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Left 4 Dead

Monday, December 01, 2008
A very good friend gave me a copy of Valve Software's Left 4 Dead over the weekend, and I spent quite a bit of time playing it.

L4D logo

Left 4 Dead is best described as a cooperative multiplayer zomb-pocalypse experience. It puts the player in a zombie survival movie - complete with dramatic music. If there's one thing I'm always up for, it's culling the hordes of the living dead. Four players (any of which can be AI if need be) must fight their way through The Infected to escape the nightmare. To survive, the players must stay together, they must work together, and they must stay alert the whole time.

One of the things that gives this game a high degree of replayability is that, while the physical levels are the same, the placement of the zombies is random - and is adjusted on-the-fly by the game's AI. The game is designed for you to win, but only if you're good. It will do what it has to in order to keep you on the edge of your seat, just barely surviving.

Left 4 Dead screenshot

If I had any complaint about the game thus far it's that some of the special infected boss-type creatures are a little too difficult. While they're fun to encounter (and the music changes when one is close), no amount of planning can take them into account, particularly when you're simply trying to hold a position. I'm sure it will be tweaked by Valve over time, and the complaint is pretty minor.

So here's my take on this: Get Left 4 Dead. It's fun. It is cooperative multiplayer gaming at its best. You won't regret it.



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