So there's a fairly large database of enemies to know about in almost all of my currently planned games. That's one thing I've kind of always liked is a swarm of enemies of all different kinds generally lead by one very versatile enemy that's harder to get rid of than the cannon fodder. Today I'd like to remind you of the different categories relating to zombies and outbreaks. This due in part to the almost unrelenting comments on the similarities of certain enemies to zombies in the main title I'm working on.
The classic zombies are literally risen from the dead and essentially immortal. These zombies move at a stupid slow pace and have a hunger for brains, chances are if you can walk at a decent pace you can get away so long as you don't sleep in an area that's easy to get to. The one thing about the dead is they never stop and never sleep so be prepared to wake up surrounded. There's no real method to eliminating these pests other than complete and total annihilation, liquid nitrogen, lava, acid, and maybe fire if you think you can escape an army of fiery walkers.
The Skeleton Army is another classic probably dating further back than most other types. These undead minions usually rely heavily on a necromancer of some kind and are vicious as well as thoroughly prepared for war. Usually they wield a weapon and shield of some kind. They do not bleed or have organs to worry about and nothing gets in the way of their objective. If you're facing down this army you're going to need tactics if you hope to survive. The best way to eliminate an individual is to separate the important bones. Remove the skull and keep the torso away from the extremities and you'll likely not have anything to worry about. However because these skeletons like to travel in packs you'll likely want a giant boulder or cannon to simply blow them to smithereens. However if you're lacking resources and trying to be stealthy the best solution is always to take out the necromancer or summoner because if he's still around your fight will never end.
The more recent Infected type which is most popular right now is quick and nimble. These ferocious and very animalistic hordes tend to love scratching and biting and spreading the infection. They generally seem to have a hate for all things living and will stop it nothing to make you suffer like they do. Unlike other types they can be fairly quiet when they want to and are unbelievably fast. If you're not careful you can easily be surrounded with a quickness and even the slightest misstep could get you infected. The important thing to remember is it only takes a drop of blood entering your system to put you out of commission. This means wearing a face mask at all times making sure to cover your mouth nose and eyes, ears if possible, and wearing gloves and boots to keep anything from getting in your nail beds. If you have any open wounds not from the infected, such as a scratch on a nail while escaping, cover that up and keep it protected. Avoid being outside as much as possible and never go out in the rain or dark. When you bunk for the night make sure there's an escape route and that your enemies are likely to only come from one or two locations. The best methods for survival are living in rural areas with large open lines of sight and living with reliable survivors or partners. The best way to take out these infected is a well known shot to the head or less known destruction (generally through fire) of around 70% of the main body or more. The infected seem to have heightened senses so you're dead wrong if you think you're going to sneak past them so don't even try. When facing more than a small handful your best option is always to run preferably along a route in which you have traps set up to take them out or slow them down as you make your getaway. If running isn't an option I hope you're well prepared to take on an army because after the first couple down the rest of the city will be on to you.
There's a few subcategories of the various zombie categories, more specialist mutations and such that occur however the chances are that if you run in to one of these then you were in the wrong place on purpose and you know what you're doing. Therefore I'm moving on to Survivors. Classically a survivor is anyone with just enough luck to survive the first wave of Z-Day or the zombie outbreak. If you're lucky enough to make it this far congratulations you'll probably live a short life so enjoy what you can when you can.
The more recent survivors are the kind that have either skill or were prepared for something else when this hit. The post apocalypse survival freaks are likely to be the largest number of survivors in this category. They're well prepared will all kinds of guns and ammo, and plenty of food and a well fortified shelter in a highly defensible location with clean drinking water. Likely these locations are in a self sufficient city (SSC) or nearby and would be outside nuclear fallout zones including wind pattern adjustments. There are various maps you can find to tell you where radiation would likely spread if a major city were hit and these guys know them by heart. Be careful when making contact and have something to bring to the table as they're just as likely to kill you as they are to help you, and don't even think of approaching if you have any kind of open wound as their paranoia will guarantee your death.
In the case of skill this is generally your public servants that were trained for extreme situations. Your local swat, fire department and a select few EMT's are going to be in this area. EMT's I'm sorry to tell you that you're among the most likely to get nailed first responding to victims and not knowing what's going to happen until after you're already infected. Police and SWAT however are most likely to survive as they tend to shoot first and ask questions later, if you got a crazy person coming at you either you're going to use your training to subdue them and be safe or shoot them and probably be safe unless you get a little blood splatter in the wrong place.
