The Z-Sec (Zombie-Security) is a closer recreation of the classic former human, as they carry firearms; Doom 3's civilian zombies do not. Unlike the classic variations, all Z-secs wear black uniforms and armor, possibly in a reference to the classic shotgun guy.
Z-secs were originally Mars City Security guards, perhaps marines assigned to sentry duty, that were possessed and mutated by evil demonic spirits. Other marines that avoided this fate were soon overrun by demonic forces; the player witnessed one marine being strangled to death by a pistol wielding Z-Sec through a communication terminal. In trailers and early in the game, an in-game monitor shows one being possessed by a ghostly skull, which causes his skin to turn white and his eyeballs to explode. Several of the Z-secs have their eye sockets hidden due to their helmet visor, although it is assumed that they have lost their eyes. The visor itself is completely red, probably due to the blood. Despite this, they are still able to "see" the player, possibly due to the hellish spirits controlling them.
There are four types of Z-secs, each with its own distinct characteristics and firearms. These are the Pistol Guard, the Shotgun Guy, The Machinegunner and the Riot Shield Trooper.
Unlike regular zombies, Z-secs do not suffer from slowed movement, and possess the same speed and agility as a normal human soldier. They are also notable for their artificial intelligence (AI), which makes them fight like soldiers. They duck behind objects, lean around or over cover to take shots at the player, and occasionally rush the player's position. When shot, they can sometimes sidestep a single step to attempt to dodge further attacks (this can effectively allow them to dodge a follow-up shotgun blast at close range). However, they do not shoot and move at the same time, leaving them vulnerable to the player's fire when advancing forward from one position to another. They also run noticeably slower than the player does, making them relatively easy to hit when not hiding behind cover.
Like most of Doom 3's monsters, headshots do twice as much damage as regular body shots. Compared to their Classic Doom counterparts, Z-secs are more focused and intelligent, advancing towards and focusing on the player instead of wandering semi-randomly. They also have better aim and are a lot more aggressive, firing more frequently. When alerted, they respond in a radio-distorted voice, perhaps a homage to the Half-Life grunts (government soldiers).
- Pistol guard: Similar to the Zombieman from the Classic Dooms. Bald guy with no helmet and glowing white eyes, armed with a pistol. They have the unique ability to dodge by rolling sideways, and always retaliate with a few pistol shots after a successful dodge. They occasionally fire multiple shots in rapid succession and are generally decent shots, but of all three Z-sec types, these are the ones that are the most likely to miss. They have about half as much health as the other Z-sec types, and take around four pistol bullets to the body to kill. Drops a pistol when killed.
- Shotgun guy: Similar to the Classic Doom shotgun guy, but he wears a helmet and a broken visor, and his eyes are missing. He is about twice as tough as the Pistol Z-Sec, but still reasonably easy to kill. Unlike the player's shotgun, the Z-sec Shotgun Guy's weapon has narrower spread, but it is considerably less powerful than the player's version. Can sometimes rapid-fire at a faster rate than the player. Drops a shotgun when killed.
- Machine gunner: Wears a closed helmet with an intact but blood-spattered visor (obscuring his eyes) and a breather, ultimately covering his entire face. Unlike shotgun Z-secs, instead of rushing the player's position these zombies will often dig in behind cover and aggressively spraying the player's position with bullets. If the player hides behind cover, these Z-secs will suppress them with continuous machine gun fire. Arguably the toughest of the three types. Drops a machine gun when killed.
- Riot shield trooper: The rarest Z-sec type, with only a few being encountered throughout the game. In addition to a pistol, this type carries a large Riot shield and wears a helmet, protecting it from attacks. The shield effectively protects it from anything that hits the shield, and being fully armored himself, he is still fairly tough (similar to the Machine Gunner) when hit where his shield does not protect him. AI is the standard Z-Sec combat tactics. The Pistol sound is just like the player's.
