Published by: Electronic Arts / Valve
Developed by: Valve
November 17, 2008
Available only on:
Xbox 360, PC
Valve's long-awaited multiplayer zombie-fest has finally arrived. Assume the
role of one of four characters and battle your way through 4 different levels
of zombie mayhem. This first person team-based shooter will have you blasting
zombies until you drop, literally!
GAMEPLAY: I'd been following the development of this game for quite some time and
decided to pick it up for PC when it finally arrived and I was quite pumped.
As you may know, I'm not a big PC gamer and decided to go that route because
I know that Valve primarily intends its games to be played on that system
And let me tell you, Left 4 Dead did not disappoint me. Let me break this one
down for you. You pick a character and you're dropped into the middle of a
zombie apocalypse. These are zombies that will run, and run fast. On top of
this there are smokers, hunters, tanks, witches and boomers, which are special
zombies that you will encounter along your way. They're a little harder to kill
and very unique enemies. Smokers will pull you in from a mile away with their
tongues, and boomers will vomit all over you and attract the horde if you're
And you simply must stick together. If you go off on your own like the
Arrow's hero Rambo, you'll be dead quick and shooting zombies in the face from
the ground, begging for a teammate to heal you. Even when you stick together
you'll have a rough go. And let me tell you, there are multiple times in each
level where you will say to your teammate how f'n crazy it is and how you can't
believe how many zombies there are on the screen- hundreds. And when a tank
shows up, you'd better be far away because he'll kill you awfully quickly.
You rely on each other too, healing each other and giving pain pills as
well as moral support. It's a frantic bloodfest and you can be sure that your
heart will pound. There are points in the level where you have to activate a
switch that will alert the horde, sending thousands of zombies running at you.
It's really cool how zombies will literally break through walls, windows and
doors to eat you up.
The game is paced well, with a great balance. You learn to be
resourceful and team-oriented quick. There are no 'bosses' and each level runs
about an hour long. This is kind of a bummer because you can blow through the
game in a day but that doesn't really matter because it's fun. If you don't
like killing zombies, why would you buy this game anyway?
The whole game is presented in a faux-movie style and you earn
achievements along the way. The opening scene is right out of the movies and
the characters are likeable. The movie posters for each level are really cool
and you can actually buy them, which I dig. Anyone want to send me one (or
If there are gripes, there are few. Number one, the game is just begging
for more levels. Yes, the ones that are there are well themed and designed, but
I want more. Patience is a virtue I suppose. Also, my connection would lag
fairly often, but that could be a networking issue. Finally, my biggest warning
is that if you don't play this game with friends, you won't even touch the
experience the way it's meant to be. To get the full team effect, gather three
buddies up, compete for the most headshots and warn each other when you see the
witch and try not to startle her. Finally, I was sort of hoping to see a better
variety of weapons but I guess it is realistic the way it is. Control handles
very easily and it's very satisfying to crouch down and cap zombies in the
head. There's something for everyone!
GRAPHICS: I thought L4D looked great. The zombies were very detailed and the
characters themselves look really good too. Depending on what you're running
it on, the quality can vary. I thought that the atmosphere looked good from
far, but far from good when you got closer. With that being said though this
game packs enough of a visual punch for you to see the zombie rending the
flesh from your bones when they're up close.
AUDIO: The audio in this game plays a very important part and is done very well.
The voice acting for the characters is absolutely top notch and after about
20 minutes you'll be able to detect the presence of baddies through their
characteristic groans. Computer AI will always alert you if they come across
a particularly useful item too which is very helpful. Do as I do- slap on a
nice thick pair of ear goggles and crank the noise up.
FINAL VERDICT: Overall, Left 4 Dead is exactly what it claims to be: it's a badass zombie
game that features 4 people teaming up to take down hordes of the undead.
The replay value is huge when playing with friends and every single game
gets really tense. If you've ever wanted to play a zombie movie, this game
will put you right in the thick of things.
Left 4 Dead PC system requirements
* OS: Windows Vista, XP or 2000
* CPU: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 or AMD64X2 (or higher)
* RAM: 1 GB for XP / 2GB for Vista
* Disc drive: DVD-ROM Drive
* Hard drive: At least 7.5 GB of free space
* Video: Direct X 9 compatible video card (Video card must be 256 MB or
more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for pixel shader
* Sound: Direct X9.0c compatible sound card