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America - Front

America - Back

Review Scores

Ratings

     

Developer

Valve Software

Genre

Shooter

Other Versions

X360, Series

Release Dates

10/17/08 Valve Corporation
11/21/08 Zoo Corporation
11/21/08 Electronic Arts

Community Stats

Owners: 261
Favorite: 12
Tracked: 1
Wishlist: 4
Now Playing: 5
 
8.3

Avg Community Rating:

 

Live out your zombie survival plan with 3 friends

15th Apr 2009 | 1,623 views 


ameratsu

User Score
9.0
                         

Presentation - 9.0
Gameplay - 10
Value - 9.0
A compelling case for the "less is more" philosophy. Though there's only four campaigns in both campaign mode and versus, thanks to the AI director, there's endless replayability.

With the onslaught of more FPS games all the time, some people have voiced complaints that FPSes are just more of the same. There are those who contend that better graphics, better sound, and prettier trees do nothing to actually make the game more fun, and I tend to agree. Amidst all the FPS games that've been raising the bar in the wrong direction, in comes Left 4 Dead -- A cooperative multiplayer game from Turtle Rock studios (Acquired by Valve), known for their contribution to the Counter Strike series. Employing the arguably dated Source engine, how does Left 4 Dead fare against its army of rivals?


The first thing worth mentioning is: Don't play single player. Not only with you be teamed up with 3 bots, but it makes for a very boring and detached experience. Notably missing from single player is the excitement and desperation prevalent when playing with 3 human players being pummelled by infected. Since AI teammates eliminate what makes this game so entertaining, please heed my advice and steer clear of this mode altogether. If want an engaging or even good single player experience, look elsewhere. Got it? Good.


Now that you've got 3 other people together, you're ready to play the campaign mode. Advanced is the perfect setting for people with FPS experience but are new to Left 4 Dead. The AI director (who controls everything from enemy spawns to item placement and music to enhance the gameplay experience) is a little harsher, and this is the sort of game where playing at a difficultly above your comfort level is desirable. The basic objective of the game is to get from point A to point B, with each campaign having five stages. While there can be multiple routes, your endpoint is the same. Each campaign is setup like a sort of survival type movie, which adds character and atmosphere. Common infected line whatever route you choose, and horde spawns and special infected make sure you're always on your toes.


By now you may have noticed that the survivors aren't durag-wearing fortresses of destruction. Each player has a primary weapon such as a shotgun or uzi, as well as a pistol. Apart from finding Molotov’s and pipebombs as well as upgraded primary weapons, there are no other armaments provided. Each primary weapon has one focus or another, and as you will find, balancing what weapons your team takes at the start of a map is important to operating effectively. Each player also has the ability to melee; something of paramount importance in left 4 dead. Melee is used to push back common infected, allowing you to get a quick shot off, as well as rescue pounced or tongued teammates. As your health gets lower, you will move slower. Get really low on health and you can barely walk. A team is only powerful together, working in tandem. Players who find themselves alone are easy targets. Don't mistake this for other team based games where you're on a team but free to do your own thing. Work together or face certain death.


If your health reaches zero, you are incapacitated and have another health bar that is part health bar, part timer for how much longer you can last. Once depleted, you're dead. When incap'd, you are truly a sitting duck, and a teammate must help you up. Both you and the one helping you up are easy and obvious targets for special infected attacks. Your screen goes grey after a certain number of knockdowns, and this is your indication that it's time to heal or die. If you are knocked down while in black in white, it's over and your team will have to manage without you until the next stage. If everyone dies, you start the stage over.


Important to note that white there are different enemies, their abilities complement each others and work together, much like your team should operate. Consider them all in relation to how they can work together to decimate your team. Common infected are the most prevalent enemy in the game, and are the ones you see lurking around everywhere. They are quite easy to kill in small numbers, but can quickly become unmanageable. Getting hit from a common infected temporarily slows you down, so a number of them hitting you at once mean you're not going anywhere until you knock them away. The AI director will also spawn hordes, which are sudden groups of common infected that rush in and attack your team. Don't underestimate their ability to make your job of survival more difficult.


Next, the special infected. Only a few of these are able to spawn at a time, controlled by the AI director. Each special infected gives out audible cues when in the vicinity.  There are hunters, smokers, boomers, tanks, and witches. Each is unique in the challenge they pose to your team. I won't go into too much detail here and rather allow you to discover them on your own. These are the infected that mutated in one way or another, all with complimentary abilities that basically culminate into making it harder for your team to finish alive.


Versus mode requires special mention. It's the competitive mode with eight players, four survivors and four who play as special infected, switching at the end of each round.  Scoring for survivors is based on how far the survivors made it, how much health they have left at the end of the round, difficulty of the map, as well as number of remaining survivors, if any. The infected team members play as Hunters, Smokers, Boomers, and occasionally the Tank. An absolute blast to play with skilled teammates, this mode alone warrants the $50 price tag. This is by far the mode I've played and enjoyed the most, but only those interested in competitive multiplayer need apply. This mode requires that not only you adapt your infected play style to how the other survivor team operates, but also to communicate and mitigate any challenges you face.


Valve has proven again why they are a pre-eminent PC developer. In the age of sales, pixel counting and cookie-cutter FPS games, Valve successfully sidestepped the pitfalls of the genre, adding another very good game to their already impressive stable. While other games focus on ultra-realistic graphics, comprehensive online functionality, customizable controls, or other asides to the core gameplay, Valve made a game that's brilliant and innovative at the core and expanded that into something truly impressive, rather than trying to innovate the same sort of tired FPS that we’ve seen for years. Left 4 Dead has something for gamers who want something different and immensely enjoyable in a overworked genre. If they don't mind foregoing the single player experience, they will be able to enjoy one of the best FPS games in years.

 


Shipping Total

4,604,960 Units
As of: July 1st, 2018

Opinion (15)

drakesfortune posted 29/11/2009, 04:18
PC Sales are probably impossible to track, given that a huge chunk of the sales happen over the net via download.
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TheConduit posted 17/09/2009, 05:49
Left 4 Dead 2 BANNED IN AUSTRALIA
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cr00mz posted 03/08/2009, 06:17
why doesnt vgchartz track pc games? you too "sophisticated" for that? anyway does anyone know where i can see how much this has sold on pc*?
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Rainbird posted 26/05/2009, 11:00
@ ant

We don't track sales of PC games
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antfromtashkent posted 31/03/2009, 06:45
where r the sales stats? Does this mean the 360 version includes the PC sales?
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ameratsu posted 13/03/2009, 05:00
This is most fun I've had with a FPS in a long time. Fantastic game, can't wait for the DLC to come.
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