Endless hours of play, yes, but at what cost? ‚ By eliminating any attempt at planning, players instead throw themselves blindly into hordes of ninja zombies (think George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, where zombies run at you instead of eerily stumble towards you).

L4D, while a very fun co-operative experience, appears more as a playable replication of a zombie movie. ‚ In between levels, Valve acknowledges this with zombie parody movie posters.

With just five chapters in the game, players looking for a meaningful experience should look elsewhere. ‚ Likewise, if you’re looking for anything other than a constant zombie shoot em up, you’re probably playing the wrong game.

L4D attempts to develop the four characters with menial dialogue interspersed throughout various quiet time moments. The four characters, a grizzly old man, a scruffy biker, an average female and an average black male, all try to create some empathy in these scenes, but Valve was careful at distracting gamers from the idea that this game is, first and foremost, a survival game. ‚ You, and three other friends, they expect, will sit down one night and play through this game without completely immersing themselves in the experience. ‚ 
This, I commend Valve for doing, because it reminds people that they are playing a video game. ‚ This game is not a movie, it is not a play, and it is nothing more than a campy action packed zombie survival game.

Like the idea of sitting on a couch with three other friends of yours for a night of drinking and gaming? Me too.‚ Valve or whoever was behind the decision to only allow ‚ two people per television, shattered that idea. ‚ I do appreciate the four player cooperativeness, but the decision to only allow for two people per screen, even though L4D has been advertised as this euphoric multiplayer bonding experience, is deceiving and disappointing. Local multiplayer seems more like an afterthought these days. Even though most games are purely riding the coat-tails of X-box live addictiveness, they don’t dare touch a four-player split screen deathmatch game or any other variation.

L4D is an incredibly polished game.‚ It’s fun to play and every time it’s different. ‚ But, it sells itself short. The polish neglects a much needed four-player local multiplayer experience. The same can be said for a lot of games (Gears of War 2, Call of Duty:‚ World at War, etc.), so it’s hard to fault Valve when the limitation of local multiplayer spans various other games and companies, but I still feel like Left 4 Dead would benefit immensely from it.

1 2

About The Author

Roger Gude is a Blast Magazine correspondent

Leave a Reply