As we head into 2018, Xbox have announced the Games With Gold line-up for January 2018. From January 1st through to 31st we have The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 3, which will make its debut on Xbox One and will be Xbox One X Enhanced upon release. Then, from Jan 16th to February 15th we have the London based Zombie survival game Zombi.
On the Xbox 360, and of course available on the Xbox One via the Backwards Compatibility program, are Tomb Raider Underworld, which is free from January 1st to 15th, and then Army of Two, from Jan 16th to 31st.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 3 – In this final chapter of the trilogy, you’ll see Borgovia in its darkest state. The civil war may be over, but a strange cult is prophesying the end of the world. Van Helsing will do battle against even more terrifying beasts with an expanded arsenal for six specialized character classes and a more detailed, diverse leveling system. He’s now prepared to face his archenemy in this world of squabbling factions and criminals, but he won’t be alone — Lady Katarina, his ghost companion, is still with him and her story is set to be revealed as well.
Zombi – How long do you think you can survive in the streets of London, surrounded by the infected among the roads and underground canals? If you happen to fall victim to these mindless enemies, you’ll lose all your possessions. Start again as a different survivor and you can fight your way back to recover your stash. Plan well and you may make it out alive.
Tomb Raider Underworld – Dive, climb, fight, and jump your way back into the world of Lara Croft as she travels around the world to uncover the mystery surrounding Thor’s Hammer. You’ll need all of your new combat options and gear to help prevent a forgotten power being unleashed that could destroy civilization.
Army of Two – Combat, camaraderie, and cash. Bring your best buddy (or play with the AI) in this innovative co-op third-person shooter centered around the world of private military enterprise. Earn and spend your money to improve your weapons and increase your lethality as your jobs will take you around the world, from Afghanistan to South Korea, where your team will confront a conspiracy that threatens the entire world.
ZOMBI is headed to store shelves after releasing digitally back in August. The disc version will shuffle in on January 21, 2016 and you can read what we thought of how the title transitioned from Wii U to Xbox One here.
Recently I’ve stepped back into Dying Light’s Harran, and boy do I have the hunger for Zombie flesh – have I turned already? Luckily for me, there’s a new zombie game to satisfy my undead needs. Zombi has arrived on Xbox One, originally releasing on the Amstrad way back in 1986 and more recently as a launch title on the Wii U.
The zombie apocalypse has hit London; an outbreak has engulfed the population turning them into creatures of the undead, but we were warned that this might happen. John Dee predicted the plague, and tried to find a cure, although it has become a mere myth and the Prepper, a mysterious voice who guides survivors through CCTV and radio comms, maintains it doesn’t exist. The Prepper did believe the prophecy, and has prepared safe houses and shortcuts, but are his intentions pure?
You follow his commands blindly, like any good sheep would its shepherd, being herded from one level to another. Unlike recent zombie titles, the world of Zombi is rather confined and linear in its level design – not too dissimilar to many FPS titles – corridors lead to large areas where you must negotiate a problem or set piece, all the while you must tread carefully, even a lone zombie can be a deadly threat and if you’re killed, that’s it! There are no restarts.
Instead you start back at the safe house in control of a new survivor, with your trusty cricket bat in hand and a pistol with limited ammo. Now you must start from scratch, scavenging for more precious supplies. There is a locker in the safe house that you can leave items for new survivors so they aren’t completely under equipped, and your previous character is out there, one of the undead, shuffling the streets with all the equipment you gathered still strapped to their back. Now you must decide if it’s worth the effort to find them, bash their skull in and retrieve what you previously collected – die en route and you lose the items forever. It’s a great “game over” mechanic, and it feels strange killing old you with new you.
Looking through your inventory poses its own problems. The backpack menu fills the screen and the game doesn’t pause, adding an extra level of tension if you’re low on health – you can’t just whip off your backpack to retrieve a medipack. Zombi also demands you manage your limited inventory space carefully and you won’t easily find replacements for your stash, meaning you need to give careful consideration as to whether you use your precious bullets, Molotovs or landmines.
