In this mode, zombies take greatly reduced damage to anywhere on their bodies except for their heads. They can be killed without having to hit their heads, but this is significantly more difficult.
This mode significantly changes the way the game is played in the following ways:
- Accuracy is far more important - Normally, you could kill a zombie even if you just shot it in the legs. Thanks to the reduced damage to areas excluding the head, the accuracy of your weapons now determines far more than just your "hit/miss" ratio.
- Shotguns lose long-range effectiveness - In line with the above, the shotgun's "Spray and Pray" philosophy on accuracy does not work very well here.
- Explosives become your best friend - Before, using explosives against zombies was overkill. Due to the difficulty of killing zombies in this mode, being able to toss a Hand Grenade at a zombie and know it will die regardless of where the damage is taken, makes these previously "overpowered" weapons the one of choice.
This mode should only be attempted by experienced players who want more difficult gameplay or a George Romero movie experience.
- Hints - Use the Sickle from the Survival Kit as your primary weapon. If your skill is well developed you will kill most Zombies with one hit at the head. For armored Zombies use a Rifle or FAL and point at their head. Your partner should be equipped with an explosive weapon or a Melee weapon. The Hell Slinger is also a good choice. Your best skills should be Blades (Skill) and Long Guns. Before you enter the Docks you should be equipped with a Hunter Compact or M24 Rifle. If you play the Hardcore mode simultaneously it is advisable to use a Kevlar Vest during the game. To be effective it must be taken off and on again as soon as you leave the screen.