on 26 January 2009
A suprise hit that's cut quite a reputation in the shooter market lately !
This game is up there with the most played shooters / games on Xbox Live at the moment just ranking under Call of Duty 5 ,Gears of War 2, Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4, in number of players online daily.
This shooter focuses heavily on teamwork and you'll need it if you want to survive , you just can't go rambo solo on this game and expect to be a one man army, because it ain't going to happen without your friends to bail you out.
You could play single player with computer AIs as your allies but it just isn't as fun.
This game has to be played online to be truly appreciated . None of the shooters mentioned above, come close to the appreciation of looking out for team mates as this game emphasises.
Online it's a 4 vs 4 team battle , although that description in itself doesn't clearly describe it.
Basically it's humans/ survivors vs Zombies / Infected.
It's guns and caution vs stealth and cunning really.
Humans have weapons ( including firearms and explosives ) , health kits , lots of health and can revive/heal each other ( If given the chance and the right equipment.
Zombies have low health , respawning , special abilities which incapacitate a human victim ( Which then he/she NEEDS the help of a team mate to escape from them ) and an army of support zombies which deal light damage to the humans , although can't truly be controlled.
The humans goal is to travel from point A to point B. ( Represented by Zombie Proof Safe Rooms )
The zombies goal is to kill all of them before they reach the target destination.
The main play style of the humans is to cover each others backs especially at crucial moments like when you ally has been caught by a zombie special move that makes them unable to fight back or when they want to heal themselves.
Looking out for each other is key to your survival .... being selfish and a glory hog will get you killed. The zombie players will most likely single out the one who tries to lone wolf and who is far away from the rest of the team. So humans stick together if you want to make it.
As for the undead, your game plan is more about stealth, cunning and mounting co-ordinated strikes to disable multiple targets to maximise your damage inflicted towards the human party.
The zombie team on the whole has very fragile health ( But has unlimited respawning to compensate ). If you do not make an effort to sneak up on an opponent or hide until the time is right, you won't last a second in the sights of human gunfire.
You can not take on the humans in a frontal assault and as zombies most have no long range methods of inflicting damage ... so patience and timing is key.
There are 4 kinds of zombie you can play as.
The 3 main ones are the hunter whose specialty is a long range pouncing attack that can incapacitate and damage a target human heavily , the smoker whose long range tongue attack can disable and drag a human in for the kill and the Boomer whose mid range vomit attack attracts hordes of computer controlled ally zombies to attack the unfortunate drenched victim.
Both teams are fun to play. As a human you will feel heroic pride when you save an ally from certain death or bask in evil glee when your stalker tactics have paid off with a successful kill as a zombie.
But for both sides team work is vital ! And this unbreakable element is what makes this game great and stand out among the rest of the 360 shooters !
This game has tons of replay value also !
One thing that makes this game really special is the random spawning of enemies. So no two playthroughs of a campaign are the same. There are can be like a hundred zombies on the screen with no slowdown. The Computer intelligence for enemies can be quite cunning / catch you by surprise too if you're playing on your own.
The controls of the game are fast, simple and responsive. A pitfall many games developers just make mistakes in nowadays still.
Technically this game has no real story besides the opening cinematic and character dialogue. But there are no FMVs, cinematics or cut scenes that make you stop the gameplay for a minute. This game is all gameplay just like the good old days.
At first I was very disappointed that there was no story sequences , but now I see it was a very good decision because now I'm just having zombie blasting fun instead.
The guns in this game could have been more varied but don't really need to be , since most weapons will kill the majority of enemies in an instant. There is more difference in the variety of explosives and flammables than there is the guns to be honest.
So in summary if you like a good single campaign with an immersive story this probably isn't the game for you. ( There are 4 short campaigns separated into 5 chapters each. Each Campaign will probably take you around an hour to get through )
If you'd like to play a decent multi player team battle with a difference you might want to give this a try. But playing as humans vs Zombies means it's not the same rules for both sides. So you'll have to learn to keep an open mind in order to enjoy what it has to offer.
If you like online co-op ..... get this game ! This is one one of the best co-op games in a long time.
All in all this is full on zombie blasting fun with excellent online co-op, which is probably the freshest multi player in a shooter in a long time. No story, full gameplay.
If shooters are your thing , you should give this one a try. It can hold it's own with the best of them and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
on 3 December 2008
So I stumbled across Left 4 Dead by accident. Having been let down by Epic's disappointing and frustrating Gears of War 2 effort, I finally sold it and with the money burning a hole in my pocket I plumped for L4D knowing nothing about the game other than it had a thumb missing on the cover.
