Left 4 dead is a completely new online gaming experience at least it was for me! It’s based around co-operative play where you and up to 3 mates can play as survivors to a deadly virus where you guessed it, everyone who has the virus is a zombie!
You battle through each level against hordes of zombies, in which there is the standard zombie and 5 “special” zombies:
- The hunter zombie that pounces on to its victims and attacks on top of them leaving the survivor at the mercy of his/her team mates.
- The boomer zombie is a fat zombie that can spew on to the survivors at close range, making them partially blind and leaving them to deal with the horde of zombies that are attracted to the sick.
- The smoker zombie has a large frog like tongue that can be used to grab a survivor and pull them to the smoker were he can hit them to death. Again like the hunter the survivor is at the mercy of his/her team mates.
- The tank, and that’s what he is! He has a huge amount of health and strength which make him very dangerous indeed. Depending on the difficulty setting you will only get 1 to 2 tanks per level.
- The witch, she’s a very powerful zombie; if you startle her she will run after you and take you down with one swipe! (hint: turn off your lights!)
There are also 4 survivor characters Zoey a young woman, Bill an old veteran, Louis an office worker and Francis a tough biker.
There are 4 different scenarios with 5 levels in each with a finale at the end of each scenario. The game has 2 different settings “campaign mode” and “versus mode”. Campaign mode is when you play only as survivors and the zombies are computer generated. Sounds boring and repetitive? Well its more exciting than you would think because each time you play a level the spawning of the zombies is randomized and also the game will choose to give you extra health packs or weapons based on how well you are doing in the level.
You start each mission in a safe house which is normally filled with weapons and health packs. The object of each level is to battle through to the next safe house and ultimately get to the finale to get rescued.
Now you can play on single player and the other survivors will be AI bots which actually don’t do that bad of a job, but the downside to playing with bots is that they follow you and won’t take the lead, which is annoying because when you’re hurt you slow a lot! Playing single player is ok, but this feels like practice and to really get into the game you need to play with other humans as this is when the game truly becomes enjoyable. I found myself lmao on a number of occasions.
This is only the start to the fun though as once you play versus mode you just won’t stop laughing. Versus mode is when 4 human survivors play against 4 infected + the normal zombie horde. As infected you can play as smoker, hunter, boomer and tank. When you spawn as infected you are randomly given one of the characters, which I think is fair and sensible of valve. After each level of versus you swap sides and see if the other team can beat your score which you get at the end for things like distance travelled and health bonus.
Versus mode requires a lot of team work because as infected you need to go in as a group otherwise you will just be owned easily, however going in as a group is a lot more effective.
The thing I have found disappointing about versus mode is the overpowered right click “push away” for the survivor as soon as you get ready to pounce as a hunter you make a screaming noise, which makes the survivor spam the right mouse button which knocks the hunter into a daze. This is fine if the survivor actually aims and hits the hunter but I’ve actually experienced it when I’ve attacked the survivor from behind but because they are right mouse spamming I’ve been knocked into a daze this I think is very unfair and shouldn’t be in the game.
Another point I am disappointed with is the lack of damage the smoker does to the survivor. No damage is done to the survivor unless he is pulled all the way to the smoker where he is in close enough range to be melee attacked. This is almost impossible to do.
There is also a large disappoint with the content in the game, with only 4 scenarios which can be done in no time at all and which only 2 scenarios can be played in versus mode. Of course there will be updated with new levels but for now we will have to wait and play the same old levels. Also with only 5 different weapons I think the choice is far too limited.
In general I think Left 4 Dead is a great co-op multiplayer game that is really different from the other games out there. The gameplay I feel is unique and very enjoyable. However there are let downs with the lack of levels and weapons, but these things can easily be solved with updates. I think it’s definitely worth buying if you’re into FPS games and want to try something new.