When I first heard that Valve, the developers of some of the best FPS, were doing a Co-op game based on “zombie” flicks … I instantly filled with excitement. I started thinking. . . “I’m a huge horror film fan and Left 4 Dead sounds awesome but how much fun will this actually be without getting boring? Only one way to find out…. I’ll give it a shot. Valve hasn’t let me down”
READERS BEWARE…. This game truly requires an ONLINE GOLD account. (Not officially) Without it you may want to re-consider getting Left 4 Dead, even if it does co-op like none before it. THIS GAME IS INTENSE and proves that if ever America reaches an infected apocalypse …..staying alive won’t be easy. (SPLATTERED BRAINS!!!!! BRAINNS!!) Note the title..Left FOUR Dead. The game was designed to be played with four human players, playing four different game characters, all of which have to work and stick together to make it through a “ grind house zombie” movie scenario. No deep storyline here. (Mad lib-ing a plot line is fun and easily done with the wall memos survivors left to be read) Simple enough! The scenarios are great and consist of getting rescued in the end. The enemy design is excellent…each having a strength that when combined can easily take out four human players in 20 seconds flat! Strategy plays a huge role here. Everything is constantly randomized so nothing is ever noticeably consistent in each scene location. (+5 to replay value!) If your worried about not playing with human players….well at least know the AI is very competent of getting you through this.
The graphics engine is dated but still shows off some great character models and lighting. Kudos to Valve for the film grain look.(And controllable film grain option) It really dirties the look up and makes the graphics much less an issue. Sound in this one is HUGE! It’s done much like a film sound scape where minor piano notes twiddle into silence and sharp horn stabs pierce your ears when a horde, surprisingly, attacks from another angle. It pushes the whole grind house thing to greater relevance. Enemy’s have nicely done sound distinction, and the witch & tanks sounds, I promise, you won’t ever forget. The game plays great. Controls are quick and solid. No complaints here. I especially love the turn 180 button. Very helpful. (Should be an option in a lot more FPS games) L4D can truly be labeled a pickup game .. anyone can easily pick a controller up and blast zombies away without needing advanced control options. One button shoots, one elbows zombies off you, one reloads, and one heals/use.
Multiplayer hasn’t disappointed me either. I play with friends…we use team work and kick some butt through the scenarios together. There’s a versus mode also, which allows four other human players to play infected characters. You battle through, only TWO, of the packaged scenarios with a point system.( I’m hoping for DLC SOON VALVE! ) I am surprised that I actually haven’t met many immature gamers on these servers…which is a plus to the whole experience. There really isn’t anything more exhilarating than blowing zombies apart while scrambling toward a buddy that’s got a smoker’s tongue pulling him away to his death. Everyone’s screaming for their lives and trying to take care of each other while keeping their own rears safe. AWESOME! Here’s where the game is tricky. 4 Scenarios and guns is way under par EVEN with the random generation and AI….we really need DLC, quick, if you want to keep the game alive. Free DLC is what I’m hoping but probably wont see. Versus mode needs the two other packaged scenarios playable also. This hurts my opinion in Left4Dead in a major way. If it had 8 scenarios… 4 in versus mode .. 6 guns …. I’d say we’re getting our bang for our buck. BUT it doesn’t… (You gave us The Orange Box Valve…. What gives? )
In closing : I really enjoy playing L4D…a lot! BUT…it, again, is really a pickup game. Playing it consistently for eight hours will have you sleeping bored by hour six. We really need DLC. Everything else about it is top notch! Best co-op experience this year in my opinion. With this all said…. I love it! I don’t have much more than 2 hours to play games a day and when I’m in the mood I can pick this up and not skip a beat with my shotgun. If you are much like me, or your looking for an amazing LIVE co-op experience your going to love this. If you’re a 14 year old sitting around playing halo 3 for 8 plus hours a day…..rent this before you purchase, just to be safe.
Grinded Gears :
- More scenarios. (How about a shopping mall for this holiday season…or a New Years scenario? A cruise ship? How about getting stuck in a hotel lobby and having to scale 100 floors to get to the roof for a helicopter.? The possibilities are ENDLESS!)
- More weapons.
Awesome Honorable Mention :
- Read the walls. They’re very interesting!
(Screenshots taken from Left4Dead411.com)