'ZombiU' lets players leave clues behind for other gamers

Online players of the Wii U's ZombieU will be able to leave and read warnings and clues left by other gamers, the developers told Polygon today.

Online players of the Wii U's ZombiU will be able to leave and read warnings and clues left by other gamers, the developers told Polygon today.

During a demonstration of the game at Gamescom, a Ubisoft Montpellier developer explained how the in-game messaging system would work.

In ZombiU, players take on the role of a series of survivors of a zombie apocalypse in London. The game's use of the Wii U and its oversized, touchscreen gamepad tweaks the way the first-person shooter handles. Instead of using the controller to just move and shoot, players can also use the gamepad's screen to scan a room, holding it up in front of the television while pressing a button and examining the area.

Today, the developers showed how the bioscanner ability can be used to discover messages left by other gamers.

Scanning an area doesn't just highlight infected bodies, weapons, ammo and loot, but now also shows these messages scrawled on the floors and walls.

The messages won't include written notes, but rather symbols. So a player might be able to use a symbol of a weapon and a zombie to explain where a threat is, or a simple arrow pointing in the direction of a hidden door.

In my time with the game this week, I maneuvered a survivor through Buckingham Palace, stopping occasionally to sweep a room for items, threats and, now, messages.

The first I found was an arrow pointing to what appeared to be a bookcase in what I thought was a dead end room.

Once I walked further into the room, I realized that one of the bookcases was pulled away from the wall. Behind it was a small room with some ammo.

The scanner later located an envelope for me with a number code I would need to escape the palace. As I made my way out of the palace, I stumbled upon a room filled with zombies, including two new ones.

One was a zombie called a spitter, that spit some sort of damaging fluid at players. The other was an Irish Guard zombie, who was dressed in military fatigues and equipped with a ballistic helmet. The helmet prevented easy, quick headshot kills.

I continue to be impressed with ZombiU, not just with the game and its ability to genuinely startle and chill me, but with the potential of Nintendo's upcoming Wii U.

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