The Demolisher is the largest infected type encountered by the player. Its strengths lies in its ability to break down walls and lift and toss vehicles across far distances. When a Demolisher spots the player, it will charge them. However, the Demolisher is quite slow and can be easily avoided prior to its charge.
The Demolisher is made due to a failed development of the virus. Physically, the Demolisher is big but almost as intelligent as the Biters. Its attacks have longer windup compared to its smaller kind, making for an easier time dodging and even creates opportunity for one to lure the Demolisher's attacks to disperse nearby Biter groups. Also, if a group of infected are chasing the player, with little timing and positioning one can lure them into the Demolisher's car toss attack as the player dodges it.
There is also a special Demolisher in Old Town dubbed Sergeant Deathrow who has a random encounter with 2 toads vs 2-3 friendly survivors and the most recently added, Gas Mask Variant Demolisher, which was added as of November 10th, 2019, and can be found in Old Town as well, sometimes paired with another Demolisher. They have a gas tank on their back that will be set off when hit, much like the Gas Tank variant of the Biters.
In the base game, they only appear in Sector 0, with the exception of the boss battle in Rais' Stadium. In The Following, Demolishers with green military-styled camouflage appear far more commonly and unconstrained by urban environments, making them even greater of a threat.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
In Dying Light 2 Demolishers have received changes in appearance. They no longer look like former soldiers/policemen, but as civilians. On their head you can see the remains of hair. Their lower jaw is similar to those that belong to Volatiles. The right arm is much larger than the left. Their abilities are probably the same as in the previous game.
Freaks of Nature
Two notable Demolishers have been discovered in The Following:
- Demolishers will lose pieces of their armor as they take more damage. It is recommended to let them charge into an obstacle before hitting it. Once it's armor is removed, the Demolisher will be dazed for a short time after charging into objects.
- If a Demolisher can land a charge, arm swing, or concrete chunk it will always result in the player being knocked on the ground for a short period of time in which the player is susceptible to damage from nearby zombies. A direct hit from a charge can also occassionally result in immediate death, no matter how much health you have at the time.
- Thrown melee weapons can also be very effective, one or two equal level weapons can kill it, but on hard mode it could take eight to ten throws to kill the Demolisher depending on the weapon.
- Demolishers are vulnerable to Stasis Field Grenades, so using these can be very effective in taking them down as it renders the Demolishers unable to fight back for a duration of time.
- Alternatively, one can lead a Demolisher to an explosive object, like propane tanks, and cause it to explode. It does take a few explosions to kill it. The Gas Mask Variant of the Demolisher has a gas tank on it's back similar to the Gas Tank variant of the Biters. Hitting the tank can set it off, doing big damage to the Demolisher.
- Using a rifle or ranger hitting the head of the Demolisher can generally kill it in an average of 6—10 shots, if not dramatically weakening it and removing most of its armor; However, using these firearms creates noise that may attract infected such as Virals.
- Using the dodge ability in the agility tree will help when the Demolisher throws projectiles or charges at you.
- Blunt throwing weapons are the safest way to put them down at the cost of a longer battle time. When you stand still to aim and throw the weapon, the Demolisher will charge at you. If you dodge this, you can go pick up your weapon again and repeat this.
- Getting to a vantage point and managing to dodge the chunks of debris should give you a good line of sight to its helmet. After successfully hitting its helmet 2—3 times, scoring headshots on the creature will kill it. This can be helpful for fighting the Freaks of Nature in The Following.
- In The Following, a single head shot from the Compound Crossbow will kill a Demolisher instantly. However given how much movement it creates, it is nearly, if not, impossible to aim for the head when on higher ground and when it is throwing debris, therefore it is advised to move to flat ground. Make sure you have enough distance to avoid a swing from its arms and shoot while it is walking towards you.
- It is best to bring a gold weapon or one of the Korek Machetes and power attack its head. While there is the risk that they will smack you then follow with a charge, this is dodgeable if you are quick enough though depending on how strong you are, i.e how high a legend you are if you are level 10 it will charge 2 times if you dodge and if level 19 and above will charge 3 times at you. When it stops charging hinted by it panting slowly is the time to power hit it right in the head and it should die in 4—6 hits.
- Tackling a Demolisher is pointless, especially if you and the Demolisher are charging at the same time. It is recommended that you never do such as it will result in an immediate death. (Why would you even try that?)