Also skilled and trained is the military which gets a classification all of its own. These survivors are armored to the teeth, highly skilled and trained for combat with all kinds of resources and an almost endless supply of MRE's which while not particularly tasty will keep you alive for the foreseeable future. When you approach them make sure to make it very clear you're not infected. Drive a car slowly or have a white flag and a sign saying you're not a zombie. If at all possible have a bull horn and use it to tell them on your way that you're not infected. They'll likely order you to stop and probably for your own safety considering land mines and other defenses as well as checking to make sure you can understand them. Do as they say and you'll probably be taken care of. You can expect to get training and you'll be expected to help defend the area which all things considered is not unreasonable at all. Women however should be forewarned that because you're most likely to be infected you're going to be rare and in an area filled with hundreds of men you're going to probably turn out like a ragdoll unless you get in tight with the highest ranking officer. You'll also be used to breeding purposes anyway because they'll be thinking on re-populating as quickly as possible. Sadly that's the trade off with going for better equipped military instead of survival fanatics is you're more likely to be used an abused. Before you rant on me for singling out women I'd like to point out that it's simply a matter of psychology. Women are not only more empathetic they have tighter personal boundaries meaning you're likely to allow people to get physically closer than a man in general. These things together mean you're most likely to get up close and personal with an infected before you realize they're infected and by then it's too late.
Next up are the V.I.P.'s or other high value individuals. These people are too important to die. They're likely well protected and not taking on any survivors. This will be any remnants of government, scientists, and people important for rebuilding after the zombies are dealt with. If you stumble across such a colony your bests bet is to walk away unless you fit in this category they're rather shoot you than strain resources on a janitor or take a chance you're infected or insane.
Which brings us to our next survivors the Insane. These are the people that might be responsible for the outbreak and somehow fit in with the infected living among them as a kind of leader. They're extremely deceptive and appear normal and it's almost impossible to pick them out at first glance. Chances are you won't even know they're insane until it's too late. These tend to be loners that appear to have no resources or skills and it's a miracle they've survived for so long. They might help you at first, they might even keep helping you but they enjoy the massacre and could snap at any second if you realize you've got one in your party your best bet is to rely on them as little as possible and always have them clear rooms first because it's better that they be infected than you, chances are they might even enjoy it.
Next up are the Immune. These survivors have been bitten and scratched and spit on puked on drenched in blood and have come out no worse for the wear. They simply can not be infected and because of that they tend to be in extreme zones. They may be a little insane claiming they were chosen by god or they might be considered V.I.P.'s and think of themselves as entitled. If you're grouped with an immune stick around if you can because they're going to save you in more ways than you can count. Be careful about how easily you're accepted into a VIP colony though as you're first in line to be a lab rat for them to test out "vaccines" on.
Heroes exist everywhere and after Z-Day they'll be among the main survivors. I'm not talking about self sacrificing heroes I'm talking about the sniper that saves you from being infected or the random stranger that helps you when you're surrounded. The heroes will be the people you hear about from other survivors about how they've done something great in fighting the horde. If you've got a hero in your party it's your job to keep them alive at all costs, failing to do so could literally mean the end of the human race.
As for what's in my game I'd say that some things fit in those categories but they're more derivatives and weren't intended to be very zombie like when I started out that's just kind of how they ended up. However my game has a moral implication to mindlessly mowing down the horde that may cause players to think twice about shooting innocent zombies that aren't even trying to hurt you. Of course I do have plenty of rage filled mutated that are like the infected that do try to hurt you but the main type is the depressed which are just mindless slow moving people which simply don't care much about anything and as long as you leave them alone they'll leave you alone. They aren't brain dead you could carry on a conversation with one so killing them means you're killing a regular person on the street just because you can. You'll be viewed as a murderer and a psycho if you just keep going after them. My survivors fall under two categories, the originals which are people that haven't died, and the clones which have died and respawned but haven't mutated like the rest. I have a hero, an insane, and a VIP as well with a kind of swat team you'll be joining for the main part of the game. I'll just keep the rest to myself for now though, I hope you find this informative and hope you never have to use it in RL.