The Dead Zone was created in the first days of the Second Outbreak as an attempt to stop the spread of the Mercer Virus. In one of the Blackboxes it was mentioned about the bombing as Operation Damocles, that eventually failed, much to Col Rook's displeasure. There is some speculation that Damocles was a test for Operation Firehawk.
The Dead Zone is completely desolate and uninhabited, giving the zone its name. Near the edge of the Dead Zone, one can see the effects of the bombing run on the buildings in the Dead Zone. The entire area is scorched by flames. There is also a thick haze, however this is the build up of smoke from the flames.
The Dead Zone seems to be controlled by the Artillery Strike Team who will give warning upon approach, and subsequently fire on anyone attempting to enter the Restricted Zone. As James Heller and Alex Mercer have shields, they are the only known individuals capable of withstanding the artillery fire and staying alive when wandering around the area.
- It is possible to enter the Dead Zone without being killed by the Artillery Strike Team. However, once you enter it there is no way of getting out.
- In the cutscene at the beginning of the second game, a news reporter says that a woman was killed in Central Park, which is currently located in the Dead Zone.