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Left 4 Dead Impressions

November 23, 2008

Left 4 Dead is a cooperative shooter by Valve which is a new take on the zombie game genre.  Instead of following the tried and true formula developed by the Resident Evil series along with a handful of others, Left 4 Dead emphasizes teamwork and cooperative play with wave after wave of enemies being thrown at you.  How well does this new system work out? Find out in this demo impression.

Story

Based on the demo there isn’t a narrative in the game. You simply play as 1 of 4 survivors and try to survive the undead menace.


Gameplay

The game is a standard first person shooter with a cooperative switch. The demo gives you access to two scenarios in the game. Being a first person shooter you, point, shoot, and the zombies die. This is, of course standard and many of the weapons in the demo are also standard. What isn’t standard is the pure amount of enemies that will come at you from all directions.

There are a number of zombie “species” within the game from the normal type of zombie, to The Boomer. Hunter and more. The normal zombie, known as the Horde is your typical zombie with no real intelligence and will rush at you once your in range. The boomer is a interesting take on the zombie as when you kill it it explodes. If you happen to be too close, not only will you take damage but you will acquire a smell that will trigger a rush of new zombies. Here lies a little problem of logic.

For example you enter a room, clear it out and leave, however before you know it zombies will start rushing in from behind you from the room that you just cleared. It is a little strange but adds in to stress of never knowing when/where a zombie will come from, just wish it made more sense logically.

Speaking of rushing zombies when the Horde does start coming at you expect to be surrounded and confused. Your teammates will help you however it can be easy to get surrounded by zombies and start to panic. This really brings the apocalyptic no help feeling most zombie games/movies/books/what have you aim for.
Graphics/Audio

Left 4 Dead uses valve’s source engine, which was made famous by Half life 2……4 years ago. Don’t get me wrong the game is easy on the eyes, but valve didn’t really push their engine. That said the environments look great and the lightning perfectly suits the tone of the game. The audio is equally well done.

Conclusion

The Left 4 Dead demo gave me an overall good experience with the game. Similar to games like Warhawk and Socom who are multiplayer only focus, the shine of the game comes with the online aspect (Left 4 dead does have a single player). If you like playing with others I can recommend the game, if not, maybe find a different game.

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