Sunday, 19 April 2009

Left 4 Dead expansion

New Left 4 Dead expansion is supposedly out on Tuesday the 21st of April. I don’t know if that’s true, I read it on some website.

Left 4 Dead is nearly a very boring game and a lot of people apparently just don’t get it. These people join, don't talk, and quit when they consequently do badly.

The game is about teamwork, organisation. In versus mode the best organised team wins, which is great.

The fun comes from setting up ambushes, as the zombies, and tearing the shit out of the human players.

There is not as much, tactically, to playing as the humans. You just have to stick together and shout out when you’re downed. There is basically no point playing without a headset.

Making it to the safehouse is not so much satisfying as it is a relief.

Left 4 Dead is only really fun on versus, with both teams full of human players whose sole reason for existence is the utter destruction of the opposing team. So when it’s good it’s really good.

One thing that basically annoys me about the game is the zombies and how you deal with them. All you do is shoot more or less constantly.

For example: someone got Boomered next to me in a room with a pile of ammo. As the horde burst through the door all I had to do was hold shoot for five seconds and they were all dead, no one was even touched. Even after that I was on full ammo.

Maybe the lack of dynamism here is not so much a failing of the game as it is a failing of the zombie players to utilise the horde to instigate an ambush.

Left 4 Dead is trying to be a sort of arcadey, semi kitsch game and it does that well.

But a change in rhythm or style might make the game a bit more exciting. Take that sequence in the hospital when you activate the lift and have to fight a massive horde of zombies for 60 seconds or so. You have, effectively, infinite ammo at that point. All you need to do, to survive, is shoot.

What if you had no ammo, or almost none, and had to deal with the zombies in a different way? Perhaps creating a barricade or diversion?[1]

That sounds like something you might get in Resident Evil. I’m not asking Left 4 Dead be a duplicate of that. It’s doing its own thing and that’s great.

It just feels like it’s doing the bare minimum with what it’s got.

Some variety might be nice.

[edit: I just found a blog for Left 4 Dead, an official one run by Valve. It has some details about the construction of the new Survival Pack: http://www.l4d.com/blog/post.php?id=2417
It sounds great, I am optimistic!]


[1] Although maybe this would detract from the zombie players ability to do anything.

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