The start was once again in St Nic’s Market. The finish was in a deserted warehouse somewhere in St Philip’s. Along the way there was a zombie hen party on a bridge (below), bombed-out churches to explore, an attempt to join a commune and plenty of running away from the undead.
2.8 Hours Later is back in Bristol as part of igfest, and it’s back in Bristol for the last time ever. So if you have never played the zombie chase game before, book your tickets before it disappears from our streets forever. Games take place every night this week until Saturday.
Having played before in 2010 and 2011, I had an idea what to expect. But the team behind this city-wide excursion are masters at throwing in surprises and they once again excelled themselves with a brand new game this year, although retaining many of its best elements and still finishing with a bar, burger van and zombie disco.
Imagine watching 28 Days Later or Sean of the Dead, but instead of being a passive viewer, joining the action. You see a zombie in Broadmead, you run. Fast. You meet a vagrant near the cheesegrater bridge, you listen to his every word because his instructions will help lead you to the safe zone.
Get caught by a zombie – most played by volunteers who deserve many thanks for their shuffling around – and you are marked by a UV pen. You can continue playing the game, but you will be found out in the final area and zombified accordingly.
Temple Meads and Brunel’s Old Station, which with the lights off and goodness-knows-what lurking behind pillars, takes on a decidedly spooky air. In what used to be a bank, we followed markers on the floor, only to double back on ourselves.
And in the former cells of an old police station, a trap was laid that my friend Kristan and I only just managed to escape; although his luck ran out when I accidentally closed a heavy door on his face with a zombie right behind us. We then took a wrong turn and stumbled around somewhere we shouldn’t have.
With scares coming thick and fast, from tunnels to stairways, the zombie count last night may not have been as high as it could have been. But as 2.8 Hours Later gets ready to bid farewell to the city that spawned it, this was a typically atmospheric valediction.
2.8 Hours Later will be greatly missed when it’s gone. Watching a zombie movie can’t compete with starring in this unique blockbuster in our own city and it will be intriguing to see what the makers of the game can possibly come up with to replace its thrills and spills, blood, guts and gore.
2.8 Hours Later runs in Bristol until Saturday. Click here for more information.