Left 4 Dead (Xbox 360)
Developed by Turtle Rock Studios
Published by Valve Corporation
Released November 18, 2008
Review Written June 26, 2010
Amazing visuals, sounds, and voiceovers
Constantly changing gameplay
Fun to play with others
Only four scenarios
Flashlight isn’t bright enough
Sometimes barraged by too many special zombies
Are you prepared for the zombie apocalypse? No, you say. Well do not fret for Left 4 Dead will help ready your mind for the approaching zombie war. Left 4 Dead is a game created by Valve, and like normals the guys at Valve don’t disappoint. I for one am a huge fan of the zombie genre, and when I heard about this game I was instantly interested. Sadly, I couldn’t get my hands on it until now because of money and console choices. This game was released in 2008 on the Xbox 360 and the PC.
Well there isn’t much of a story in this game, its more like a random scenario you just jump into. You play as one of four different characters in the group. Louis, Bill, Francis, or Zoey. All four of them are on missions to make it to safety, and not one place is safe enough. There are 4 different campaigns and each have 5 chapters. Each campaign is similar in a sense, make it from one area to the next without dying, but each are in different locals and have different instances. Each campaign is pretty exhilarating, and really fun to play. They also kind of make sense in that if the zom-pocalypse were to happen, this would be what its like except for the random caches of weapons everywhere in the game. The only thing I didn’t really like about the stories in the campaigns, is that they felt kind of short and they didn’t really have a fulfilling conclusion. Each campaign sort of ends.
The game is a first person survival shooter, and is phenomenal. You move with your group, AI’s or friends online and make it to the next set of check points or as they are known in the game, safe houses. Depending on what difficulty you use, the amount of special zombies will vary. Easy to advanced, there is normally only 1 set of special zombies that will impede your path to the next safe house. On expert mode there is either 2 sets or 3 sets of special zombies and it is extremely difficult. Fun but difficult. In the game you can run, hide, melee with your weapons, and have a choice of six weapons to choose from (not including the molotovs, pipe bombs, and gatling guns).
Every now and then in the middle of a chapter you have to do something that alerts the zombies to your location in order for you to move on. These moments are when the game gets hard, and exciting. Depending if you choose to stick with your party or go it alone, you could either live or die. Not saying its impossible to beat it alone, but its really hard. So stick with your group. There are also a total of 5 special zombies besides the normal horde. A smoker, a hunter, a boomer, a witch, and a tank. All of them are very deadly to stay vigilant. In addition to the main campaigns there is also a time attack mode, which tests to see how long you can survive against an endless horde of zombies in different areas. This addition to the game is not as interesting as the main campaign, yet has infinite amounts of replayability.
After playing many hours of it, on and offline, I’d have to say this game is in my list of favorites. Not only does it make me want to renew my xbox live subscription, but it keeps me playing hours and hours. The game is great, but it does have some faults. Minor faults but still faults. I felt that the four campaigns were too short, and really was left wanting more. I really wanted to know what would happen to the group of four that were left for dead. The flashlights were also kind of bothersome in really dark places. Sometimes I felt that I was straining my eyes just to see what I was looking at. I’m not sure if this was just because of my standard definition tv, or if it was like this on hdtvs as well.
The last thing I didn’t really like, even though it makes sense because the mode is called expert mode, is when you get barraged by too many special zombies at certain points. It makes it almost impossible to proceed without everyone dying in your party. It is very annoying, but it adds a challenge and I can live with it. So I’ll end by saying that if you like zombie movies and haven’t tried this out, what’s stopping you? It’s fairly cheap right now, and worth more than its being sold for.
Final Score: 5 out of 5
Review Written by John of The Time Heist
Editorial Note: Another older review from the past being brought over to this blog. L4D will always be one of my favorite multiplayer games on the Xbox 360. Many hours were wasted with my sister and I replaying each of the levels, decimating thousands upon thousands of the zombie horde.