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I don't buy this 2012 hype. Natural disasters my ass, the world will not end through a series of earthquakes and tsunamis…oh no, it will not end via large asteroid while the tune "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith plays in the background as you're cuddling your girl/boyfriend for the last time. And before you start with your own theory, no, it won't be global warming either.
Zombies will be the end of us all. Mankind will fade away like a disease; infected, and eventually overtaken. And NONE of us are truly prepared.
The real-life zombie simulation series Left 4 Dead was put out to prepare us for the upcoming zombie apocalypse, and I am sorry to say that none of us are prepared. I have searched the lobbies with hopes of finding a team willing to take the zombie apocalypse seriously, and alas I have been disappointed. There is too much individualism, too much selfishness, and too much arrogance in today's society for any hope of us surviving the impending zombie armageddon. Why is this, I ask you? Why are people unwilling to accept this truth?
I blame video games. Yes, video games are going to ultimately be the cause of our destruction.
Video games teach the player how to stand on their own, to be an individual amongst many. When was the last time you played as a character that was just a simple "run-of-the-mill" soldier, or survivor. Never. There is usually something "special" about you, something that makes you stand apart from all the other NPCs (non-playable characters) you encounter. And for the most part, in every ambush, YOU are the only survivor. In a zombie apocalypse this is not true. Skill and individualism is not the difference between being eaten by a zombie, and surviving. It is cooperation and communication (if with a party or group), knowing your enemy, calmness and quick thinking if things go south.
After playing Left 4 Dead 2 for how many countless hours, I have come to be afraid for the future of mankind. We are doomed for sure.
But there is hope! There is still time to prepare before the first zombie hits the street! And in the real-life zombie simulators Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, you can get together with people and practice these tactics, tricks and maneuvers.
1 – STICK TOGETHER. You may be armed with an AK-47 that can mow down a group of zombies like swiss cheese, but eventually, that magazine runs out of ammo. And your eyes can only see one way as well, and you unfortunately could be surprised from behind. You need companionship, and a group of partners (preferably three others besides yourself) is the only way to truly survive. Stick together, and realize that your only as strong as the person next to you, and that he/she relies on you as much as you rely on him/her. And there will always be AT LEAST one person that strays from the group, claiming "I want to get through this quickly, it's the only way…" or "You guys suck, you better keep up with me." When you get ambushed, that same crew of three being cautious and sticking together now has to help you when you fall into trouble. And that stalls progress. Same is true for those falling back, or being too slow. If you get left behind, progress will be stalled when you find yourself in trouble, and more often than not that is when the zombies will strike; when you're most vulnerable.
2 – COMMUNICATE. Every now and then, if not constantly, you NEED to be talking to your team; updating your health status, ammo status, knowledge of the area you are in (if you have any), and team tactics when you think you're approaching an ambush. Turn your headset on and start talking, it could mean the difference between life and death. And don't afraid to become a leader and offer suggestions on how to operate, or how to accomplish certain goals. This way, everyone will be on the same page and operate as a team; which, in case you haven't figured out, is the only way to survive.
3 – KNOW YOUR ENEMIES. Witches are the worst. They have the capabilities to knock you down with one hit, and then proceed to tear at your skin like a kid opening a present. What's the best way to take down a Witch? SNEAK BY. It doesn't mean you're a wimp, it means you're smart. Smart, intelligent people make it to the finish line with as much health as possible.
And what happens when you cant, and she reacts to your presence? Run into the open. This goes with many of the special infected you may come across, ESPECIALLY the Tank. Getting ambushed by any of them in a small corridor will bring not only an untimely death for you, but for your teammates as well. Getting them out into the open allows you to maneuver if they begin chase, and allows your other teammates to get into excellent tactical positions to help back you up (see COMMUNICATE for help in this matter) if you are targeted. And keep moving. A stationary target, is a dead target.
And the common infected? Stupid as can be. This is where the opposite falls into play. If you are out of noise makers to attract them to a certain point on the field, then you want to attract them (especially if they come at you in a horde) to a narrow space, where their numbers cannot overwhelm you. You funnel the enemies in, to where they cannot maneuver or flank you, and you chop/shoot away at them until they are all dead.
4 – STAY CALM. Nothing will ever go perfect. The horde WILL overwhelm you, and you WILL get caught with your pants down sometimes. Do not overreact, and do not resort to stupid tactics or start to lose control. STAY CALM. Your itchy trigger finger could get you in trouble if you start shooting wildly, especially if your teammates are nearby to help you; you could kill one of them. If you get overwhelmed, don't run away screaming, stick with your group. 4 vs. 100 is better odds than 1 vs. 100 (not to be confused with the game show!).
5 – THINK QUICKLY. Following these last four steps is the essence to survival, and it is important that when things go south (and they will) that you think quickly. The best way to think quickly: NEVER forget the basics, and NEVER forget your training.
And lastly, always keep an open mind. Thankfully we have zombie simulation software like Left 4 Dead that can train us to combat the inevitable zombie apocalypse. If we fail or die, we must learn from our mistakes. Ask these questions, which I dub the "Four W's of Zombie Survival":
-Why? – Did we get careless? Were our tactics off? Did we move too fast? Were we not aware of our surroundings?
-Where? – Is the area we died a small area, a large area? Outdoors, indoors?
-Whom? – Were we killed by a horde? A special infected (i.e. a Tank, Jockey, etc.)? Our own??
-What? – Were we trying to accomplish an objective?
All in all, I hope this helps anyone who stumbles upon it, and takes it into heavy consideration. Unless we work together, the untimely zombie apocalypse that will occur (in our lifetime maybe??) will kill us all in a very short time. So if you're playing with others who are not following these rules, step up and BE A LEADER. Each group needs a leader, to remind everyone of the five steps I outlines, and to go through the "Four W's" when things fail. If we have more of these, then we can all be confident that the zombie apocalypse will NOT end us all.
It will be fun target practice!