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Left 4 Dead : Game Review

Team Fortress 2 players all over would have been a little mad at Valve for delaying updates for some new project called Left 4 Dead that was in the works. It came out recently and thanks to trailers and demos that arrived before, it’s clear that it was going to be a survival horror game. It’s finally here and people don’t seem to care about paying an excessive $50 for a PC game that you buy online without a fancy box pack to keep on your desk.

Left 4 Dead is an online multiplayer co-op survival horror game that can also be played as a single player game. You play as one of the four characters of your choice — Francis, Zoey, Louis and Bill. There are five separate chapters and missions within each one of them. You typically are planted right in between a zombie infested building and you make your way out of there. How? By shooting hundreds of zombies through every mission and covering your partner’s backs. If you were wondering what kind of gameplay and storyline you play — that’s all you do — shoot zombies, escape alive. Fortunately that’s not all there is to Left 4 Dead.

The game runs on Valve’s four year old Half-life 2 engine that has been given steroids to match the visual quality of today’s game engines. Other than the additional cosmetics to the look, it’s also easy to notice the better textures and models in the game. If you can run Half-life 2, you should be able to run Left 4 Dead just fine. The animations for the zombies are also good fun. The mood in the game is great — it’s the feeling of an abandoned and ruined city with pockets of zombies. To sum it up for more experienced gamers, the environments are like the ones in SWAT4, the action is something out of Serious Sam with more crowded environments and the weapons are from Counter-Strike.

The game isn’t particularly difficult to play as far as shooting lone zombies goes. It goes from being easy and laid back to complete mayhem when you turn a corner and you have some 30 to 40 zombies waiting to pounce on you and your teammates. Being a team player plays a major role and that’s where the online playing component becomes much more fun and challenging. Steam is used to download and update the game. It also gets matches for you to play. You can always use the Invite function to ask your friends to join in. If you have the sufficient number of players, you can even play Survivors versus Infected.

Valve has managed to strike gold yet again but we don’t think it’ll be as legendary a multiplayer as Team Fortress 2. With a lot of the fun limited to the levels available and no matter how many variations the game uses to send waves of zombie attacks, you are going to get bored eventually. Obviously, if Valve keeps updating this title with new content the same way they have with Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead will last.

Like the Orange box, Left 4 Dead is available in stores at a low price of Rs. 999 for the PC box pack and on Steam for $50 (Rs. 2,500). Avoid buying this if you want a deep storyline and tactics from an FPS; it’s a must-buy for those who like mindless killing co-op games with plenty of zombies.

Score : 8/10
Developer: Valve Corporation, Turtle Rock Studios
Publisher: Valve Corporation
Platforms supported: PC & Xbox 360
Website: www.l4d.com

Minimum System Requirements:
  1. Pentium 4 3.0 GHz
  2. 1 GB RAM
  3. Graphics card supporting Shader Model 2.0 — ATI Radeon 9600 or NVIDIA GeForce 6600 and above
  4. 7.5 GB of free disk space