To The Death! | Video Games

To The Death! (Round Two, Match Three)

As usual, when our To The Death! match-ups seem a little one-sided, we make some drastic adjustments in the third match. This time, it’s a hardware upgrade for our Metro Cops.

Say hello to my little friend, the submachine gun, or SMG. With a 45-round magazine, it allows for a high rate of fire with only the occasional pause for reloading, which is good because the cops aren’t the most accurate shooters. In fact, they couldn’t hit Xen if they fell through a Volatile Resonance Cascade Tridimensional Entanglement Portal! Am I right, guys? Ha ha! Ah, but I tease the cops.

Anyway. We’ve also taken out a few of the explosive barrels. Look, they’re fun, but they keep ending the matches a bit too quickly. To compensate, I’ve opened up the gaps between junked cars a bit, to allow the zombies some easier access.

Okay, time for the To The Death rallying cry! Everybody:

Things begin the way they usually do. The zombies snarl, knock crates and barrels around, and the cops empty their weapons into everything but the zombies. One zombie pushes through the gap and is felled by gunfire. And then…

The zombies seem to have come up with a new strategy. As a second of their number falls in a hail of semi-accurate gunfire, the zombies begin stalking away from the match!

Is this a forfeit? Are they throwing in the blood-soaked towel?

Or could this be that elusive entity they call Artificial Intelligence? There is, after all, a side-door to this chamber, and several zombies appear the be headed in that direction. We could be witnessing a brilliant move by the zombie team. Realizing that the situation is no longer in their favor, they appear to be adapting and trying new tactics!

Still, artificial intelligence isn’t limited to alien-controlled animated corpses. Alien-controlled police officers have their own reserves to draw on. One cop has sensed the scheme, and pulled back, opening fire from the side-door. Clever.

On the other hand, he still can’t shoot worth a damn, so the zombies slowly, but surely, close the distance.

He drops one, falls back a few steps while changing clips, and opens fire at point blank range.

Our brave patrolman manages to fell another two zombies just moments before he takes a claw to the throat and folds up like a cheap card table. Still, at least five zombies are out of the match, with two cops still in fine health.

The other two cops have been distracted this entire time by a couple zombies lurching around the front door, but finally notice that one of their own has been cut down. One cop opens fire through the gap in the barricades.

He shreds one zombie who has staggered forwards, swiping insistently at a crate he apparently blames for his condition, but makes no move to push through the gap at the cop.

Meanwhile, um… certain zombies have taken it upon themselves to explore the rest of the map. We don’t know what they’re looking for… some sort of tactical advantage, perhaps some weapons of their own, or maybe they just aren’t interested in fighting today. Who truly understands the mind of a zombie?

Or, for that matter, the mind of a metro cop? This one is standing safely behind the barricade, doing nothing of value. This match… this match could take a while.

The cameraman has gotten instructions from the booth, and takes out his ‘remover tool’, which he points at the barricade that has slowed this match to a crawl. Moments later, we’re back in business!

With the barricade gone, the two cops take out a handful of zombies, though the headcrabs don’t take this lying down. They detach from their floppy corpses and leap into the fray. Meanwhile, some of the zombie stragglers make their way back toward the side door, where one of the cops waits to greet them.

He drops one, but its headcrab owner makes a flying leap, doing some damage to the cop, who calls frantically for back-up. (Really, he actually called for back-up, shouting “Officer needs assistance!” or something similar. I dig it when they do that.)

The next few hours just whizz by, with the cops shooting from the safety of the doorway at distant, wandering zombies, who eventually, one at a time, lumber over to the door. Eventually, one actually makes it all the way there, and slaughters the cop.

We’re down to one cop, two zombies, and a headcrab that is scuttling around, oh, Lord only knows where. Miles from the action, at any rate. A few more days pass. The seasons change. Universes are born, grow, collapse and return to cosmic dust. And the last cop manages to eventually bring down the remaining two zombies.

So, now it’s Cop vs. Headcrab in a battle to the hopefully eventual win! The excitement of this duel is simply…

… it’s, uh… Well. This could quite literally take weeks. The heaccrab is walking around in circles, oblivious to the distant gunfire, and the cop has about as good a chance of hitting his tiny target as Eli Vance has of growing his leg back. Am I right? Ha ha! Ah, I kid the one-legged Eli Vance.

Finally, the headcrab draws near. (With only a little luring by the cameraman, who briefly turned off ‘notarget’. Hey, we have better things to do than watch two enemies slowly creep around at opposite ends of the map. This ain’t Counter-Strike, you know.)

And, huzzah! The cop finally manages to sink a bullet into something fleshy, and the match is over!

Well, despite the length of the match, we got to see some proactive thinking by both the zombies and the cops, which almost offsets the fact that it took six years for them to finally kill each other. Next time, we might have to confine the contestants to a smaller arena, impose a time limit, or just involve some more bloodthirsty, determined combatants. Until next time, aim for the head!