The free “Survival Mode” add-on for Valve’s award winning FPS Left 4 Dead went live in the wee hours of this Tuesday the 21st of April.‚ Any DLC at a price point of zero is a no-brainer, but Valve claims this new mode will both heighten the intensity of the already horrific experience, and truly require quick-thinking, and trigger happy teammates in order to keep your brains inside your skull where they belong.
On the surface Survival mode is a straightforward game-type that pits your team against a relentless swarm of infected, vying for the most lengthy survival time.‚ The combat is frenzied, the walls are caked with undead blood, and your pulse is racing.
However, via an exhaustive official post from Kerry Davis and Scott Dalton on the Left 4 Dead developer blog, the elements of Survival Mode are actually deeper than first imagined.
Survival Mode is distinct from Campaign or Versus in that the duration of each round is under 10 minutes and oriented around team competition through leaderboards.
Furthermore, with each passing round, the difficulty bar is elevated in a number of ways.
The Left 4 Dead developers describe the “difficulty curve” (imaged at right) as such:
“We have numerous variables to work with: mob spawn frequency, special infected spawn frequency, number of each type of special infected, total number of special infected, tank spawn frequency, total number of tanks, and so on. We need all of these variables to work together to create a fairly smooth difficulty curve.”
Due to the lightning pace of Survival Mode infected are killed at an astonishing rate greater than that of an entire campaign play through.‚ To this effect resources, namely ammo are inherently in limited quantity and strategic use is a must.
“Timing your resources correctly to be able to make a run when necessary can make or break a team.”
Start your free download here via the Xbox Live Web Marketplace.‚ PC owners stayed tuned for availability, but rest assured it will come today.
via Left 4 Dead blog
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