Back in May, I wrote a post which touched on a study completed by students at the University of Leicester. These clever kids worked out it would take only 100 days for zombies to take over planet Earth, and a mere 300 humans would be left alive and uninfected at the end of this period. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t mind betting that the majority of these people would be gamers.
Why do I say that? We’ve had plenty of experience in dealing with the end of the world in video games so we’re well prepared! As pointed out by James from QTX in his recent review of Dying Light, it’s an ‘excellently crafted opportunity’ to train for the real zombie apocalypse – and it’s games like this which are going to give us the upper edge when all hell breaks loose.
For any non-gamers out there who want to be on the winning team, I suggest you study the following important lessons closely…
Aim for the head – preferably with a gun
Whether you’re slicing them in half with a chainsaw or killing them off one bullet at a time, it’s important to use your weapons effectively and aim for the head. This is a lesson that pretty much any game in the zombie genre will teach you and it’s the key to survival. Make no mistake: the one time you don’t stick to the rule, you’ll fall victim to a fatal bite once your back is turned.
Anything can be used as a weapon
Games such as Dead Rising have taught us that any object can be used as a weapon, including household items such as brooms, kitchenware, furniture and even musical instruments. Remembering this in your time of need can help you stockpile enough defences to secure your fortified house or silently clear an area of ankle-biting reanimated corpses, which leads me on to the next lesson…
It’s better to hide than to fight
The previous two lessons may have been about fighting zombies but if there’s an option to hide from them, then take it. The Last of Us taught gamers the benefit of remaining silent and stealthily removing the infected from your path. Combine this with the tips above and you’ll be able to position yourself carefully for that shiv to the back of the neck once the zombie gets close enough.
People are as much of a threat as zombies
As shown by games such as DayZ, people will do anything to survive – even if that means killing others to loot their supplies in the process. Sure, working together as a team can bring benefits but The Walking Dead proves that groups of people tend to attract more attention and make mistakes; and that invariably means someone is going to die. It seems better to go it alone as much as possible.
Stay out of the cities
To reduce the risk of falling foul of the above, learn from the Resident Evil series and stay out of urban areas as they have the highest density of zombies. Should you find yourself in the middle of town when the apocalypse hits, get out of there as soon as possible; because even if you manage to survive, you’re still at risk of being blown up when the remaining authorities decide to flatten the area with a nuclear weapon. Speaking of which…
It’s always the fault of a pharmaceutical conglomerate
There’s always someone to blame for an undead apocalypse and it’s usually down to a bunch of scientists creating biological weapons and then mistakenly unleashing them. By the time of news of the outbreak reaches you, it’s probably too late to grab your pitchfork and seek revenge so you may as well sit back and wait for the nuclear bomb to obliterate everything. If you choose to try and escape the city however, consider the next lesson.
Killer plants are an effective form of defence
If it wasn’t for Plants vs. Zombies, we’d never know how useful a common plant can be once it has been mutated. Not even zombies with armour (ie traffic cones on their heads) can penetrate a garden filled with strategically-placed pea-shooting flowers. I’ll admit this lesson may seem flimsy at first but think about it: as weapons degrade and ammo depletes, we’ll need to find a renewable source of destructive firepower and killer plants may be the answer.
The zombies just keep on coming
If Call of Duty’s zombie mode has taught us one thing, it’s that the undead never stop coming – ever – and the sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner you can get on with surviving. As long as there are still people living and breathing, there will always be more zombies. Take the lessons above on board, get as far away from everyone else as possible and find a remote place to live out your final years in peace.
There you have it: thanks to video games, we’re more educated than ever about survival during a zombie apocalypse. If there are any lessons I’ve missed, feel free to leave them in the comments below so we have a comprehensive survival guide to use in case of the end of the world. Stay safe out there!
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.