Our favorite debut from the 2014 Knotts Berry Farm Halloween Haunt is coming back this year: Special Ops Infected. The interactive laser-tag attraction enlists you in a mission to rescue survivors in a zombie-infested area of the theme park. The giddy feeling of participation is unlike the passive thrills of most other Halloween attractions; the sense of fighting back adds an extra layer of visceral thrills.
This video gives a good idea of what the experience was like last year. For Halloween 2015, expect a longer mission course, infested with twice as many zombies. Fortunately, you will be carrying new weapons that track your health and your zombie kill-count.
Of the differences between 2014 and 2015, creator John Cooke explains, "There’s going to be so many frickin' zombies that I really hope you can hit something; as long as you’re pointing somewhere and pulling the trigger, you should be all right. We did want to add in that sense of urgency and distress, so we added that accountability factor. There are re-spawn checkpoints, so if you get taken out, you can get back in [the game]."
Cooke added that the increased zombie count will provide plenty of targets, even for casual players who might fear that their kills will be stolen by better sharpshooters: "There’s so much going on that everyone gets their fair share," Cooke assured.
Part of the fun of Special Ops Infected is that is solves the problem plaguing so many haunted attractions: Why don't the monsters actually attack you instead of simply pretending to attack you? Because you can shoot them before they reach you! Musing on the appeal of this sort of entertainment, Cook said:
"Interactive attractions are on the rise, and I think we were able to jump on that by doing this crazy huge experience. You shoot a zombie and he drops to the floor – that’s pretty awesome. The other thing is: every great scare comes from a distraction. When you give somebody a laser-tag gun, and they’re looking for things [to shoot], there’s your distraction! We’re able to really deliver the scare!"