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Posted on Mar 15th 2009 at 05:26:19 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under Review, Left 4 Dead, 360, PS3, PC, Review

Love them or hate them, zombies have been in video games since the early eighties and don't look like they're going anywhere any time soon. In Valve's latest release, Left 4 Dead, you play as one of four survivors during the zombie apocalypse. Left 4 Dead features four scenarios where you must guide the survivors to a designated spot to be picked up before they are overwhelmed by the zombie horde. Left 4 Dead is a first person shooter, developed by Valve owned Turtle Rock Studios, using the Source engine. Left 4 Dead received a number of awards for it's multiplayer modes at the end of 2008, but is the game really worth your while? Let's take a look at the game and find out...



Left 4 Dead plays like your standard first person shooter, with you in the role of one of four survivors as you fight oncoming waves of infected, which is what they call the "zombies" in the game. The controls are fairly basic since the game uses a run and gun play style, secondary weapons, such as a molotov or pipe bomb, can be picked up but you are only allowed to carry one at a time. The right trigger is used to fire or use your selected secondary weapon, with the left trigger button used for melee, the B button to reload, A to jump, Y to cycle through your main weapons, X is your main action butter, right bumper causes your character to do 180 degree spin, and the left bumper is used to crouch. The d-pad is used to cycle through your secondary weapon, first aid kit, pain pills, and turn your flashlight on or off, the right stick is used to to look around (or to aim with your scope on the rifle), with the left stick controlling movement. Aside from the main campaign, which consists of four different scenarios and is available to be played offline or online. The only other game play modes include versus mode, an online only mode where a team of up to eight players take turns playing as the survivors and infected as they play their way through a campaign. Gameplay is just a little different when you are an infected, the game will randomly choose either a boomer, smoker, or hunter for you to play as, you must them choose your spawn point and attack them survivors and prevent them from reaching the next safe room. This process is repeated as the two groups take turns changing between survivors and infected until both teams have finished the level. The only real difference in control is that the X button will allow you to respawn closer to the survivors if you are too far away from them and the X button, Y button, and d-pad have no function while playing as the infected. Only two of the campaigns are available for Versus mode, No Mercy and Death Toll, with the other two maps being added to the mode in a future update. An additional gameplay mode has been promised for a future update, the new mode is called Survival Mode, which features the survivors trying to survive as long as they can against an endless wave of infected.

In the game you play as one of four survivors, Francis, a biker, Zoey, a college student and horror movie enthusiast, Louis, a junior systems analyst, and Bill, a Vietnam vet and former green beret. Left 4 Dead's four campaigns cover four different settings, from a city to the countryside, and feature a linear path with four varying difficulty levels.

In the visual department, the game looks good, but is by no means pushing the limits of the 360's hardware. The game lacks any sort of destructible environments, but since the game is more about the gameplay than the visuals, this is perfectly acceptable. The sound the game is made up primarily of ambient noises and the sounds of the infected. Left 4 Dead doesn't have a lot of music, the few songs the game are good and but are there as themes for certain special infected to let you know when you are approaching them.

Overall, Left 4 Dead is an entertaining game, however due to the overall lack of content in the game, it becomes hard for me to recommend it. Left 4 Dead is easily one of the better multiplayer experiences on the Xbox 360, but since it only features four levels and two game modes, the game just isn't worth the price of admission at this point. If Valve is able to releases updates for this game like it has for Team Fortress then L4D will be great after it gets a few more maps. It's very enjoyable if you have Xbox Live, the game does offer a split screen mode, but nothing beats playing the game with three of your friends online, if you don't have Live then I'll suggest avoiding the game, due to its emphasis on multiplayer.

Score 6.5 / 10

I'd also like to give a big thanks to Alfador, Lucri, Kimoosabi, and Feechy here on RFG, they are the group that I play Left 4 Dead with and it's always a blast to play the game with them.


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Comments
 
I'd score it the same. It doesn't seem as fun if you're playing alone and playing the same four maps does get a bit tedious. Awesome review as always! Smiley
 
Kimoosabi! That's me! Good review Zach, I agree, if it had more content I'd suggest a higher score. At least the upcoming DLC is free.
 
Only a 65%?! O.o

Gasp. Gasp. GASP.

From what I've played, I'd give it a hearty 83.3% or so, but that's just me. I mean, that's like saying 35% of the game is crap. Meh, everyone is entitled to their opinion! Cheesy

Great Review! :thumbs up:
 
Great review!

Multiplayer is certainly what this game was designed around.

However I don't think short is necessarily bad.  I think it's fun to have an instant gratification game to fall back to on days when I don't have hours to invest (which some of the recent games I've been playing seem to require).  You can scatter a couple hundred zombie brains and finish a campaign in ~30-40 min (on the lower difficulties).

Thanks for the review.
 
Hurray I'm popular, and that game is the only thing I really have for the 360 to play online.  That or russian roulette with trying to find a decent game of GTA IV.
 
This seems like a very level-headed review. Most people I've talked to, I would a assume, rate this game around 9ish and simply overlook the flaws. This game has absolutely no appeal to me, but it looks like you've given it a very fair score and see it for what it is.

Great Review!!!

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