- Using toxic and bleeding damage is effective, in the form of melee weapons, DIY grenades, or arrows and bolts. The DOT, (damage over time) will also stack with each consecutive strike, allowing more damage the more hits you are able to land
- The Advanced Police Rifle (which does 368 Damage) can drop a Demolisher within 6-8 headshots — This does require some initial shots to knock the Demolisher's riot helmet off before delivering the final killing shots to the Demolisher. Do be careful as the Demolisher can still throw rocks at you as this method of effectively sniping the Demolisher works best when on an elevated platform/area.
- The Golden Double-Barrel Shotgun and the Engraved Semi-Automatic Shotgun (both of which do 2550 Damage) can occassionally drop a single Demolisher with one headshot — This does require the player being extremely close enough given pellet spread and should only be used if the player is quick enough in dodging the Demolisher's throw attack or charge attack. Otherwise, the Demolisher can be dropped with two-three shots to the head from further distances.
- DO NOT FISTFIGHT DEMOLISHERS! (Unless your Unarmed Skill is maxed under the Legend Skill Tree. Trust me, it's been done before, multiple times.)
Strategy — Rais' Pit
- If there is too much distance between you and the Demolisher, it will begin to throw chunks of cement or other rocks at the player. However, these can be easily dodged.
- If you get too close, the Demolisher will hit you. Get to a safe distance!
- Once the Demolisher charges, dodge or jump onto one of the shipping containers.
- Always get a spiked burning barrels between Crane and the Demolisher, keep circling it. Eventually you might have to dodge if he gets too close. Sooner or later, the Demolisher will walk into the barrel and cause it to explode, giving you a chance to get in a couple of hits.
- Once the Demolisher is about 2/3 to 1/2 of health, Virals will appear. Hop onto one of the containers and kill them all as they attempt to climb up. Note that the Virals can be hurt when the Demolisher throws rocks at you.
- Virals also appear when the Demolisher is at about 1/3 to 1/4 of health. Use the same tactics.
- There is a Goon's heavy rebar on the top of one of those blue shipping containers. You can throw it at the Demolisher (if you have the skill) and it could kill it in one hit.
- Another tactic is you can use the Demolisher AI against it. If you go up on the crates, use Survivor Sense to watch the Demolisher. When it starts walking around, jump on the container and then just start hitting its head. If it throws the rocks at you, you can always move and unless the Demolisher hits you it wont move. if Virals start coming try to constantly run in a circle, running in this circle jumping on container to container and staying off the ground will make sure the Demolisher doesn't move. As it still throws the rocks it can still hit the Virals when you jump on containers try to take a few swings at the Virals, try to kill some along the way if you can. When all the Virals are dead, go back to the Demolisher and go back to swinging at its head. Use the gas pipes or a piece of Heavy Rebar from Goons to break the helmet then use the arena machete to kill it.
- There are some firecrackers on the top of the containers, use it to distract the Demolisher or the Virals .
- If you are ways away from any spiked barrels (if you have the skill acquired) you can tic-tac up a wall, vault off of it, and attack it while it is dazed from charging into the wall.
- If you are playing New Game plus use Dropkick skill. It can easily remove demolisher's armour and will damage it easily.
- Demolishers appear to wear riot armor, which indicates that they used to be members of law enforcement before the virus outbreak. Additionally, during the quest "The Bunker", a demolisher identified as a police captain by Thabit Erdal confirms this.
- The Demolisher is quite similar to the Ram from Techland's other zombie game Dead Island, as it will charge towards the player and may get stunned crashing into walls, and has a weak spot on its back.
- It is also similar to the Tank from Left 4 Dead, due to its ability to throw concrete and fling cars at the player(s), etc.
- Demolishers used to appear in the Slums map, but were later removed from this area; only to appear in one of the sewer levels, old town, the countryside, the antenna, and three in the Harran Prison.
- In Old Town, Demolishers typically appear in the same areas; normally in small arena-like places with a very small amount of infected within the area.
- The Demolishers are similar to Brutus from the Call of Duty: Black Ops II zombies map, "Mob of the Dead". Both zombies are hulking behemoths dressed in riot gear and both are considered "boss zombies" in their respective games.
- Remember the saying "BBDLH" (Big Boys Don't Like Humans)
- These videos are recorded for hardest difficulty but that doesn't mean it won't work on lower difficulties. If you're playing on lower difficulty it'll be significantly easier for you.
- Demolisher in the story mission The Pit on Nightmare difficulty.
- Demolisher in the story mission The Pit on Nightmare Game + difficulty.