Unlike recent titles in the genre, the zombies are actually a threat. Sure a lone shuffling corpse isn’t too difficult to handle, but three or more can be quite challenging. The key to surviving is to take a steady approach, scout the area, plan your route as best you can and have an escape plan. If you go into Zombi expecting to beat down the undead like in Dead Rising, then think again. You are at a severe disadvantage. You aren’t a hardened military man, or have prior combat experience – you are a normal survivor – pure and simple.
You do have some additional tools at your disposal to increase your chances of survival – the scanner reveals hidden items and passages, and your mini map can send out a ping to reveal nearby movement, although it could just be rats or crows, the ping won’t tell you what is moving. Lifeless bodies that are limp on the floor will have a habit of getting up without warning and won’t show up as a ping, so approach with your bat raised or just knock their heads in to be sure they won’t be making a surprise appearance.
Divide and conquer is a very sensible tactic to employ and the zombies will respond to light and sound, which you can use to your advantage by distracting them with flares or by luring one or two away from a large group with your torch so you can dispose of them easily. The torch also has a high beam so you can peer into the distance, but by using this you will burn the batteries out quicker. Unlike Outlast, you needn’t worry about collecting replacements – the torch recharges in around 30 seconds, although that’s all it could take to be grabbed by a zombie so make sure you don’t lose power when you’re in a dark corner.
While the comical shuffle and groans of the zombies are hardly scary, I did feel rather panic-stricken due to being under equipped and knowing I could easily end up a zombie myself. With this in the back of my mind, chills ran up my spine with every encounter, particularly when I was in dark confined spaces.
There are a handful of firearms and explosives at your disposal, but they are short in supply so you will be relying heavily on your trusty cricket bat, which suffers no degrading, feels weighty and is satisfying to swing at the legions of the undead, who will mostly go down with a few hits. There are some zombies that take quite a battering, especially those with body armour – guns are no good here – exploding zombies and spitters can also be particularly troublesome and should be dropped from distance, so make sure you save some ammo just for their pretty little faces.
Zombi’s XP system is restricted to increasing weapon handling skills, which means losing a character is merely annoying if you’re carrying decent loot rather than a frustration at losing someone you’ve invested heavily in – this is a complete contrast to State of Decay where every death can be painful if you lose someone you’ve poured hours into developing.
Graphically, Zombi is a bit rough around the edges, and I suffered a tiny bit of slow down in places. Shadows have some amusing effects too; in one occasion they were absent with nothing but the shadow of a floating cricket bat! It’s also quite gruesome, with plenty of blood and heads that can be removed or caved in.
Zombi may have some heavy competition, but if you missed out on ZombiU and are a fan of zombie games, then it’s well worth picking up, and at £14.99/$19.99 it’s excellent value. Its atmospheric edge of your seat moments makes it a worthy entry into the Xbox One’s zombie collection, it manages to claw at my love for these games, especially as this time around the undead are actually a threat instead of meat bags for you wade through.
Zombi, formerly ZombiU – a Wii U launch title – is now available to buy on Xbox One, and at £14.99/$19.99/€19.99, it’s an absolute steal. My review will go live later today, having spent last night sneaking around the dimly lit streets of London, it’s a great game that will test even the most experienced zombie player and it’s certainly worth the asking price.
Death is permanent and you aren’t able to wade into a horde and come out the other side unscathed, because of this, it can be pretty unnerving making even a single shuffling zombie a valid threat. Check out the reveal trailer below.
Ubisoft have just announced the development of Zombi, an upgrade of the highly acclaimed survival-horror game.
Originally a Wii U flagship title in 2012, Zombi challenges players to see how long they can survive in a zombie-ridden London.
For the second time in history, the city has been shrouded in a fog of death, as the great plague returns. Leaving thousands dead, or infected by an illness more gruesome than death, this fear-fuelled first person shooter tasks the player to survive in such horrific and chaotic scenarios, armed with only the bug-out bag on their back, containing important items such as first aid kits, tools, maps, and more.
But they must be careful, as when their character dies, they die for good, and they are then in charge of a brand new survivor, and must go hunt for their old, infected character. If they are successful, they then have the opportunity to recover their old bug-out bag, but do they risk the chance of being infected again?
Xbox One zombie hunters will be able to experience the oppressive and intense Zombi, when it releases as a digital download on August 18.
Zombi is also releasing on Playstation 4 and PC on the same day.