Dead State zombies are of the "destroy the brain to kill" variety. You don't have targeting, since everyone already knows the rules and focuses on destroying the brain or incapacitating the zombie they are attacking.
In the world of Dead State, the idea of zombies may exist, but widespread saturation of the idea (in popular entertainment) does not. That is, there may have been comics or obscure novels about the dead coming back to life, but there was never any "Night of the Living Dead" type movie to make the concept popular/familiar.
The reason that people know to destroy the brain is because either it was shared with the public before TVs went dead or survivors have passed this knowledge on. And people who didn't figure out how to kill the undead probably didn't survive their encounter with them.
There are no zombie animals, track star zombies, mutant zombies, radioactive zombies, spitting zombies, zombie helicopters, lich kings, etc… They are all the slow, shuffling, stupid type. They respond to noise and sight of the living. They’re not very dangerous in small numbers, but can overwhelm in large packs. Their bites are infectious, and most people will die within three days of being bit.
Zombies are all the same, except for if they are crawling (missing legs), on fire (because you set them on fire), or wearing armor because they died with armor/helmets on.
All zombies have the same stats, regardless of whether they just died or not. Zombies do have other advantages - they don't bleed, they don't take as much damage from firearms, they don't have to breathe, and every single zombie nearby is friendly towards them.
NPCs that turn into a zombie will have their own zombie model. However if you leave the map, it is assumed they wander off and they will not be there if you come back.
When you’re facing the undead in combat the following information will help you understand their limitations and strengths, and hopefully keep your allies or you from getting bit.
- Zombies investigate sound and movement. They can tell you are human merely from sight and intuition, and therefore standing still or trying to act like an undead will not work. Noises just alert them to an area, so try to stay out of sight. If you are seen, they will be much more tenacious.
- If you don’t want to confront them, your best bet is to run. The undead are extremely slow, and almost any human can easily outmaneuver them. They have been known to occasionally get “excited” and lunge at humans that are within a few feet of them, so try to keep your distance.
- The greatest strength of the dead is numbers. They tend to group up when attracted to sound, as loud sounds will bring most zombies in the area to a single point. They will also make noise when they spot humans, drawing more to the area. Either kill individuals with melee weapons to keep the noise down or keep your distance. Be careful not to run straight into a waiting mob.
- If you absolutely must fire guns or take on a mob, make sure you don’t do it in any spot that can easily get you cornered or surrounded. When friends get surrounded, try to clear a path for them through the mob or they will quickly be overwhelmed by the undead.
- The worst thing that can happen in a zombie attack is to be knocked down. If a zombie grapples someone and they are unable to break it off, the zombie will pull their prey down. When humans are prone, zombies do extra damage as it is easier for them to grab at vital areas. Characters that get pulled down in a mob are almost certainly going to be killed or end up infected if they cannot get up before the zombies begin feasting on them.
- Crawling zombies are slow, but are harder to spot. They have also been known to trip up humans as they try to get them on the ground to deliver a bite. Don’t lose track of crawler zombies.
- Using fire on zombies is ultimately lethal to them, but it takes some time for them to fully burn up and while ablaze, they are extremely dangerous. Flaming zombies can cause fire damage in addition to any other damage they inflict. Keep your distance and let the fire slowly destroy them.
- Keep an eye on wounded or downed allies. If a wounded ally has been knocked out, they will be a priority target for zombies. Allies that are KO’d cannot defend themselves. If a zombie attacks them in this state, they will almost certainly be killed or infected.
- Zombie infection isn’t 100%, after one bite or scratch. Most of the time, their attacks do not get through armor, though the bite trauma is still painful enough to cause injury.
- You can buy yourself some time by closing and locking doors. Zombies will attack doors, but will quickly lose interest if they lose audio and visual contact of a human for a short amount of time.
- Be careful around bodies of fallen foes and allies. If they are infected, they will rise from the dead rather quickly. Destroy the head of a corpse before they get up. Zombies are attracted to “fresh meat” so you may also use this to your advantage when trying to delay them.
- There are no such things as fast zombies or puking zombies or anything else outside of the normal shambling corpse. Once you understand how they behave, you should have no problem predicting the behavior of any zombie you encounter.
Zombies prioritize movement by sight than noise. As long as they can see a human, they will go after them. Zombies are attracted to the loudest sounds or the sounds that are within their hearing range. Once they find a live target, they will try to follow it.