Terrified teams have been sprinting around the streets of Leeds this week trying to escape the clutches of a ravenous legion of zombies.
The 2.8 Hours Later urban chase game returned on Thursday for the third year in a row, with intrepid runners pitting their wits against the walking dead at some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
The game, which was also played last night and will continue this evening, sees local volunteers dressed up as zombies pursuing players around the game zone.
On Thursday, the YEP was given exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the preparations for the game as we chatted to volunteers, actors and organisers of what is fast becoming one of the country’s hottest entertainment experiences.
James Wheale, assistant director for game organisers Slingshot, told the YEP that this year’s game was bigger and better than ever.
He said: “The idea is to make it as realistic as possible – we want it to feel real and I think that’s something we achieve.
“This year the game is called Asylum and it’s set four years after the first outbreak.
“The government has regained control and the cities are established as safe zones. That’s a new dimension for players because you now have this corrupt government to contend with. But it’s also a social commentary about issues like immigration and the government cuts.”
This week’s zombies have all been trained up at Slingshot’s z-school, where they are taught how to move and shuffle like one of the undead.
They have been put through their paces by Alex Noble, 25, from Wetherby, who has been dubbed “king of the zombies” thanks to his authentic acting skills.
He was recruited by the company after they spotted him playing one of the games.
He said: “On the night, I’m out there chasing people and scaring them. It’s an incredible experience and people keep coming back because they’re here and happy and having such a good time.”
The responsibilty for making the zombies look as scary as possible lies with a team of make-up artists, who took over part of the Park Plaza Hotel on City Square this week.
Among those being made up was actress Karene Ambler, 46, who lives in Bramhope.
Karene has already appeared in a number of movies and couldn’t resist the lure of 2.8 Hours Later.
She said: “I tried to get in last year but I couldn’t make it so I tried again this year. I’ve already played a zombie in a few low budget films and this looked like really good fun.”
For more details about the event and future dates, visit 8hourslater.com