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Thread: Left 4 Dead Preview from i35

  1. #1
    Shreyk ArmadonRK's Avatar
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    May 2004

    Left 4 Dead Preview from i35

    Let me start by saying that Left 4 Dead never sold me on the zombie premise. Very little about zombies ever actually intrigues me, and I find 90% of zombie movies and games are generic and pretty awful. So coming into Left 4 Dead I was really looking for Valve's signature touch on the gameplay to pull me in.

    I was not disappointed.

    A brief 15 minutes into the XBox 360 version I knew I was going to buy this game. There are four demo boxes running here, all networked together and playing a single game, and as far as I can tell you can only play as Survivors at the moment.

    Getting into it I had no clue what I was doing. My strategy involved shooting the zombies while the other players handled revives and medical and explosive ordinance. The game allowed for me to run and gun while my teammates picked up the slack in other areas, so it seems to me to be very newbie-friendly.
    The zombies themselves are pretty run-of-the-mill: undead looking and running around madly cannibalizing everything in sight. It's pretty basic FPS to blow their heads off, or pump a few rounds into a crowd of oncomers.
    With only four Survivors, it's necessary to watch each others backs, and protect your teammates. This is where the teamwork begins. While basic, it still has a good feel. When you see your teammates watching each others backs and spotchecking it really helps immerse you in the game. When a teammate fires a bullet inches past your face and you know a zombie has just lost its head behind you, it makes everything real and fun.

    I still have no clue how to manage my own health, let alone that of others. Medical assistance is provided in the way of "pain pills", which I never seem to be able to get my hands on. But whenever my teammates saw I was low on health (which was considerably often) someone would hand me a few, and allow me to fix myself up before the next onslaught.
    To go on a quick tangent, the health system feels and looks fantastic. When your health starts to lower, your movement gets sluggish, and watching a teammate [literally] hobble along is hilarious at first, until you realize you have to give them cover until they can replenish their health.
    Back to teamwork though, it's required for everything. I was knocked to the ground more than once, be it by one zombie or many. When you've lost all your health, and you've got ten or twenty enemies mauling you to death, you go into a CoD4 style "Last Stand" mode. Take aim with your pistol and try and line up as many zombie heads as you can. Once you and your team have cleared up the current wave (or even as you fend off the hordes) someone will revive you.
    Health and reviving being the main course of aiding teammates, there are other events that require a fellow Survivor's aid. Getting too close to the edge of a roof, as I did first thing upon entering the game, is not such a good idea. I spent a great deal of time waiting for a teammate to run up the stairs and through a maze of a building to pull me up. I'm sure with more time in the game, more such situations will arise.

    This is not a game you can rambo, and not a game I would recommend playing alone, but the gameplay is great. Valve has created a fun and good looking game for both zombie afficionados and those looking for a good team-shooter. Definitely a must-buy for any Source player or zombie fan when it releases this month.

    With a mouse in hand I'm sure I'd feel much more comfortable than with a controller, and to hear zombies shrieking through proper speakers or headphones will be amazing I'm sure. So as one who is not zombie fanatic, Left 4 Dead gets two thumbs up from me.

    I got a couple crappy videos of L4D on my cellphone, but between the background noise and poor quality, I'll refrain from posting them now.

    I should get back to killing the undead now, but in looking for a way to summarize my feelings about Left 4 Dead, I find Valve has put it most accurately and succinctly.

    It's the zombie apocalypse.
    Bring friends.
    Last edited by ArmadonRK; 11-02-2008 at 11:26 AM.

    Quote Originally Posted by DWall View Post
    go back to eating your jesus eggs.

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