Set in the world of ‘The Walking Dead’, this experience was a live action airsoft game, only with zombies instead of people. At a couple of points, you encounter characters from the series as you battle your way through the zombie hordes.
The make up for the zombies went beyond simple face paint which was impressive, using light prosthetics. They certainly looked the part which made the event more immersive. We found a similar thing with the likeness of the characters that we know from the comic/series although it seemed as though the inspiration was mainly taken from the TV show.
The layout of the building featured blind corners what felt like every ten steps. This ratcheted up the tension as we couldn’t see what we were walking into throughout the entire experience and got ambushed on many occasions as a result.
Unfortunately, quite a lot. We had travelled to Derby from London for this event and were surprised that it ended after twenty mins. And this was after we paid for the top tier experience, guaranteeing us an extra room that the lower tier ticket didn’t. That cost £50 for 600 rounds and the quantity of ammo is important.
The way that the game was structured, the guns held 150 rounds and there were three check points where they gave you a fresh magazine. The other two tiers available provided 150 rounds for £30 or 300 rounds for £40. The £40 tier also gave you entrance to the extra area. Presumably, if you reached the first check point with little or no rounds left, that was that. I can envisage situations where people on the lowest tier could have been playing for 5 mins before running out of ammo and ending their experience. The full experience for us lasted no more than 20 mins.
It also felt very little like a Walking Dead experience. Whilst I was impressed with the likenesses of the characters, our experiences with them were extremely fleeting. We were told at the beginning that we would encounter survivors along the way who could either be trusted or couldn’t and that we were to make our minds up about that and act accordingly. This happened just the one time to us and it wasn’t even a choice that we could make; as we opened the door, the character held up his gun and was about to fire. So one of our team shot him on sight. Maybe there would have been more to it but I can’t blame our teammate for shooting at someone who raises a gun at you without even speaking! But despite this, it was the only time that we (supposedly) had any influence in the game.
Following on from that, the event took place in a disused office building and felt like such. There was nothing Walking Dead about it at all. With a little dressing and some signage they could have made that location feel like the prison or indeed just held it somewhere else that felt more authentically Walking Dead.
This was a terrible experience for the amount of money charged. The company hosting it runs regular zombie events and I imagine, less the crew wearing Walking Dead T-shirts and two actors playing characters from the show, this was identical to those. At the same time, for as long as it lasted, it was pretty fun and there were some cool moments, especially given how claustrophobic the location became at times. Despite this, we cannot recommend it given the price and lack of effort regarding the brand (and this was supposed to be an official event!).
Rating: ** (Out of 5) – Prepare to be disappointed
Ticket Price: £30 – £50 (depending on tier chosen)
Address: Derby Office Complex, 38 Full St, Derby, Derbyshire DE1 3AF