Tag Archives: dying light

Do you think modifying tools and improvised weapons to make them actual weapons, a la Dying light is possible or practical?

Sort of. I can’t speak to Dying Light specifically. I’m not
a huge fan of zombie focused video games, so I passed on Dying Light. If they
kept up Dead Island’s habit of simply adding elemental effects to weapons by
strapping batteries and cigarette lighters to them; not so much, no. (It’s also
been about five years since I played Dead Island, I might not be correctly remembering
exactly how its crafting system worked.)

When you’re looking at an apocalyptic situation, where there
is no industrial production anymore. It doesn’t matter if this is nuclear,
biological, supernatural Armageddon, or just a crippling economic downturn
resulting in failed states and feral cities. You’re definition of practical is
going to include things that someone in a pre-collapse environment would ignore.

At that point, yes, pulling the blade off a paper cutter, or
grinding a chunk of rebar into a spear is a practical solution to needing a
weapon and not having any other options. It’s not ideal, but it could be the
best option available.

Something that came up with the hardware store post earlier,
but I didn’t really spell it out at the time: Practical is a question of
finding something you can use effectively for combat. The loaded term exists to
distinguish weapons that are intended for combat from ones that are designed as
display pieces, (or martial arts that are focused on combat, as opposed to ones
with other priorities.)

When you’re in a hardware store, practical is just about
filtering good options from bad ones. When you’re in a zombie apocalypse, it’s
about identifying what you can turn into a functional weapon from what you can
scavenge, not a hard rule set before the End of Days.

In that specific context, yes, converting items in your
environment into weapons is a practical option. At that point, the concerns are
more focused on finding objects that can be easily converted with available
resources. Cutting and grinding a sword out of a vintage Buick’s bumper is only
a practical option if you have a vintage Buick, the necessary skills with
metalworking, access to the tools to do the work, and the time to use them.
Failing any of those points, and it’s not a real option.

One minor bugbear for me, and I don’t know if Dying Light
does this, but the entire idea of serrating a blade to increase its
effectiveness. Technically, this has some basis in reality: serrated blades do
more damage to soft tissue. But they are also aggravating to sharpen and hone.
In a modern environment, it’s not a huge consideration, because most people
honestly never bother sharpening their knives at all. But, when you’re actually
maintaining weapons for combat, it’s a more significant consideration.


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