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Beasley: I live in South Florida. Plantation to be exact. I'm a teacher much like the beloved Ben Bertolli , 23 years old, and Thanksgiving break makes for a whole lot of free time. Kotaku : How long did it take you to clear survival mode?

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Beasley: My actual run clocked in at 6 hours 59 minutes. All in all, my attempts added together constituted 23 hours and 36 minutes. Beasley: 4 failed attempts were made, finally snagging that gold star on the 5th. I never played Normal mode. I went straight to survivor, and have never tried normal mode.

Kotaku : I assumed you failed a few times.

What was the most painful failed run? Beasley: It's a draw between two: The first my second attempt [involved] the first zombie encountered after exiting the nursery. I hear the groan to my left and turn to see him standing up. Instinctively, I swing the bat in order to keep him on the ground and set him up for a quick finish. Turns out, he was an exploding zombie. This was especially depressing, because I was having a pretty flawless run and had killed a few player zombies that really beefed up my stash.

Beasley: "Turns out I'm not as fast as I thought I was, and didn't clear the blast radius. So I killed myself trying to be a hero. The second heartbreaker fourth attempt came in the arena, during the second wave while the arena is still at it's smallest. I tried to be slick by letting zombies get close, shooting a gas can, and bolting before it exploded, taking out the zeds. Turns out I'm not as fast as I thought I was, and didn't clear the blast radius. So on my next run, after seeing how close I was to being "free and clear," I was really kicking myself.

Beasley: Again, a draw between two.

Nintendo Wii U Zombie U Game Title

As this was run five, I was starting to get cocky about early game moments, and actually used two medpacks fleeing the supermarket. I was trying to use the ol' crawl and bash more on that later and got cornered.

Then, in my attempt to escape to the manhole, the door got stuck loading, so it was myself staring five angry zombies in the face in a narrow hallway with no way out. The door popped, I got out, thoroughly frazzled and with renewed conviction for early game areas.

Beasley: " I was shaking when the encounter was over, knowing that dumb luck in aiming got me through. The second was when I was moving through Buckingham Palace, chasing down the cure in the later moments of the game. A quick hop over some one-way rubble and I was staring two armor zombies and the dead doctor now a turbo-charged red infected through the door. Shotgun out, I blasted away. The bullets ricocheted off the armor while red sprinted up from the rear. Frantically, pulling the trigger and just hoping, I managed to down the red, and smack a helmet off of one of the armors.

I was shaking when the encounter was over, knowing that dumb luck in aiming got me through. Kotaku : Did Survival mode make you a less pleasant person to be around while you were playing? I can imagine thrown controllers not that you should throw the GamePad! Beasley: Not at all. I'm very patient, and dying just made me say, "Oh well, here we go again!

That, and I was driven by the notion that I may get put on the wall if I was first to beat the game.

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The open taunt from Ubisoft [in the game] was so grating to me as a gamer, I had to rise to their challenge. I never really considered giving up, and was always hoping to be fast and efficient enough to be first. I got fifth, but my name was still on the wall :. Beasley: David Fischer, Scientist. I suppose he was in his lab working on how to make even more flavors for Doritos Tacos, and was working so intently that he never noticed that the whole world had gone south until he went outside.

Kotaku : What did you usually keep in your character's backpack? I do not use any other weapons than the initial handgun, scoped carbine, and the M7 shotgun located very near to the scoped carbine location at Tower of London. As London burns to the ground around you, you inhabit a series of survivors from the zombie infection. How many survivors you play as all depends on you. As you take on the role of each survivor, you begin with the cricket bat and a pistol containing six bullets.

This is true no matter how far along in the game you are. How well prepared you are to handle this sort of consequence is entirely up to you, as your safehouse holds a storage box in which you can stash weapons and ammo. Every time you die, all the gear you held remains attached to the now-zombified body of your previous character. You have one chance to kill that zombie and reclaim your goods; if you die in that effort, those supplies are forever lost.

You can replenish these items, as they regenerate in areas you have previously found over time, but to say that losing supplies is a setback is a major understatement. Melee combat is slow and difficult, requiring precise timing and spacing. If you miss a shot, you leave yourself vulnerable to attack for several moments, which is all a zombie needs to kill you. This is the nature of the game. Some zombies take quite a few hits to kill, so if you have to deal with a horde, you are better off advancing and retreating to maximize your chances of success. The game requires you to use the screen on the GamePad for all non-combat tasks, such as inventory management or barricading a door.

When you need to manage your inventory, you have to do so quickly and without error, or you leave yourself helpless against attacks.

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The inventory screen is a bit clunky, but perfectly usable without resorting to the stylus. ZombiU also uses the GamePad as a scanner. Scanning requires that you hold the L button on the GamePad, and use either the right stick or the gyro controls to move around and detect items in the distance. Unlike in games like Metroid Prime, where the story is largely revealed through scanned items, the scanner in ZombiU is mainly used to find ammo and health items.

It can help identify from a distance which zombies are worth looting for supplies, and which are empty-handed. The story is a bit uneventful, unfolding the tale of a prophecy that foretold the zombie apocalypse. The story feels as if it came before idea of multiple player characters was developed, and never tweaked to make the two agree. Regardless, the voice acting is well done, and lends to the realism of the bleak world.

Aside from the cricket bat, your character can use firearms, but they are easy to lose if you die, and ammo is hard to come by. Luckily, you can upgrade all the weapons, and those enhancements survive even when your player character does not. The longer you survive and kill zombies as an individual character, the higher the score attached to that character. This ends up being a fun way to have a high score battle with yourself as you play, and alternatively, a fun way to know how well you were doing after you die. Folks from Miiverse show up in the game as zombies as well, carrying whatever loot they had on them when they died, which is another way to compare character scores and get extra supplies.

The world of ZombiU looks fantastic, for the most part. Some textures blur when you get too close to a sign or a wall, but many areas have incredible detail and are littered with embellishments that make this post-apocalyptic version of London believable.

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One scene in particular subjects you to a thunderstorm, and the weather effects add to the game immensely. The lighting tricks the game employs are very successful, and despite my early misgivings about blurry textures, the more I played of the game, the more impressed I was by how it looked.

Zombi Gameplay Trailer - ZombiU Zombie Game for Xbox One, PS4, PC

The world of ZombiU falls apart around you, and the mood is set early and often. The game contains a few simple local multiplayer modes wherein one player uses the GamePad to deploy zombies, and another player uses the Wii U Pro Controller or Wii Remote and Nunchuk to play as a survivor. One mode has you capturing flags, and another simply asks the survivor to hold out as long as possible in a score attack-like mode that includes leaderboards. Neither mode seemed all that interesting when compared to the single-player campaign, but their inclusion is a nice touch.

Another way in which you can compete for high scores is the Survival mode. There are no continues.

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You are scored based on how long you last and how many zombies you kill, much in the same way that you are scored in the regular campaign on a per-survivor basis. ZombiU seeks to scare the hell out of the player by making their very survival doubtful, and wildly succeeds. This game is stressful, terrifying, bleak, and, in all of that, wonderful.