Setting out to do for co-op gaming what Counter-Strike did for team combat, Left 4 Dead is an ambitious survival horror game.ESRB rating
||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language
Living up to the multi-faceted meaning of the title, Left 4 Dead features four playable human characters, who have been left behind to survive in a city with a rapidly growing population of people-eating undead. The characters are identical in the way they play, although outwardly they appear largely dissimilar and unlikely to get along well at first. They'll need to trust one another and work together, as it takes teamwork to survive in streets overrun with rampaging zombies. Computer-controlled companions are available for solo players, but online multiplayer co-op games are a main thrust of play. In a standard game, players begin each level in a safe room area, where they can stock up on supplies and agree on a general strategy before moving out into the zombie-flooded city streets.
No place is safe for too long in this game, however, and once the zombies start coming, they keep coming, no matter where the players run or hide -- until the heroes make it to the next safe room, to end the level. The exact progression through each level is not known from the start. A built-in artificial intelligence "Director" analyses the players' positions and creates new challenges on the fly, making each game a little different and adding creepy factor of the unknown. Friendly fire is painfully possible, so players need to be careful where they aim and shoot. Sometimes, in close quarters, a quick melee attack is a safer way to temporarily stave off encroaching undead or knock a hungry zombie off a companion. Each player can carry only one health pack, which can be used for self-repair or to heal a teammate.
Left 4 Dead was developed by Valve Software, built on the studio's Source game engine. In addition to the four-person survival-horror shooter, other available modes of play allow multiplayer competition for up to eight, with one team of four playing as the human survivors and the other four players taking the roles of infected boss zombies. Each boss zombie has a different special power, such as a prehensile tongue or an explosive belly full of corrosive swamp gas, encouraging them to combine their strengths and work as a team, just like the unfortunate human beings they are hunting.Editorial review
Special featuresDesigned by Valve on the Counterstrike Source game engine
Set in a modern day survival-horror universe, the co-operative gameplay of Left 4 Dead
) casts four "Survivors" in an epic struggle against hordes of swarming zombies and terrifying "Boss Infected" mutants. Developed by Turtle Rock Studios and Valve, creators of the Counter-Strike
games, the latest AI technology allows for multiplayer games of one to eight players.
A new and highly virulent strain of the rabies virus emerges and spreads through the human population with frightening speed. The pandemic's victims become grotesquely disfigured widely violent psychopaths, attacking the uninfected on sight. As one of the "lucky" few apparently immune to the sickness, you, unfortunately, are also trapped in a city crawling with thousands of the bloodthirsty Infected. Alone, you're dead. But together with a handful of fellow survivors, you might just fight your way to safety.
Players can play as a Survivor or as one of four types of Boss Infected, each of whom possess a unique mutant ability, such as a 50-foot tongue lasso or a giant belly full of explosive methane gas. The gameplay of L4D
is set across four massive campaigns. The zombie population of each mission is choreographed by an AI Director that monitors the human players' actions and creates a unique and dramatic experience for them on the fly.
Lead four unfortunate heroes to safety through zombie-infested city
Join with up to three other players for squad-based survival horror
Unscripted level design leads to new challenges in each game