The story of the game takes place in 1986 in Seattle after the decimation of society following the outbreak of a virus that reanimates the dead. Randall Wayne is a survivor of the event and has since been separated from his family of his wife, Shannon, and daughter Lydia. Randall had joined a pack of survivors formed of his friend Ben, an officer named Sam and two sisters, Stella and Karla. Randall is seen killing Karla in the beginning of the game due to her being bitten and infected. When the others return and confront him, "Shadows", the term for the undead, struggle to get inside their room. The others are able to get away through a vent but Randall gets stuck in the room and tells them to get to a safe area aptly called the "Safe Point". Randall is able to escape the area alive and begin traversing the dilapidated Seattle world.