This game is seriously good. Its difficult to actually put a finger on 'why' it's so good. Its such a simple game - 4 players, kill lots of zombies end of story, and with only 4 levels (5 maps per level) you would think it would have a relatively short shelflife, but it's so much more than a sum of its individual parts.
Few games have this affect - the 'just one more go' feeling that keeps you up until 3am, bleary eyed, realising you still have to get up for work the next day, but 'just gotta survive one more wave of zombies' is far more important...
This is what good games are all about - getting the gameplay 'just right', getting the physics 'just right' and overall hitting the sweetspot of 'fun' vs 'difficulty'..... Why spend a huge amount of time developing plotlines, character building etc. the point of games is to play them - not spend half your time watching cut scenes trying to piece together scraps of gameplay.
Part of the fun of being on XBLive is the community, and this game actually 'promotes' team spirit. You find very quickly that if the players joining your games don't have a mic, or don't speak they get booted quickly. I've added more friends to my friends list in the last month of playing this game than in the previous year - and people who it's fun to play with and chat to. You simply cannot play this game unless all 4 players co-operate - and I know of no other game on the market that has this. Yes you need to play together as a team to win games in COD or Gears, but you don't 'have' to.... in L4D you have to play as a unit or you all fail.
Matchmaking is instantaneous, and allows you to play whatever type of game you want. No ranks,but you'll be too busy trying to stay alive to care.
So the graphics may not be up to GOW2 level, the scale of the game may not be huge, but somewhere along the way, Valve really worked out how to nail great gameplay, and I'd gladly trade all the nice graphics and storyline in the world for that.
Well done. This game rocks.
on 4 December 2008
I doubt I can elaborate very much on what the other reviewers have said so I just want to say that this might possibly be the best game I have ever played! The graphics and control system are of a very good standard but nothing out of the ordinary for a 360 game, the sound is particularly atmospheric. Where this game stands out for me is the gameplay, me and three friends have had the time of our lives trying to hold out against the hordes of the undead for 15 minutes while they broke in through the windows, dragged us out of our safe-house with their tongues or just plain tore off the side of the building and came in through the hole! You just can't get the kind of adrenaline-pumping 'last-stand' feel of this game anywhere else! The four campaigns that are provided with it are all very distinctive and make for very different stories as you play them and there is some kind of AI director that makes every game play out slightly differently which stops it from getting too samey. My favourite game-type though is the 'versus mode' where you alternate between playing the survivors making a run for it or the gribblies hunting them down - the two sides are surprisingly evenly matched and it's great fun trying to get further through the level than your opposing team and then taking your turn trying to tear them a new one as they start their own journey.
My only complaint if there is any is that you can only play two of the campaigns in versus mode - I would have liked to play them all :(
on 21 November 2008
Genius. Take a shed load of zombies (and then some) mix in some half life and a large helping of gauntlet and you have left 4 dead.
The graphics are solid but not on par with the likes of gears of war but the lighting is excellently done. Multiplayer is at the heart of the game and while solo play gives you 3 computer controlled allies the real fun is multi player. The bots are a bit more useful than many human controlled players will be but when more players cotton on to the fact that going it solo will end in a painful death, the co operative made will actually end up being more co operative. Best enjoyed in games with your online buddies so you can rib each other over the stupid things you do.
on 1 February 2009
Left 4 Dead's concept is simple, yet effective. You are a survivor of an unexplained zombie outbreak and you and your comrades need to make your way from safehouse A to safehouse B without dying through teamwork and watching each others backs. Beware, lone gunners will die quickly and painfully in this game.
However, while this is happening you are constantly watched by the omniscient "AI Director" which judges how well you are standing up to the onslaught of foes. The AI director will place health, weapons ahead of you and trigger "special infected" and rushes of regular zombies accordingly. It's this reactive difficulty that keeps the action and tension running high and makes each play through of a stage different everytime.
The special infected include "hunters" which pounce their victims and pin them helplessly while they tear away at them, "smokers" which have a long tongue which can drag you away from your teammates or dangle and strangle you off your feet, "boomers" which spew bile on you, summoning a horde of normal zombies to the area. "Tanks" are high-hit point monsters that, if dealt with badly, will wipe your team quickly. Teamwork is essential to bring down this muscle-bound behememoth.
The final sepcial infected is the "witch" which is the only unplayable spcial infected in Versus mode (which I'll talk about later). The witch can be identified by her loud sobbing and her own dischordant choir music that plays when you get close to her. She looks weak but will kill most players in one hit. However, she, unlike the rest of the infected, is not aggressive and you can usually sneak by her by turning off your flashlight and running quickly by. She only attacks if you antagonise her or shine a light on her. Sometimes the AI director will place her in an unavoidable place on the path forward though and you will be forced to engage her which can be annoying. But I digres.
