We all know it's going to happen. Whether it's a virus released by a mad scientist (like there's any other kind, right?), an ill-conceived bio-weapon, or simply the consequence of there being no room left in hell, the dead will walk the earth and mayhem will ensue.
Nomenclature isn't important here, we could be facing zombies, walkers, zeds, infected, or any other brand of undead. What is important is archetypes. All of our data shows that the first enemies we encounter are almost certain to be of the slow, stumbling variety. In small numbers they shouldn't pose too much of a threat, but don't underestimate them. If you find yourself surrounded, try walking up some stairs or entering a different room (thanks, Resident Evil).
The ones to watch are the special types of infected; those who’ve undergone a slightly different mutation that resulted in traits such as increased speed, superhuman strength and/or the ability to spit corrosive goo. Ideally, you'd want to tackle these creatures from a distance, but, given that may not be an option...
Everything is a weapon
If the tragedy at Willamette taught us anything, it's that everyday objects can be used to smash, bash and decapitate. Further entries in the Dead Rising franchise took this premise even further and there's no reason why you shouldn't, too.
You might be unlucky enough to find yourself in a location completely devoid of razor-sharp katanas, though all isn’t lost - with a little tinkering and a lot of duct tape, you can create a weapon capable of cleaving numerous rotters in twain with a single swipe. Provided a little more elbow grease, you might even turn the hardiest of brutes into a chunky paste. Remember that we’re making use of everything, so do make sure to spread some of that viscera on your friends and loved ones to act as camouflage. They'll thank you for it later (much, much later).
Dig in, get comfortable and hope for rescue
Various governments around the world will no doubt be aware of the situation and there's a good-to-fair chance of military involvement, depending on the severity of the crisis.
It could take merely hours for a plan to be executed, or the pandemic could be so widespread that help just isn't coming. There's probably no way of knowing, so your best bet is to find somewhere defensible and reinforce the shit out of it.
Once that's done, you can periodically send out teams to scavenge supplies. Anyone who's spent time with State of Decay (or the sequel) will know it's prudent to set up a garden to grow food, in case you're in it for the long haul. Carrots would be good to start, as they're both nutritious and pointy, and people without a shred of decency can use them to ruin cake for everyone.
We were the monsters all along
By this point, if you’ve followed our steps correctly, you'll have a rundown hellhole to call home and all the tools necessary to defend it. Sturdy barricades and guard towers will keep you and yours separated from all but the most determined of undead hordes. You are safe. That is, until they come.
They could be the army you hoped would restore order, a crazed band of survivors with a penchant for looting and pillaging, or a once-timid Staff Writer who grew sick of following society's rules and now craves sheer chaos...
If whoever comes knocking is armed with weapons more offensive than carrot cake (or actual carrot cake), take that as an immediate sign that they don’t have good intentions. Generally the violence won’t stop until one party has been obliterated, so use everything you’ve learned so far to make sure it's not yours.
Yes, the real monsters are the ones who look just like you and me. Although, probably more like me.
If you've made it this far, you're now equipped with all of the knowledge you'll need to survive a zombie apocalypse. Congratulations! Stay safe out there and sound off below with any of your own survival tips.