Although Doom 3 Z-Secs serve a cannon fodder role when compared to the game's tougher demonic enemies, they are both comparatively tougher than the classic zombie troops and equipped with better AI, and should not be underestimated.
Using cover is extremely important when fighting these zombies, as their projectiles cannot be dodged by circle strafing. The Machine gun is generally a good basic weapon against these pests and a good tactic is usually to mow them down with concentrated pistol or machinegun fire, switching to the shotgun to finish them off if they rush the player at close range. It is usually a bad idea to use the shotgun right away as the shotgun has short range and the Z-Secs are tough enough to potentially survive anything less than a direct point-blank blast, leaving players vulnerable after the initial shot. A headshot with the shotgun will kill a Z-Sec instantly, however. With a little practice, it is relatively easy to ambush Z-Secs by lurking just behind a corner and killing them with a point-blank shotgun blast when they come around the corner to chase you. If they hide behind cover, grenades are also a viable option.
More powerful weapons like the chaingun and the plasma gun are very effective against Z-Secs but should probably be reserved for tougher monsters or larger crowds of Z-Secs.
- Pistol guard:
The Pistol works well against this type, but the machine gun gets the job done quicker. It is often a good idea to keep a good distance as he is more likely to miss his mark when the player is far away. Due to their low health, the shotgun is also very effective against them even when fired from about a dozen feet away.
- Shotgun guy:
This type should be brought down as quickly as possible, as he is capable of dealing a great deal of damage if left unchecked. Using the machinegun to soften him up at range and then finishing him off when he gets in close is an effective strategy, but caution should be taken only to come out of hiding after he has fired a shot. More powerful weapons should be considered. Running straight at him is definitely not recommended, as you risk yourself to his highly damaging attacks.
Alternatively, hide behind a doorway when available, shotgun at the ready. Wait for him to charge through the door and blast him in the face. This works 99.9% of the time, but be prepared to fire again if for some reason the first shot did not kill him.
- Machine gunner:
Although he fires more than the other types, his bullets are less powerful. Patience is a good tactic, as he tends to pin down the player with prolonged sprays. It is effective to wait for him to come out of hiding, shoot and quickly duck down behind cover before he opens up. It is a bad idea to fire prolonged bursts at him, as he is tough enough to recover swiftly from hits, often enabling him to retaliate swiftly. Machine Gunners do not fire and move at the same time, and so they are vulnerable to return fire when advancing forward towards the player's position.
Alternatively, you can use the same doorway tactic as with the Shotgun Guy. This tactic works better against Machine gunners than Shotgun Guys because even if he survives the first shot, he will take the time to kneel before shooting you, allowing you to get in a finishing shot.
- Riot shield trooper:
This type requires accurate aim and cool nerves as his shield is impenetrable. Keeping one's distance is strongly advised if weaker weapons like the machinegun are used. The best way to dispatch this nasty trooper is to run into him with the Chainsaw (it will damage him even when the shield is hit). Another possibility is to hit him with a grenade or with a rocket.
- The term "Z-Sec" appears on many computer consoles in Doom (2016) within the UAC's facilities, but seems to be used to refer to living human personnel as opposed to zombified versions thereof.
|Monsters from Doom 3|
|Arch-vile | Cacodemon | Cherub | Commando | Demon | Hell knight | Imp | Lost soul | Maggot | Mancubus | Revenant | Tick | Trite | Wraith | Zombie | Z-Sec |
Bosses: Vagary | Guardian of Hell | Sabaoth | Cyberdemon
|Monsters from Resurrection of Evil|
|From Doom 3: Arch-vile | Cacodemon | Cherub | Commando | Demon | Hell knight | Imp | Maggot | Mancubus | Revenant | Tick | Trite | Wraith | Zombie | Z-Sec|
New hellspawn: Bio-Suit Zombie | Bruiser | Forgotten one | Vulgar
New bosses: Helltime Hunter | Berserk Hunter | Invulnerability Hunter | Maledict