A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
ZombiU wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.
In this survival horror game, players are defending themselves from a zombie invasion in London, England. Played from a first-person perspective, you must maim, kill, dismember, and decapitate the undead. While you're a "good guy" against flesh-eating zombies, the game is far too bloody and gory to suggest it has a positive message.
Positive Role Models
You don't know much about the lead character in the game -- in fact, every time you die you take over the body of another survivor -- but you're trying to stay alive in a zombie-infested London. Because there is so much gratuitous violence, blood and gore, any noble efforts to destroy these zombies is overshadowed.
Ease of Play
The game isn't very difficult to play, but when you look at the Wii U's GamePad screen, the zombie action doesn't pause around you -- which adds welcomed tension.
Violence & Scariness
ZombiU is an extremely violent and gory game. To kill the relentless undead, gamers must use a number of weapons -- guns, explosives, cricket bats, and more -- to turn the zombies into bloody stumps. Gamers can also bash in enemies' heads, as well as decapitate and dismember them, from a realistic first-person perspective.
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Strong profanity like "f--k" and "s--t" can be heard in the game, along with words like "bitch" and "hell."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that ZombiU is an extremely violent and gory survival horror game. Sure, it's over-the-top, but players can shoot, stab, blow up, and smash in the heads of zombies. Not only do they die (er, again) but they can be beaten or exploded into a bloody pulp. Enemies can be decapitated or dismembered. There are other gore-filled scenes in the movie sequences. Parents should also know there is strong profanity in the game.
Is It Any Good?
ZombiU isn't bad, but it's not one of the strongest launch titles for the Wii U either. For one, the combat is repetitive and somewhat lackluster. As in other zombie games, you'll use various weapons -- melee and ranged -- to take down the flesh-eating undead before they can infect you. What does add nicely to the tension is using the Wii U GamePad because when you look down and open you inventory on the screen, the action doesn't stop around you. Also, the missions, environments, and puzzles aren't as interesting as other games in this space. At least the multiplayer modes add more excitement, including an Adversarial mode that allows one player to take on the role of "Zombie Master" that spawns enemies from a top-down view on the Nintendo Wii U GamePad, while the second player fights for survival on the big screen in first-person view (with Wii wireless classic controller). Overall, however, fans of zombie lore should wait until this one hits the bargain bins.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.