Friday, June 22, 2012

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead doesn't really have a story behind it other than it's more or less the end of the world and most of civilization are flesh-eating mindless zombies. Instead of a story mode or campaign,the game features four separate Scenarios that act as movies in a zombie-movie parody that works very well in the game. If killing zombies is your thing, check out some great deals.

Left 4 Dead Gameplay

The gameplay in Left 4 Dead is fast and furious. Players will need quick, twitch reflexes and must be able to keep their heads under pressure. And you'll be under some strain, especially on the harder difficulties. Players must utilize an arsenal of weapons ranging from pistols to shotguns, sub machine guns, and assault rifles to pump zombies full of lead. Add a variety of fun items such as Molotov's and pipe bombs and Left 4 Dead is a zombie-killing game with a surprising amount of strategy and precision. For example, if you have a pipe bomb and your bud alerts a sudden horde of zombies, you simply throw the pipe bomb and the zombies are attracted to the oh so tempting flashing lights and beeping sounds, never suspecting they're about to be blasted into a million pieces. Not to mention your clumsy buddy now owes you big time for saving him. And this leads me to a more in-depth explanation of the cooperative elements of the game.

Left 4 Dead Intro

Left 4 Dead Co Op

If there is any reason to play Left 4 Dead, it's for the co op play. You and three other players can team up to play through the 4 scenarios. So what's the big deal? There's plenty of games that have co op. But few games have accomplished such an intuitive method in which cooperative integrates into the game mechanics and overall gameplay. For starters, this is not a game that can be one alone, especially on hard difficulties. Certain "Special" infected have various means of paralyzing and incapacitating a player, rendering him or her helpless and at the mercy of their fellow players. This creates not only a need for teamwork, but it's something that is downright necessary. If a hunter leaps onto an unsuspecting or unprepared player and begins slashing him to pieces, the other players must either knock the Hunter off or kill it. Each character has only so much health and if nothing is done, obviously the player being attacked will die. There are even points where a player may be incapacitated after losing all of his or her base health and other players must help him or her back to their feet before they die. This creates a fun and immensely suspenseful game where a weak link on the team could spell disaster.

Left 4 Dead Director

In Left 4 Dead, there is something known as the "Director" system. Recall, I stated that the game is kind of a spoof on zombie games and the game itself is played played like a movie, an interactive one where you control the people. Let's see 3D compare with that. Put simply, the "Director" throws in the twists and turns, trying to thwart the players from reaching the safehouse. Don't worry, while the Director spices things up a bit in randomizing where the Infected are located, which Special Infected are around the next corner just waiting to drag a player into the dark, and where items to aid the players are located, it does tailor how hard the events are based on the players' performance. Another fun aspect is that at the end of each level the players are ranked for certain aptitudes such as most kills, most infected killed, most damage taken or most melee, who killed the dreaded Tank or Witch (I won't spoil what those are here, if you want to know, play the game. The first time, especially if it hasn't been spoiled by watching a game review or let's play, etc, is.... memorable. At least it was for me. In a couple words, adrenalin rush.

Left 4 Dead Gameplay

Left 4 Dead Versus Mode

The multiplayer in Left 4 Dead is superb. In actuality, I could include multiplayer with co op as it's esentially the same thing. What I'll concentrate on is Versus mode in which one team plays the senario while the second team plays as the various Special Infected. This mode is addictive and really fun to play. The best part is, the team playing as the Survivors in the first round will then play sa the Infected, so each team has a chance to make it through the level and receive points for their time depending on how far they get in the level. Make it all the way through and you obviouslly receive full points. Play through all four levels of the senario, and the team with the most points wins. And while it is perhaps a bit more easy to play as the survivors provided you end up with a competent team, playing as the infected is a refreshing change of pace.My personal favorites are the Boomer and the Hunter. Hunt the Survivors down as a Boomer, throw up on em, and watch as the hordes of zombies, who are attracted to the delicious zombie-puke, swarm the survivors and beat them down. Or, pick them off one at a time as a hunter, tack em to the ground, and thrash the life out of them.

Left 4 Dead Mistakes

And now for the bad. Left 4 Dead does just about everything right with a few exceptions. The AI surprisingly competent, often saving you when a Special Infected gets the jump on you or tossing your some meds or patching up those scrapes and bruises with a medpack. However, there are times when they don't always do what you'd want or prioritize their actions in the most efficient way. While the Director changes things up a bit, the Infected will generally appear in the same place more or less, veterans will simply grab a shotgun and race through the level to get the most kills. There are times when you'll end up with a team of players who.... let's just say they aren't team players in a game that promotes and requires the players to have each other's backs. They won't help you when you need it, or patch you up, even if only to return the favor is you saved their sorry rear end earlier. Fortunatley, if a player is acting up constantly, whether it's because he never helps or tries to mess up the team by shooting them or using items to bring them down, the players can put kick him off the game by putting it to a vote. While the atmosphere is what you would expect from a zombie game, the graphics could be better. and finally, as fun as the game is, and you will be playing hour after hour with your friends, it is a short game with only four scenarios.

Left 4 Dead: Four Guys Curing the Infection One Bullet at a Time

Left 4 Dead Final Verdict

For some of the most entertaining game mechanics I've played in a game, the team work emphasis and refreshing gameplay, as well as a unique take on an overrun genre, Left 4 Dead earns a Solid 8 out of 10 and could have easily been a 9 out of 10 were it not for some of its shortcomings listed mentioned above.

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1 comment:

  1. Surviving a zombie Apocalypse rule number uno. Leave a comment and tell everyone what you think! Your opinion matters!