Halfway through a level in the Death Toll campaign, me and my three fellow survivors are limping our way through the eerily, quiet woods. After fighting off an impossible onslaught of infected (we are playing on expert), we are doing our best to get to a distant warehouse in time before the next wave of brain-luvin' zombies arrive. By the grace of panda, we made it into the warehouse and the little makeshift safehouse within. The wave of infected come, and we still have one buddy lagging his way behind. He accidentally falls down a floor, and collapses. The infected are right outside the warehouse now screaming, and my teammates are telling me to let him die. He tells me to let him die. Like a truly, optimistic action hero, I go after him withinthe horde and carry him to safety. Right when we get to the door, a smoker gets me from above and drags me into the zombie abyss. The sacrifice had been made and it was pretty rad.
The above scenario is a classic zombie film moment we all know and love, and Left 4 Dead
is built around them. Where Half-Life
made epic scripted events that recaptured the highlights of great action films, L4D
lets them happen organically. Avoiding a deadly encounter with a witch zombie that can kill you in one hit, running like hell from a giant tank zombie, or lagging behind to get pounced on by the acrobatic hunter zombie, are things that happen on a minute-to-minute basis that gives L4D
an uncanny sense of tension and excitement. L4D
is, for better or worse, a glorified Half-Life 2
mod. With Action Half-Life
, Front Line Force
, and Day of Defeat
being some of my all-time favorite games, there is nothing wrong with this. The game is minimal once you work your head around what little content there is. Minimal weapons, minimal level design, and minimal enemies that are defeated with minimal tactics. Much like any Valve product, the game is carried out so perfectly that you'll be playing these levels time and time again much like CS
players have clung to de_dust2 for over a decade. Let's not completely let L4D
The biggest disappointment with L4D
is that it doesn't fully take co-op gameplay into new avenues that it could have. But, as a reviewer who judges a game for what is there instead of what isn't (by that logic, every game could be crap), I can say L4D
offers one of the best co-op experiences out there. It's unique, addictive, and fun. L4D
is a classic that only got better with its sequel.