Left 4 Dead

Run! Free popcorn!

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time lately playing Left 4 Dead on PC. I knew from the beginning that it’d be at least an interesting game, but ever since I tried out the demo I’ve been completely hooked. Smart move, Valve, you just knew that all you needed to do was release a two-map demo and you’d reel everyone in, didn’t you?

Anyhow, I’ve finished all four campaigns several times and I’ve also given the Versus mode some time as well. I wasn’t all too interested in playing Versus as infected to begin with – it just seemed tacked-on, somehow. But playing a couple of rounds of Versus as a Boomer or a Hunter was more than enough to make me almost favor that mode. There’s just something incredibly satisfying about creeping up on another human player and messing with him just when he’s the most vulnerable.

For a game that contains so little content, Left 4 Dead sure makes good use of what it has. I’m very curious to see where Valve goes from here, what added content they’ll provide. While the most obvious features might be new maps, I’d like them to flesh things out on other levels – some new weapons, perhaps some new survivor types (a four-player SWAT squad perhaps) and some new special zombies? Hell, that’d make those four campaigns worth grinding through at least fifty times more! Yup, I’m into it that much!

Also, it’s nice with a coop game that takes its coop so seriously. There are plenty of incentives for teamwork, and the biggest one would be the mere fact that keeping your buddies alive will ensure your own survival as well. Yeah, it’s very difficult to survive without a friend nearby – all it takes is one special zombie (a Hunter or a Smoker) and you could be downed and killed. I don’t think any zombie game has ever conveyed this aspect better, not even Resident Evil or Dead Rising. This is probably the first real zombie game that manages to maintain the mood and the panic of the ideal zombie apocalypse scenario. Great, great stuff!

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