With Christmas time comes presents, and thanks to my dear mum, I got an XBOX 360! Being the lifelong nerdling that I am, this was a welcome gift met with much excitement and glee. With a new game system however comes a need for new games, and what better way to get my feet with with a zombie slaying simulator such as Left 4 Dead from Valve software!
The premise of “Left 4 Dead” is a simple one. Four survivors trapped in a city inundated with the infected denizens. Their only hope? To fight their way out to salvation. And really, that’s it! The game comes packed with five different chapters that are broken into sub chapters. The chapters themselves are bookended in lovely little exploitation flavored movie nods such as posters and film credits. Each ‘movie’ takes place in a different locale that when lined end to end, takes you through the survivors entire flight to freedom.
“Left 4 Dead” is ultimately light on content for the movies can be worked through in an hours time give or take. However, the games are given infinite replay value by the bundled in multi player options. Split screen co-op, online co-op with up to four players, as well as a versus mode gives you a never ending opportunity for play through. As well, the computer does a pretty stand up job on varying the content on each play through so that your high level enemies and hordes are not sitting in the same spot each time. Being able to play the game with a friend sitting by your side adds a major value to the game as it works well to suck you in with the atmosphere and chills. The most fun however is versus mode. When else are you going to get a chance to play a brain eating zombie? Being able to pounce, bounce and slaughter your friends all while trash talking over XBOX Live is probably the most fun I’ve had with this system so far.
In all honesty, I’ve taken to “Left 4 Dead” like a fat kid takes to cake. The graphics are well done with heaping helpings of blood and guts and exploding body parts. The atmosphere here though is the key; the game can be down right scary at times. The first person feel of walking into a dark room, unable to see anything around you except for what is in the shine of your flash light? It’s a sphincter clincher when that light shines onto the undead face of some random nurse or bystander. That’s not to overlook the horde dynamics either. The first time I heard a running charge from across a map to turn and see 25-30 zombies raining down on me? Sheer excitement and lots of swearing.
A note for you die hard Romero types out there; “Left 4 Dead” contains running zombies. They’re going to sprint at you, some will climb buildings and jump on you from above. It’s okay though. It’s not a movie, it’s a game! And all of these elements combine to make an edge of your seat night of entertainment and blowing shit up!
If you have an XBOX, you need “Left 4 Dead”. As simple as that. Especially if you’re a horror fan. Which, considering you’re here reading this post? There’s a strong chance that you are!
If you are an XBOX live gamer and already own “Left 4 Dead”, please feel free to send me an invite! Me and the Mrs. are always up for a game or two! The gamer tag, if you can believe it, is “CinemaFromage”.