ZombiU walkthrough, Part One: The Safe House
As the game begins and the undead are on the prowl, you take control of a single, lonely survivor. Called into a subway station by a mystery man, you're given little choice but to run. Follow the lighted areas down the stairs, away from the swarming zombies. Take a left into a small room and climb the ladder you find into the ducts. You'll drop down into another room.
Once you're up and about, turn on your flashlight via the game pad (click on it in your hot keys) and wander through the hallways outside, climbing over a barrier of detritus to continue. You'll see zombies down here. Don't worry about alerting them with the flashlight - sprint right past them and through a nearby door. You're now in the Safe House.
(Don't worry if you die during the introduction. You'll skip ahead to the Safe House - with a new survivor - regardless.)
Prepper will chat with you a bit, then tell you to pick up the Prepper Pad on a nearby workbench. Grab it to activate the map on your game pad, then follow the map to the green crosshair in one of the nearby rooms. Turn on the generator, then go back to the main room. Prepper will give you your first big objective: retrieve the Backpack from the previous survivor.
Leave the Safe House and enter the hallways, heading towards the big green crosshair on your map. Inside this room is the previous survivor, stuck in a window. Grab the Cricket Bat and bash him in the head a few times. Hold down ZL to ready the bat, then hit ZR to swing. A few good knocks will cave in his head. After you have the Backpack, Prepper will show you how it works, as well as basic hot keys usage. Put everything in the bag in your hot key positions for now.
Run back to the Safe House and Prepper will give you your first major mission: scanning two CCTV junction boxes near a Supermarket outside. Before going outside, head to the bed in the corner of the Safe House and have a nap to save your game. If you're suffering from injuries, always use a bed before diving into your supplies - you'll refresh your health without wasting precious items.
Leave the Safe House and follow the crosshair upstairs. Prepper will open the security shutters and let you into the second part of the subway station, overlooking a lobby. There are two zombies in the lobby and a lot of bodies up top. You can ignore the zombies for now, but you should get in the habit of smashing the heads of corpses - they occasionally come to life, and you may be able to catch them off-guard if you're already on the offensive.
After Prepper has shown you how to scan the environment and tells you to find a keycard, head to the right side of the upper floor and check the suitcases to find some Handgun Ammo, then go through the door with the warning signs. You'll come out beside two rooms, one of which has a zombie. Hop quietly into the room, flashlight off, to bash its head in from behind. The Cricket Bat will allow you to do this quietly and, better yet, each hit will cause the zombie to reel and pause for a second - more than enough time to line up your next shot. Stay still, stay calm, and wait for it to get close before taking a swing.
Check the body for a drink, then head into the next room over. You'll find Planks on the floor, as well as a Key Card in the filing cabinet. Snag the card and leave the room. Follow the map's directions to a locked door which you can open with the Key Card. Inside you'll find a darkened tunnel leading to a small control room containing some Handgun Ammo and a Large Medipack. Grab both.
Go up the stairs into the back of this room to find a body hanging from the ceiling. Smack it down and check it for some Cake, which will restore your health. (Lovely.) Continue through the darkness to a ladder and take it down to a small room filled with debris. Don't worry about any radar detections you get in this area - they're just rats. Animals set off your radar, too.
Beyond this room you'll find a door labelled 'Exit'. Go through it to find the Supermarket area.
What's wrong with Planks?
You may have noticed that I never suggested you pick up the Planks. There's a good reason for that - they're a waste of space, in most situations. Planks allow you to barricade doors, forcing zombies to break through to get in. You shouldn't be pausing at doors to get away from zombies, and applying Planks makes you to do just that. Save the space in your inventory for more noteworthy items.