just adds to overall clunky feeling of the controls.
Zombi isn’t a bad game, far from it. It’s fun with decent length & interesting locations. The survival horror aspect does feel a bit pointless though considering how many items can be scavenged. However the zombies do offer a decent level of threat & that helps put the player on edge.