Saturday, May 2, 2009

Left 4 Dead Free Weekend

"Zombie Apocalypse Now!"

The game was out for a while ever since late 2008 and has received a strong reception from both gaming press and the gaming public for giving a new approach to survival horror with influences of Valve related game Counter-Strike and new revisionist horror films like Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. Some like me were not able to catch up with the craze during release but this week had everybody with a Steam account, a workable computer, and internets to actually try out the full game for free from Thursday through Saturday afternoon. When I found this out, this was an important opportunity to actually try out the newest zombie game that doesn't have the words Resident, Evil, or even the number 5.

I entered in with very little interest in it as I was disappointed with Valve's other new property, Portal. I did like it but I never understood and disliked the overappreciation of a pretty much simply genered puzzle game. But as I started the full campaign of No Mercy, I had an explosive time going through the infested city and ending at the hospital showdown with a full horde of infected and bosses. I started with bots and it was still exciting to fight with people by my side to destroy the baker's dozen coming at once like a sugar-addict. I also felt amazed with other campaigns with the last two being the stronger as I played with people. About 95% of the time, everyone was cooperative and helping one another as it's a challenge to work as a lone wolf when you have constant converges of regular infected and terrifying bosses all the time. This teamwork doesn't limit to the campaign as I tried out the newest mode Valve provided which was Survival mode.

In the campaign, there are moments in which a specific event calls out the horde and creates a seemingly outnumbered situation. Think of that and apply that an infinite like amount of times of waves. That's survival mode. Everyone starts at a preperation point of a part of each campaign and it's everyone's job to set up traps and gather plans to survive the hordes as long as possible. The best for me only lasting 6 minutes, it's challenging after 1 minute and it the game requires us to work together and help get the best times.

After playing the main campaign and survival mode, Left 4 Dead deserves what it delivers and should be appreciated as a step forward for multiplayer, co-op, and survival horror games. Although it feels limited, it has enough to get a player addicted trying to survive the horde of infected, which does well.

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