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Multiplayer Game Reviews

January 2, 2011

Left 4 Dead

Filed under: Action & Shooter, Macintosh, Paid, WindowsJosh @ 09:43

Francis and Zoey. Zombie apocalypse survivors.

You may ask yourself, “Do we really need another zombie shooter?” Well, Left 4 Dead proves that yes, we most certainly do.

This game is brilliant. It’s not just any old generic zombie game or some Resident Evil clone, this is FPS gaming at its finest. Left 4 Dead takes classic first-person shooter action and brings a lot of new concepts to the table.

The most obvious new concept (the one represented by the 4 in the title) is that this is not a solo game. There are four characters working together to survive the zombie apocalypse. Whether these characters are controlled by AI, your friends, or complete strangers matched with you by their skill level, there will always be four of them. Unless, of course, one of them dies.

Another great concept is that this game has one of the coolest weapons ever in a zombie game: the pipe bomb. But this isn’t just some thing a teenager hastily slapped together using ideas he got from The Anarchist’s Cookbook, this is a seriously well-designed piece of equipment. Attached to this bomb is a beeper, that for some reason attracts zombies to it like flies on poo. A well tossed pipe bomb can pull hidden zombies out into the open, and can do ridiculous amounts of damage. It’s not unheard of to take out thirty zombies with a single one of these explosive masterpieces.

The safe room is good.

Left 4 Dead has a way of getting under my skin and scaring me in ways that other horror games were never able to. There are a couple reasons for this. First of all, there is darkness. I’m not talking about the dim-lit shadowy corners so commonly found in these types of games, I’m talking complete pitch black. You have a flashlight attached to your gun, and sometimes this tiny beam is the only light you have to see by. And this can be utterly terrifying in a pitch dark room when a majority of your surroundings are completely blacked out yet you can hear things moving, breathing, moaning, running… NOOOOOO!

Another reason this game actually scares me is the witch. There is an elite type of zombie called a witch that hides in corners and makes one of the most unnerving moaning sounds I’ve ever heard. Then, when you least expect it, the witch will shriek and charge with glowing eyes and foot-long claws. I start getting nervous just thinking about those things!

Brain-splattering carnage.

My one complaint about Left 4 Dead is the multiplayer mode. Not cooperative multiplayer, but versus. The versus mode seems to be almost carelessly tacked on. While it is pretty cool to play as one of the elite zombies, it’s kind of annoying to have a zombie class randomly selected for you. Especially as a beginner, since you will most likely die before you get your zombie type figured out, and then be reassigned to a new class.

But the multiplayer co-op more than makes up for it. That is the real meat of the game. That’s where you team up with three of your friends online or via LAN, and you blast away zombies into the wee hours of the night. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun.

Left 4 Dead is one of the best zombie shooters out there. If you like zombies, do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

So freakin' dark!

Left 4 Dead

 ★★★★¾ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Multiplayer:★★★★½ 
A brilliant cooperative zombie shooter.

Game: Left 4 Dead | Developer: Valve

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