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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Left 4 Dead (2008)


Right now, while vampires may be making a comeback in movies on and TV, zombies are reigning supreme in the video game industry.  One of the most popular ones is "Left 4 Dead"...

A strange "flu" has overwhelmed Pennsylvania, turning people into flesh eating zombies.  Four survivors are forced to fight their way through the hordes of the undead in order to escape...

"Left 4 Dead" is a First Person Shooter that hits so many notes correctly.

First off, the graphics are just fantastic.  The detail on the characters and zombies help to make you believe that these are people who have been turned into the undead.  The environment is also equally well detailed and crafted.  The look of the game creates a great atmosphere of mood and suspense that helped to suck me into the action.  It had an almost cinematic feel to it- which was helped by the fact that each part of the over all storyline had a movie poster to go with it.  Just a beautiful looking game.

The story is pretty simple, and doesn't really get developed all that much during the game, but you don't really notice it that much since you get so involved in simply surviving the onslaughts of hungry zombies as you run, shoot, and hack your way from one safehouse to the next.  The characters aren't exactly developed either during the course of the running, shooting, and hacking... but I found myself becoming quite attached and fond of my character with each blast of my shotgun to a zombie's brain-lusting mouth.  While I would normally be disappointed in a game that shows little real story development, I wasn't in this case because there was so much action to keep you interested and active in keeping your character alive.

I said earlier that the environment looked great.  This is enhanced gamewise by the fact that the environment included destructible parts that ramp up the tension and help to keep you on your toes.  In most games of this nature, if a window was boarded up, or a door closed, you could rest safe in the knowledge that the enemy could not get through.  Well, in "Left 4 Dead," the boards on the windows, and the doors themselves are destructible- meaning the ever hungry brain munchers can smash them to pieces and deprive you of even that respite.  I loved how it made even a fairly defensible room a potential death trap.

The zombies themselves are great too.  This game kinda breaks the rules and mold of conventioal zombie lore by create mutant zombies with special abilities- and giving these particular zombies a slightly higher intellegence than the average zombie who, while fast, are still fairly easy to dispose of in small numbers.  You have zombies that puke bile on you- attracting other zombies, zombies with long tounges that drag you within reach of its arms, zombies that are huge hulks that can toss a car at you, and zombies that can take you down faster than you can say, "George A. Romero," with its Wolverine-like claws.  Really helped add a new dimension to the game and genre.

For me, the best part is the multi-player aspect.  My niece and I would often sit down and play this game together, and had a blast.  The actions and reactions of other players added to the entertainment value of the game in my opinion.  Verbally communicating actions to defend a location, screaming as a Smoker grabs you and drags you away to the dark, or simply saying, "I have a bad feeling about this..." just before your partner disturbs the Witch with their flashlight is part of the fun of this game.

"Left 4 Dead" is one of those games that makes spending an hour or so playing a video game seem like it's only a half hour, because you just lose yourself to the action on the screen.  I would definately recommend this to lovers of zombie games- and I'm putting it in "The Good".

2 comments:

  1. Eh why does it have to be PA?!! Too close for comfort lol

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    1. If it's any consolation, another zombie game I'm playing takes place just off the coast of Papua New Gunay. :)

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