Players: 1 - 8 (Online)
Platform: Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Publisher: Valve Corporation
Release Date: Nov. 18th, 2008
Take four desperate humans, a room full of guns and a city of fast-running, vomit spewing zombies, and what do you get? Four desperate humans who are left for dead (nice lead-in, eh?) Turtle Rock Studios has been working on this title for a few years now, and it features cooperative play in a whole new light: dynamically adjustable AI opponents and various stage scenarios that test players' wits and cooperative abilities make Left 4 Dead one of the most original and cool multiplayer-based shooters to come along this generation.
This fast-paced, four-player game pits players in the title roles of four unlikely survivors trying to escape from a zombie filled city. That premise alone is one of the prime points of recognition that this game deserves to have. As gamers can either have the three companions played by bots or they can mix-and-match split-screen and on-line co-op play. This is not to mention that the game comes with a stock eight-player deathmatch. Some games that should have had such features were absent of them, but such first-person shooters shall remain un-named here at Blend Games *cough*Blacksite Area 51*cough*. Getting back to Left 4 Dead, though, this game is prompting some new software techniques to improve and variate each play-through experience. This feature ensures that gamers won’t have repeatable play-sessions every time they pop the game in. The difficulty is also set to adjust to the player’s skill and experience.
Since this is all about co-op play, Left 4 Dead is especially rewarding for players who work well together, and likewise, the game will demerit players who kill teammates or survivors, or generally screw up with friendly fire. And while we’re on the subject of fire...there will be plenty of burnt zombies, explosive material and bullet-riddled corpses for players to pass around with all the firepower found in Left 4 Dead. From the standard handguns and grenades, to a pump-action shotgun and M4 carbine, players will have close-range assault weapons as well as rapid-fire automatic weapons available throughout the game. In addition to the fore-mentioned firearms and throwable weapons, gamers will also have melee attacks that can be used to buy time, knock zombies off of teammates or spare a few moments to reload. Personally, no shooter is complete without a melee. So I’m glad Turtle Rock was already thinking ahead.
One other noteworthy feature of Left 4 Dead is the ability to play as the “infected”. Players will have the objective of stopping the survivors. When playing as the infected players will be able to see minimal movement of their prey through walls, or have indicators of where they are when the survivors communicate with each other or turn on their flashlights. Personally, the zombie-playing feature doesn’t seem particularly intriguing. However, it’s a feature that Turtle Rock at least added for those who have wanted to play the dead since the release of Dead Head Fred.
Left 4 Dead will be widely available for the PC and Xbox 360 on November 18th of this year. As always, be sure to stay tuned in with Blend Games for more features, news and info for Left 4 Dead.