Left 4 Dead
Genre: Survival Horror, First-person shooter Crsor
Single-player length: 4 hours
Multi-player length: Infinite
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Release Date: 11/18/08
As we age, the skin of our f
- Co-op gameplay implemented well to require teammates to stick together
- You can play as one of the monstrosities online
- You’ll only fight 6 different monsters the entire game
- Very basic weapons used for uninspired gunplay
- Very old graphics and sound engine
Sometimes developers clearly rest on their past successes and just cart a game out to the stores with very simple ideas and assume people will buy it. That’s what Valve, the excellent and imaginative developers behind the Half-Life series, has done with Left 4 Dead. The only interesting part of the game is that it is set up to require teammates to stick together to survive the onslaught of various infected creatures. Beyond this feature, the game presents an extremely basic shooter that fails to create wholesale silk lashes that hasn’t been seen in countless other bland shooters.
There really isn’t much to Left 4 Dead’s gameplay. It is a game solely made for people that like to play co-op games. You are part of a team of 4 survivors trying to make it through slightly different environments against a never-ending onslaught of infected monsters. The only part of the game that distinguishes itself is the manner in which the game requires players to stay together or suffer the consequences.
It’s basically cooperate and stick together or die. Each of the basic set of weapons, including an assault rifle, sniper gun, shotgun, and semi-automatic gun, has limited ammunition that won’t last you through an entire level. You are frequently faced with large hordes of enemies that you will easily empty a clip on. Therefore, it’s imperative that you stick together to cover each other as you reload. If a member gets overcome and knocked down by the infected, his teammates need to run over and help out or they will easily die. If someone needs to heal himself, he can’t shoot so he will need some cover fire for the 3-4 seconds it takes to bandage his wounds. It’s all constructed to prevent people from straying off on their own as a one-man army, and require people to stick together and work as a cohesive unit.
So you’ve got a group of friends that are willing to work together in the game. Now what? Well, you’ll be facing an army of the same enemies over and over for as long as you can take it. The game simply sends the same enemies at you for as long as you can fight the urge to yawn, put the controller down and put a better game in your console or PC.
The vast majority of the game is spent fighting the Horde of your basic of run-of-the-mill zombies. The only nuance to them is that they happen to be on crack, or whatever they are taking to run like cheetahs even thought they are dead. The Horde of infected zombies will run at your team in large droves in an attempt to over-run you. Most of the levels are spent fighting these guys with 1-3 points in each level spent dealing with some of the more specialized infected enemies.
One of these unique infected monsters is the Boomer who will attempt to sneak up on you. If he gets close enough to you, he will vomit on a team member a secretion that attracts large droves of the horde. Smokers wholesale silk lashes out their tongues to pull a team member from the fray and incapacitate him until someone kills the Smoker. Once killed, the Smoker leaves behind a lovely parting gift of green smoke that injures anyone that ventures into the remains.
The Hunter will lunge at team members and pounce on them to deal large chunks of damage with melee attacks. The Witch will leave you alone unless she detects you, which sends her flying at someone’s throat to inflict large chunks of melee damage. Tanks are huge infected monsters on steroids that will bound towards and punch you for large wholesale silk lashes of damage. They can take a lot of firepower to down them, so it’s important for the entire team to focus their fire on them.
Each of the monstrosities will try to sneak up on you, so it’s important to listen for some key sounds they make to ensure you are ready to deal with them. The Boomers will make burping sounds as they lurk in the darkness waiting to pray to the porcelain god or one of your teammates – whichever he finds first. Witches can be heard crying and can be avoided by turning off your wholesale silk lashesand avoiding their areas. The thuds of huge Tanks moving around can be heard in the distance as they approach.
Besides shooting these same enemies over and over, there are a couple of contraptions that you will need to activate during each mission. Don’t worry; it doesn’t involve a puzzle or anything complicated that will add depth to the gameplay. You simply flip a switch or lever to raise a platform so you can gain access to later sections of the level. Every time you activate a machine, a large group of the infected horde will swarm your team until the next area is made available. It’s a very predictable sequence that is repeated on each level with different machines. There are also a few alarms that can be accidentally shot or activated that will send the enemies flocking your way as well.
The entire goal of the game is to reach the safehouse at the end of each level and eventually reach a story’s arc’s end where you need to hold off the infected masses until help arrives to jettison you away to safety. You can pick one high-powered secondary gun with limited ammo to wade through the never-ending infected swarm. If you run out of ammo, you have a weaker pistol with unlimited ammo. You can also carry one grenade and pipe bomb that actually attracts the infected before it blows them all up into little bit-sized chunks of zombie goodness.
To survive the swarms and swarms of never-ending repetitious enemies, you’ll need to explore side paths for additional first aid kits and ammunition. The on-screen item icons do a great job of cueing you into item locations after you’ve found the rooms they are located in. You can also click the control stick to tell your teammates that you’ve found some key items that they may need.
The game plays identically online and offline. The computer-controlled offline characters are very good at helping each other and you with first aid and reviving each other after getting knocked down. Your experience online will only be as good as your teammates are at sticking together and helping each other out if they get hurt.
In the Survivor vs. Infected mode, you can actually play as one of the specialized infected wholesale silk lashes. It’s actually about the only unique part of the game. When you play as the smoker, you can climb walls to find a key location to wholesale silk lashes out your tongue at unsuspecting players that are trying to survive the onslaught. If you are a Boomer, your goal is to slowly sneak up on survivors while your burps clue them into your location. The infected creatures are actually very vulnerable to attacks, so it’s very important to find a nice dark space to hide in before springing your attack.
The game’s lackluster gameplay is matched with its poor presentation. The game runs on an engine that was patched together from Half-Life 2 with a few texture upgrades. While it runs very smoothly, all the levels are very unimaginative as you run through bland forests and airports to survive the infected horde that never ceases to chase your team. The sound is also nothing spectacular. For a game with a survival horror setting, the sound and music sure fail to capture an eerie mood or creep you out in any way.
As we age, the skin of our f
For a game that solely focuses on its co-op experience, it’s pretty sad that there are far better choices out there to play with friends. Call of Duty: World at War and Gears of War 2 provide much better and varied gameplay to enjoy with people online or offline. Left 4 Dead simply asks you to stick together and shoot the same enemies repeatedly with the same weapons through boring settings. Simply adding more varied gameplay, enemies and wholesale silk lashes would have greatly enhanced the experience. If the game used abilities similar to Diablo and allowed player’s abilities to stack and help the team out, it could have been a much more varied and interesting game. Instead the repetitive gameplay fails to set itself apart from countless other shooters that hit the shelves every year and also aren’t worth playing.
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