8I’m running down an open street littered with broken cars and flames. ‚ Behind me is a horde of hungry zombies. ‚ To my left and right are three other people, exactly like me, with weapons and a goal – ‚ escape. ‚ A boat is on its way to pick the four of us up at the end of this road.

A tongue flies from the woods and grabs a hold of a scruffy biker running next to me. ‚ Like clockwork, the rest of us aim our weapons at the tongue and free our friend. The battle isn’t over.‚ In the background I spot an agile zombie leaping obstacles in an attempt to catch up to us.‚ The number of undead creatures chasing us is growing, and our weapons don’t have enough bullets to stop them all. ‚ 
At least not right now.

First Person Shooter
Nov. 18, 2008

Suddenly I’m splashed with blinding green slime. While I panic, my comrades try their best to keep us moving while fighting off the now exponentially more aggressive zombies who’ve got a craving for someone covered in slime and running for dear life. ‚ I take too much damage. ‚ I’m at my last stand, on my back with a pistol taking as many shots as I can at the relentless horde, when a booming howl echoes over the rest of the noise.‚ That can’t be good.

Taking care not to disappoint, within a matter of seconds everyone, excluding my crippled self, is split up in a desperate attempt to avoid that howl.‚ The noise is coming from an oversized monster that travels two times as fast as everything else my teammates and I have seen and it catches my eye as it launches a large slab of pavement in my direction. I die. The other three with me split up, attempting to find safety, but are killed within’ a matter of minutes.

Welcome to Valve’s Left 4 Dead, the four player zombie survival game that runs on the Source engine, (made famous by Half-Life and Counterstrike) with polished gusto and rests its motto on the idea that no one should travel alone. Teamwork is everything.

Ever since the introduction of zombie video games like Resident Evil, fans of Zombie Apocalypse scenarios have been hankering for a co-operative experience. However, if you like the slow paced horror feel of a game like Resident Evil, where the camera angles, lighting, music and sound effects all create this eerie, “I’m unprepared,” feeling that delivers a sense of accomplishment when you complete the game, you’ll probably detest Left 4 Dead initially.

L4D takes a different approach.‚ Four characters are equipped with minimal weapons (Shotgun, Assault Rifle, Uzi, Auto-Shotgun, Hunting Rifle, or Pistol) and grenades in what some people would call, “zombie mayhem.” ‚ L4D differs due to the fact that the game itself rips strategy and control out of the player’s hands and instead puts the control in the hands of the zombies themselves.

This means that, while four people can control their characters and how well they can kill zombies, they cannot predict how many zombies will be attacking them at once, nor can they control when boss zombies appear. ‚ Valve has prided themselves on the idea that the enemies in the game spawn randomly every time. By doing this, each level is different each time you play it.

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About The Author

Roger Gude is a Blast Magazine correspondent

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