The graphics, though handled by Valve's aging Source engine, still hold up very well. Movie-style effects and filters are applied to good effect and there's no noticable drop in framerate even when you're surrounded by mighty hordes of infected.
The sound is amazingly done. Gunshots sound crisp and loud, the voice-acting of the characters is well done (and the lines are very well written) and the music weaves seamlessly between silence, tension building ambience and loud, fast paced orchestral hits when the world and it's mother starts clawing at your face.
Buyers beware, this game is designed as a multiplayer experience, so XboxLive and a good internet connection is essential to get the most out of the game. There is a single-player mode where your allies are controlled by the AI, but this quickly grows boring as they can see and aim better than you possibly can, avoid being hit better than you ultimately killing any sense of suspense or fear of what's around the corner.
However, your AI comrades are also less fluid and intelligent (barring some people on XboxLive) than a human teammate would be. They will only follow you and for some reason refuse to pick up and use pipe-bombs and molotovs. As I said above, they have impeccable aiming but sometimes will stand idly next to you as you're dragged away by a smoker's long reaching tongue.
Split-screen multiplayer is also supported offline and online and is a really enjoyable experience.
Online modes (of which there are 2); Campaign has 4 human survivors against the AI in a normal run through a level or chapter of the game.
Versus pits 4 survivors against 4 human controlled special infected in a battle of teamwork and strategy. At the end of the round, the survivors are scored on how well they did and wether or not they made it to the safehouse and then the roles are switched. Survivors take over the special infected and vice versa.
The content of the game is relatively short with only 4 chapters (for which there are 5 maps each) available for campaign play and 2 chapters for versus mode. The maps have a will of their own and haven't gotten stale for me yet, no matter how much I've replayed each one. All maps are unlocked from the moment you start the game so you're not forced to play through each one in sequence. Valve has stated DLC maps and chapters will be released for Left 4 Dead sometime.
Overall, a very, very good multiplayer game, a decent singleplayer shooter but lacking in content.
Hope this helps.
on 15 December 2008
Its like being in a zombie film.Think dawn of the dead and your there. You play as one of four survivors as you attempt to escape the map your on in the most intense co-op gameplay I've ever played. Or play as the undead and rain the pain on the survivors...work as a cohesive team to bring down the humans. This can only get better when valve adds new downloadable content such as more maps and weopons but for now its still a sight to behold. If you dont work togeather then you will die...and die alot. So for god sake use the headphones when you play online and talk. I'll see you there. i'm rodent28 on the 360 now wheres thatshotgun ...I got some killin to be gettin on with.
on 6 June 2010
Firstly, you MUST understand that this IS NOT meant to be a scary game. It's meant to be a survival horror, but with more emphasis on SURVIVAL.
Left 4 Dead utilizes Valves' source engine, which means it has excellent graphics, runs smoothly with hundreds of things on screen, and has great effects.
The game has a few modes: Campaign, Survival, and Versus.
There are a few different campaigns.
Campaign has 4 player (you and a max of 3 other people over xbox live/psn/internet, trying to finish the games campaigns on different difficulty levels.
Survival pits upto 4 players trying to survive as long as possible against increasing amounts of zombies come at you. Very hard, very fun.
Versus, however, is the best mode in my, and many others opinions. 4 Survivors play through one of the campaigns, while up-to 4 other players play as special infected and try to kill them. They then swap sides and play the chapter again. Whichever team scores most wins. Highly addictive, and highly fun if played with friends.
There are five special infected, of which four can be played as in versus, the Tank, the smoker, the the hunter and the Boomer.
There is also the Witch, but she is unplayable.
The Director, which chooses different music for each player, and, based on how well the team is doing, what is going to spawn, makes the game very difficult at times, yet easy at others, in a seemingly random way. Makes the game very rewarding.
Overall, L4D is a massively enjoyable game, that was made for multiplayer (split screen, internet etc) but can be played solo. Anyone who want a good shooter that's different every time should get this, even though L4D2 is out, as they both feel so different.
on 18 February 2009
Right then, for those of you who are experienced in the ways of the first person shoot, no need for explanation, but for those who don't, it's as simple as shoot anything that moves. In this game at least.
If anyone cares about the story, it goes like this; zombies are killing everyone. You and your three mates got guns. The end. So it's not going to win any Oscars for the plot, but then again who cares? There are a lot of first person shooters out there that force a bit of a head scratch, FEAR 2 being one of them (See my review) but this is just about blowing arms off and picking up medipacks, it's the sort of game you can put on whilst the adverts are on during The Simpsons and flick it off again, a real no brainer, but a real good one.
