Also available on Windows
This is a game that I feel the need to share with the world. Take the following review as a cautionary tale so that you don’t make the same agonizingly painful mistake that I did. This is as much a warning as an actual review. Now I’ve played a lot of video games in my life, and a great number of those have been exceptionally poor quality. This game, however…Chasing Dead for Wii U is, without a doubt or the slightest hyperbole, the worst game I have ever played.
Review was written by Stephen Deck; originally published 4/10/2016 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Let me start with how I came to possess the download for this game. Roughly a month ago, I saw a write up on NintendoLife about it. A horror/sci-fi shooter with zombies and robotic drones and mysterious soldiers that’s exclusive to Wii U? Hell yeah, man, count me in. So I downloaded on Day 1. It was a $30 download, so I figured that I was in for a decent length, decent quality adventure. Dear God, was I mistaken about that. The game is complete shit, and it only took me roughly 4, maybe 4 and a half hours to finish. I also found out that, a few weeks after launch, the eShop price dropped from $30 to $10. #SaltinessIntensifies
The story involves “another Earth” that appears in the sky about 1,000,000 miles away and a lost scout team that was sent to research the mysterious planet. Your guy – a random cybernetic soldier with no real backstory provided – is sent to discover the fate of the scout team and, if possible, rescue any survivors. Then oh no, random zombies…on an airplane. Because apparently, Boeing retrofitted their 747s to be spaceworthy, I guess? You’re never really told why there are zombies, or why mysteriously masked soldiers start shooting at you later, or why flying drones and attack helicopters start shooting at you either. But there are plenty of great games with shit stories. Just look at No More Heroes. What makes this so bad?
The first thing that becomes apparent is that the acting is worse than a high school play. The live-action cut scenes in Chasing Dead makes the early and mid 90s FMV games look like performances by Patrick Stewart and Kevin Spacey. The actors would deviate from the subtitles, at times cutting out entire lines or hastily adding in a skipped part last minute. You can clearly see them looking down at a script to read their lines, and the delivery is less convincing than when my students say “Mr. Deck, I wasn’t cheating, I swear!”
Visually, the game looks like an upscaled PlayStation 2 game. Think back to Resistance: Fall of Man, and that’s roughly how the game’s visuals are. The guns look okay, and your character’s arm doesn’t look bad, but it’s mostly just sloppy textures and uninspired designs. That’s not the biggest complaint I have with the visuals because I don’t really care too much about graphical fidelity in a game. The biggest complaint I have is just…stupid. I honestly have no idea why they did this. The gun models are not even remotely close to what they’re supposed to look like. The AK-47 is clearly an M4. The M4 is clearly an M-16. The MP5 is some M4 variant with binoculars strapped to it. The flamethrower is….I don’t even know, man. It looks like a plasma gun or something. It’s bizarre.
That’s an MP5, apparently.
The game’s biggest sin, by far, is its performance. It’s no secret that the Wii U isn’t a robust piece of hardware when compared to the Playstation 4 or the Xbox One, but it’s not exactly a toaster oven, and this game could probably have been run by the original Xbox. If the game looks like a potato, then you’d expect it to run fairly well, right? Wrong. Super wrong. More wrong than Donald Trump’s creepy crush on his daughter. The game varied from about 5 fps to 20 fps. I’m not kidding. A first-person shooter with a single digit frame rate.
Oh, but if only that were the game’s only performance sin. The game is a broken mess all around. This game is FAR more broken than Sonic Boom BEFORE the 1.2 GB patch. Take this little anecdote, for example. I had a sniper rifle (which had like a 2x zoom – that’s it), so I was like “Hey, I’ll get on the roof of this building to get a better vantage point.” Nope. I fell through the roof. There was no hole or anything in the roof; I just fell through. No problem, I’ll just go out the door. Right? Wrong. The door won’t open. It’s just aesthetic. I had to reload to the previous checkpoint because I couldn’t get out of the damn house. On three separate occasions, the game crashed. I’ve had a few games on my Wii U freeze, forcing me to hard reset the system, but that’s not what happened here. The Wii U was still completely responsive. I could open up the home menu without so much as a stutter. The game, however, had completely crashed, complete with the error message telling me to eject the (non-existent) disc. Three times this happened, and always at the transition between the end of one level and the start of the next but BEFORE it saved my progress, forcing me to redo the 20 minute or so level.
And then there’s the jeep driving. Imagine the Mako from Mass Effect. Now imagine that but 10 times harder to drive. That’s how driving this damn jeep feels. It’s almost completely impossible to drive, but like the Mako, it can drive pretty much straight vertical. So I thought to myself, “I’ll drive up to the top of this little mountain and look around to see if I can find my next objective.” Well, even if the draw distance were more than six inches and allowed that the planet had other ideas. At random times, my jeep’s wheels would get stuck in the rock, and I’d be forced to try to shimmy my way out of a non-existent crack which would usually cause me to spend at least 30 seconds spinning my jeep on its nose until it decided to jump out of the mountain and fall back to the ground on its wheels. Then I would say “Screw it, I’ll walk,” get out of the jeep to go on foot, and my legs would get stuck in the rock. It was bullshit.
There’s also this one boss ripped straight from Attack on Titan that throws tanks at you. He legit throws tanks and jeeps at you. He doesn’t shoot at you. He doesn’t drive a tank. He just throws them at you. From what I’ve heard, the Steam version is better. The Wii U version, however, is just unacceptably bad. Do NOT buy this game. This a complete waste of money. I thought Meme Run or The Letter was the worst game on the Wii U eShop. I was wrong; it’s Chasing Dead.