Left 4 Dead: it’s a well-known franchise that, to be honest, I had never actually played – until last week, that is. I was with a friend playing some Xbox when my eyes happened to glance over at his video game shelf. His collection sucked, but I did notice Left 4 Dead sitting up there, hardly touched. It took me an hour to convince him to play it, but once we’d started, we were hooked.
This was the most fun I have had playing video games in a long time. The game play is extremely fast-paced; that “edge of your seat” feeling as hordes of zombies rush at you from every angle. But, before I go on and on, let me explain the game a little bit. You’re a group of 4 survivors stuck in Pennsylvania with one goal: survive. Actually it’s more like escape but, with all escapes, survival is necessary. Additionally, there are a large variety of different, special zombies for you to take on.
You have the normal horde, which can really suck in large groups; the Boomer, which vomits its bile on you that attracts the horde; the Hunter, which sneaks up and pounces on you, pinning you to the floor; the Smoker – he can grab you from far away with his tongue; the dreaded Tank, which screws over anything in its path (this takes all 4 of you to kill); and the Witch. Don’t piss her off, she will mess you up.
L4D is split up into 4 separate modes: Single campaign, Co-Op missions, Online mode, and Survival mode. In my opinion it’s all about the Co-op missions and Online, where you can just grab a friend and get killing. Individual campaign missions take about an hour to complete and are split into 4 parts, each with their own settings and difficulty. Online play is basically the same thing, except other players are given the chance to take the role of the special zombies and attempt to end the Survivors’ progress.
I’ll admit, I haven’t really completed the single player campaign – as you can tell from my crappy game description. Because, to be honest this game is not really about single player at all. Left 4 Dead is 95 percent about team work. In my opinion that is the campaign – learning to not be an asshole. If you’re the stubborn, lone wolf type, don’t pick up this game, because it’s all about communication and sticking together as a group: if you rush ahead, you’re gonna get killed. If you hog the med kits, you’re gonna get killed (if I don’t kill you first.) Stick together as a team, kill as a team, share resources and you will love this game.
I am hooked on Left 4 Dead and I’m sure you will be too. You can still find it at any GameStop for cheap (probably less than 20$), and it is available on the Xbox, PC, and Mac.
Thanks for reading the first edition of “Take It Off The Shelf.” Got an old Xbox game you want me to try? Email me at:
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