Ubisoft Montpellier seems to have taken inspiration on the difficulty of Demon's/Dark Souls for ZombiU.
ZombiU was playable at Gamescom 2012, and NowGamer managed to get hands-on time with Wii U's first zombie game. And yes, it is hard.
The emphasis here is on dying to earn the necessary knowledge to survive an area. It even becomes a necessity to loot an area to acquire the necessary items before you'll have access to the next, tougher area.