There are some real good aspects to this, it's easy peasy to get into, but unfortunately, easy peasy to finish...unless you put the difficulty up and it's almost impossible. It's fun from the start and really jumpy. it's a shame about the lack of enemy variety, there's male zombies AND (ahem) female, which are essentially the same and only a few different what you would call `special infected', which are shamefully pretty annoying more than anything, this is because they are usually on you and pinning you to the ground before you even see them - I think the reason for this is to encourage the co-op aspect of the game where a friend comes along and rescues you.
This is obviously perfect on Xbox Live which is where this game really comes into it's own. Much like Gears of War I can see this one being played online for years...as soon as that subscription ends, expect this game to gather dust, it's that simple.
Now for the bad points. Firstly, there aren't any `bosses' in this which I think brings a conclusion to a level, more of a horde which just flood you - good, but not as satisfying as huge mutha that takes all your ammo and skill to defeat.
Also I was a little disappointed with the lack of weapons, although the ones you have are really fun to use - blowing an oncoming zombie in the face with a sawn-off causing him to fly backwards minus his head is really satisfying, there could have really been more variety to dismember these zombies - also you can only carry one grenade at a time forcing several returns to the ammo room half a level back. Pointless really.
Like I summarised Fear 2, it really depends what sort of shoot em up you need - a free for all no brainer (This) or a slightly more methodical thinker (Fear 2) either way, they're brill. Be like me, buy them both, get your zombie fix and then go off shooters forever. 4 out of Five
on 12 February 2009
Well. I got l4d last tuesday after being pesterred by my friends. At first I was a little unsure because I have never really enjoyed valve's games.
When you first put the disk in I noticed that the load times were a lot to be desired, (even with it installed on the hard drive). You have 3 modes in l4d. One being the solo campaign, another being the co op campaign and the online versus.
As the other reviews stated, this is not a game for the people out there who don't have xbox live. This game should be played completely
online with friends and other players.
The online co-op is very good. It takes quite a long time to connect to games but in game their is no lag at all which is very helpfull when
fighting of the horde. You and 3 other people can attempt to get through 4 of the games campaigns. This is much better than playing solo. Much better to here your best friends shriek 'tank!!!!!!' than hearing the 'ok' voice acting.
The versus mode is just like the campaign exept you can only do 'blood harvest' and 'no mercy' it would have been good to include all of the campaign maps than just 2. 4 survivers (no respawn) vs 4 special infected (respawn). Being the infected is extremely addictive, you have been warned.
The graphics on l4d aren't really up to the standard of farcry 2 and fallout 3 but it's gameplay and just utterlly endless zombie killing fun makes up for it.
In all this game is one of the best of 2008 and I wouldn't be supprised if it was a nominy or even winner for goth. The reason I gave it 4 stars fun was because when playing online if you get stuck with an in cooperative player it can ruin the game
on 26 December 2008
Back during the prominent days of the arcade machine someone had a great idea where they would include a second joystick/set of buttons on an arcade machine so that friends could team up with eachother to try and beat the game; co-op was born. This is probably the best thing that has ever happened to gaming and there have been far too few games coming out recently designed for co-op, especially when you consider how easy it is to find friends online to play with. When i first started playing L4D i was reminded of a PS2 game called obscure. It was a pretty generic survival horror game but it had a co-op mode that worked, and it made the game that little bit more awesome.
When i started playing L4D i was reminded of what co-op should be all about; buddies shooting over eachothers shouldes at a common enemy, giving up your only med kit for a pal in need etc. and as far as this goes L4D is unmatched in a creating a sense of team unity.
I won't give you a full rundown of everything good about this game as this has been done in other reviews but there are some things that have been left out in these other reviews. A lot of people neglect the versus mode, and even though the co-op campaign is the main feature of the game, the versus mode is still enjoyable and increases the replay value even further. I will say that the zombies are a little dissapointing to play, but still it's a nice addition even if it isn't a halo-beater.
The thing i must say that struck me most about L4D was the addition of split-screen co-op. Even though it is only two player, rather than four you can take a guest online to play with you in all online modes as well as for playing the campaign offline. It's a great addition and unfortunately a lot of games that have great online co-op sometimes neglect local and Lan multiplayer, so i'm glad L4D doesn't fall into this pit-trap.
In conclusion L4D has renewed my faith not only in the survival horror genre, and co-op but also in valve's source engine. There i was thinking it was a little stale; goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks...