Review: Left 4 Dead

Jordan Deam

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Review: Left 4 Dead

What could possibly be wrong with shooting zombies with a bunch of friends? As it turns out, not much.

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Doug

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Nice review! And I'm pleased to see it does work on the XBox too! :)

Its grand on the PC!

On a side note, you don't even need a mic most of the time. Good players who actually realise and accept its not Counter-strike/Halo quickly work everything out, quickly get with the program, and work together, even better than in TF2.

Also, its very fun to play the Undead and try and eat those pesky survivors.
 

nekolux

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I agree with most of your review except for the part about competitiveness although there is a lack of incentives for being the best in your team being known to be good in your l4d community is something that'll attract other players to play with you. A person who friendly fires his team mates to hell for example will definitely not attract people to play expert with him, where about half a shot from a shotgun takes 40+ health.

And as for the darkness of the campaigns i feel that it's to add a certain level of difficulty when encountering the witch, if you dont have your flashlight on you cant see her, if your flashlight is on you're afraid that you might shine it on her and alert her.

but yes i agree that the storytelling was rather poor, however from throughout the campaigns if you read the scribblings on the wall you do get a sense of nostalgia that is the humor from portal.

Lastly of course i'd like to add that valve's use of cinematic effects is really really good. ( If you swing your mouse about you get a cinematic blur ) and if you go to your video options you can actually choose the amount of film grain you see.


P.S You also forgot to mention that zoey > any rl girls cause she's hot and she kicks zombie ass
P.P.S Doug while a mic isnt necessary it really adds to the experience ( nothing liek hearing your teammates screaming )
 

HomeAliveIn45

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Good job! You basically summed up every feeling I have about this game, up to the 'recomendation' paragraph.
 

Doug

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Well, I think the problem with Story telling in multiplayer is that the elements can get repetitative - after all, you may never have seen cutscene X before, but your team mates may have seen it a thousand million times before and be on the edge of cutting their wrists if they have to sit through it again (ok, maybe not THAT annoying).
 

Doug

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nekolux said:
P.P.S Doug while a mic isnt necessary it really adds to the experience ( nothing liek hearing your teammates screaming )
Indeed, I wasn't denying that ;) Just meant, if your in a situation where you can't reply use your mic without pissing roommates/flatmates/parents/spouses/etc off, your in an ok situation ;)
 

gmjapan

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Nice review. Want to levy 1 criticism (and it might be coz i missed it...) you only mention playing as the 4 survivors in co-op. The game can really take off for some people when you play 4v4 taking turnabout as survivors and infected to try and beat the other team.
It can also be played single player but really you dont want to be getting the game for that, it'll get old fast.
 

Slycne

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gmjapan said:
Nice review. Want to levy 1 criticism (and it might be coz i missed it...) you only mention playing as the 4 survivors in co-op. The game can really take off for some people when you play 4v4 taking turnabout as survivors and infected to try and beat the other team.
It can also be played single player but really you dont want to be getting the game for that, it'll get old fast.
The video supplement discusses versus mode.

I pre-ordered the game so that I could get the demo early, and I haven't stopped having a blast playing this game since. I honestly think this might be my game of the year.
 

Caliostro

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Jan 23, 2008
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Slycne said:
I pre-ordered the game so that I could get the demo early, and I haven't stopped having a blast playing this game since. I honestly think this might be my game of the year.
That makes 2 of us. Last year I thought no game could ever rise up to Portal's quality level for me. Lo and behold.


And Jordan, kudos, the review itself is amazingly delivered.
 

maddog015

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Has anyone played the mod Zombie Panic Source? Is there much of a difference between the two games? And I know the Brainbread mod is for HL1, but similar concept?
 

Doug

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maddog015 said:
Has anyone played Zombie Panic Source? Is there much of a difference between the two games?
I have and I'd say yes. Zombie Panic: Source, whilst good, doesn't match the improved gameplay and team-working of L4D - there is a demo if you want to try it.
 

Jordan Deam

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I must wholeheartedly disagree with you assessment of Left 4 Dead. The title does shame to the Zombie genre. Zombies are used to strike fear into people for a number of their qualities: Slow shambling movements, difficulty to kill (headshot!), ability to eat you alive and turn you into them, their looks, and their massive number.

This game dispenses with normal zombie lore and focuses on numbers. You'll have so many zombies flying at you that gameplay frequently dissolves to "Spray and Pray" mechanics. The lack of a zoom for aiming makes the feeling of trying to score a hit far more sloppy. You can hardly even see the details of the zombies because they fly up to you so fast. It goes from a frightening story to an exercise in frusteration.

I also understand the need to change up gameplay with bosses here and there, but the "super zombies" feel more like mutants than the undead.

And why the hell would you go anywhere during a zombie apocolypse? There could be nothing stupider than trying to face the odds they did in the game, and we're just supposed to believe 'cause they said so.

You want a real team building zombie experience? Try CoD World at War's Nazi Zombies. The game does a lot bad and some of the same zombie problems persist in that same game, but it's far closer in tune with actual zombie canon and test the limits of your coordination with fellow gamers. And at least they have the good sense to stay indoors...
 

Jordan Deam

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Thanks 4 comments! (To my coworkers - that was the last time. I promise.)

One thing I didn't get to mention was that the Xbox 360 version has dedicated servers this time around. I remember how disappointed I was when The Orange Box came out last year and TF2 was nigh unplayable due to lag. Thankfully Valve seems to have taken a lesson from that debacle, because the matchmaking on the 360 version of L4D is just as seamless (and stable) as it is on Steam. Three cheers for learning from your mistakes!
 

Low Frost

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Guy, people have long realised that classic zombies do not work in video games by virtue of what they are. Hell, in the classic zombie movies, zombies were toyed with by bands of well- armed, organized people (see original Dawn of the Dead). And in most classic zombie movies, HUMANS were still the biggest threat to the protaganists, not the zombies. There were an engine for the worst aspects of human nature to come to the fore, little more.
 

Susan Arendt

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Rogue 09 said:
And why the hell would you go anywhere during a zombie apocolypse? There could be nothing stupider than trying to face the odds they did in the game, and we're just supposed to believe 'cause they said so.
If the choice is dying on your feet or cowering in a corner and waiting for help to theoretically arrive, many folks will choose the former. Wading through zombies to reach potential rescue makes perfect sense.
 

Jordan Deam

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Low Frost said:
Guy, people have long realised that classic zombies do not work in video games by virtue of what they are. Hell, in the classic zombie movies, zombies were toyed with by bands of well- armed, organized people (see original Dawn of the Dead). And in most classic zombie movies, HUMANS were still the biggest threat to the protaganists, not the zombies. There were an engine for the worst aspects of human nature to come to the fore, little more.
Good point. Classic Romero style zombies are slow, stupid, and overpower by their sheer numbers and by eventually exhausting the resources of the living. Thinking about it, it sounds like a situation that's tailor made for a strategy game, but the FPS version would wind up being primarily for geriatrics. Which means we can expect it to come out for the Wii first. :)
 

Low Frost

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Kwil said:
Low Frost said:
Guy, people have long realised that classic zombies do not work in video games by virtue of what they are. Hell, in the classic zombie movies, zombies were toyed with by bands of well- armed, organized people (see original Dawn of the Dead). And in most classic zombie movies, HUMANS were still the biggest threat to the protaganists, not the zombies. There were an engine for the worst aspects of human nature to come to the fore, little more.
Good point. Classic Romero style zombies are slow, stupid, and overpower by their sheer numbers and by eventually exhausting the resources of the living. Thinking about it, it sounds like a situation that's tailor made for a strategy game, but the FPS version would wind up being primarily for geriatrics. Which means we can expect it to come out for the Wii first. :)
I remember once I tried to hash out an idea for an mmo based on Dusk of the Dead. Could work in theory, maybe.
 

Jordan Deam

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My friend, I must disagree with you. I would claim that Resident Evil 4's antagonists (zombies in form if not in story) were quite compelling. They shambled over to you in groups and if you wern't careful acouple would sneak in behind you and rape you unmerciful.

What made them creepy is not just the sheer numbers or that they were coming at you, but the fact that they moved so damn UNNATURALLY. It was logical to deduce that enemies who were crushed and eaten by a number of zombies, died, and were infected with some neurological ailment wouldn't have the motor skills or coordination to beat every olympic track team ever to compete.

I'm not going to blame you if you have one or two special enemies that come along regularly to shift gameplay in a new direction, but shooting into a crowd running full speed at you gives you no time to really appreciate what you're seeing.

If you had a thousand Jason's running at you across the screen that went down with 2-3 bullets, does it equal the fear and danger that comes across the movie screen? Numbers arn't everything, and it takes a true developer (of a movie OR game) to realize that a single zombie in the right place can be more devastating than a million spread throughout the city.

Also, (to above poster) if you have guns and are in a building (let alone city) crawling with the undead who will ALL focus on tearing you apart in the most painful way possible, are you going to cross 10 city blocks to get to a possible rescue or stare deep into the open end of that shotgun and prepare to meet you sweet and fluffy maker?
 

SomeBritishDude

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"Any game that can get stereotypical Xbox players communicating and collaborating deserves more than just rave reviews - it deserves the Nobel f**king Peace Prize."

Its true. I never thought i'd see xbox players working as a team until left 4 dead. Sure, they still tea bag, but its a start.
 

s3cur1tr0n

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Rogue 09 said:
I must wholeheartedly disagree with you assessment of Left 4 Dead. The title does shame to the Zombie genre. Zombies are used to strike fear into people for a number of their qualities: Slow shambling movements, difficulty to kill (headshot!), ability to eat you alive and turn you into them, their looks, and their massive number.

This game dispenses with normal zombie lore and focuses on numbers. You'll have so many zombies flying at you that gameplay frequently dissolves to "Spray and Pray" mechanics. The lack of a zoom for aiming makes the feeling of trying to score a hit far more sloppy. You can hardly even see the details of the zombies because they fly up to you so fast. It goes from a frightening story to an exercise in frusteration.

I also understand the need to change up gameplay with bosses here and there, but the "super zombies" feel more like mutants than the undead.

And why the hell would you go anywhere during a zombie apocolypse? There could be nothing stupider than trying to face the odds they did in the game, and we're just supposed to believe 'cause they said so.

You want a real team building zombie experience? Try CoD World at War's Nazi Zombies. The game does a lot bad and some of the same zombie problems persist in that same game, but it's far closer in tune with actual zombie canon and test the limits of your coordination with fellow gamers. And at least they have the good sense to stay indoors...
So what do you do when theres a zombie apocalypse? Wait it out in your one bedroom apartment with you ramen noodle soup? Wait for everything to be ok, maybe your mother would come and pick you up in the family minivan. Your an idiot.
 

Jumplion

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Haha, I liked this part;

If you're stuck with a PS3, hop into LittleBigPlanet with three of your friends, throw on some zombie costumes and make the best with what you've got.
Thanks for your concern ;P

I'd get Left 4 Dead for the PC if I could, but lack of a decent computer to run games on I'm screwed unless VALVe decide to port a PS3 version some day.
 

Susan Arendt

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Rogue 09 said:
Also, (to above poster) if you have guns and are in a building (let alone city) crawling with the undead who will ALL focus on tearing you apart in the most painful way possible, are you going to cross 10 city blocks to get to a possible rescue or stare deep into the open end of that shotgun and prepare to meet you sweet and fluffy maker?
If I'm going out, I'm going out swinging, mate.
 

Doug

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Rogue 09 said:
I must wholeheartedly disagree with you assessment of Left 4 Dead. The title does shame to the Zombie genre. Zombies are used to strike fear into people for a number of their qualities: Slow shambling movements, difficulty to kill (headshot!), ability to eat you alive and turn you into them, their looks, and their massive number.

This game dispenses with normal zombie lore and focuses on numbers. You'll have so many zombies flying at you that gameplay frequently dissolves to "Spray and Pray" mechanics. The lack of a zoom for aiming makes the feeling of trying to score a hit far more sloppy. You can hardly even see the details of the zombies because they fly up to you so fast. It goes from a frightening story to an exercise in frusteration.

I also understand the need to change up gameplay with bosses here and there, but the "super zombies" feel more like mutants than the undead.

And why the hell would you go anywhere during a zombie apocolypse? There could be nothing stupider than trying to face the odds they did in the game, and we're just supposed to believe 'cause they said so.

You want a real team building zombie experience? Try CoD World at War's Nazi Zombies. The game does a lot bad and some of the same zombie problems persist in that same game, but it's far closer in tune with actual zombie canon and test the limits of your coordination with fellow gamers. And at least they have the good sense to stay indoors...
Well, I can't say I agree with you, but its you opinion. The Left 4 Dead zombies aren't meant to be 'true' zombies - they are infected, not dead.

But to me, the horror of zombies comes from the fact they were human and now are not. They are numerous, and have no sense of self-preservation. They seem to be an endless tide, never ending.

The Left 4 Dead zombies do that for me. They replace high survivibly with high speed, see?

EDIT:
Oh, and staying in one place is an invitation to getting eaten or starved to dead.
 

Doug

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smallharmlesskitten said:
Danny Ocean said:
smallharmlesskitten said:
Susan Arendt said:
Rogue 09 said:
WORDDDSSSS!!!
If I'm going out, I'm going out swinging, mate.
What Susan said... I call dibs on the Hunting Rifle
Shotgun the witch!
Sorry, I can't afford anything but the demo...*sniffle*
You can't play as a Witch
Nope, but the Tank you can, and its FUN! :)
 

broadband

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i should at least try the demo... i dont think i can afford the complete version (i dont know if the free demo still out)
 

Darkmark44

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This game is awesome. I play this game at my friends dorm whenever freetime arises in college and i just love the feel of it. The story is alittle poor, but besides that, great effects. I feel it is so satisfying to shoot a zombie right in the head to watch it explode. The weapons are pretty nice too, and once you get the assault rifle, life gets easier.

The co-op mode is pretty well done. The fact that you actually have to work together adds a nice touch and it prevents people from doing waht they want as well. The sooner the players work together, the easier it is. Otherwise, your basically screwed as zombies start to swarm in from all directions.

Another effect I like is that on certain modes you can play as the zombies and its just so satifying to be the hunter, smoker, boomer or tank. Heh, just to be able to pounce and mall the player senseless...

But thats my speal.

~DM
 

PopcornAvenger

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As far as "zombie canon" goes, I've an admittedly small nit to pick. Namely, I'm tired of the "reasonable explanations" for zombies and vampires. I wish Left4Dead had -true- zombies, not "infected". It's like, "oh, no, they can't be undead, that's just too unrealistic!". Puh-leze. "Wait, they're infected instead, yay, that's so much more believable, thus fun!". I disagree. Undead a hell of a lot more fun, and scary, than infected people. For me, at least.

Waiting and hoping for the day when media and games once again feature the real zombies . . .and all the emo anne rice-esque vampires die a quick and horrible death.
 

Kiutu

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I think the writer should check out the in game commentary. Valve mentioned wanting more cinematic stuff but realised it would be annoying to start a level, and have to sit through them over and over again. (The game IS made for replay) However yes, some reason would be nice, but ultimatly, L4D is a game about playing! Also, voice is better. I played a versus match with people actually communicating and it was the best, setting up ambushes as the infected, and stopping the other team while we were the survivors. Also, competition can be fun, but for games about working together, it is bad. Obnoxious and mean people will do little good here.
 

broadband

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PopcornAvenger said:
As far as "zombie canon" goes, I've an admittedly small nit to pick. Namely, I'm tired of the "reasonable explanations" for zombies and vampires. I wish Left4Dead had -true- zombies, not "infected". It's like, "oh, no, they can't be undead, that's just too unrealistic!". Puh-leze. "Wait, they're infected instead, yay, that's so much more believable, thus fun!". I disagree. Undead a hell of a lot more fun, and scary, than infected people. For me, at least.

Waiting and hoping for the day when media and games once again feature the real zombies . . .and all the emo anne rice-esque vampires die a quick and horrible death.
i think ive never seen any zombie flick where they call the zombies, zombies, maybe shaun of the dead in some parts, but still some stuff that they say at the end about a sickness...

oh and if you want to see evil bloodthirsty vampires again, you may want to check the hellsing manga and OVAs (the anime its not bad but its not bloody)

a OVA fight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjMS-eMw1cg&feature=related
 

Jordan Deam

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Am I the only person on this thread that believes starvation or a single bullet to the head is somewhat better than being EATEN ALIVE?!?!?!

Are you all insane? Logically speaking (yes, I know logic and zombies, har har) you're arn't going to do well against the apocolypse zombies. If you somehow even GOT the massive arsenal that you get in the game (How many tables have YOU seen in a subway loaded with shotguns?) you still wouldn't be able to fight an enemy that numberous! Tactically speaking, it'd be better to hold up and (if necessary) make short strategic strikes for supplies than crossing over 5 county lines so that you can get some random helicopter that promises safety.

With four people against a smaller zombie force (of the zombies in the games mind) you'd have to have a positive outlook to conclude that one of the four make it across the street alive.

And then, after you suffer through the agonizing experience of being ripped apart, you then get to spend the rest of your life as a deformed and deranged murderer of the common man.

Way to go...
 

Slycne

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smallharmlesskitten said:
Mariena said:
Mwhahaha. Smallharmlesskitten, you got ooowned!

=P
Limos said:
Hehehe, Smallharmlesskitten got eaten alive.
Thanks you two. I killed him a few times as well.

(I only had the game for two days as well)
That footage mysteriously disappeared and didn't make it into the cut...
 

smallharmlesskitten

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Slycne said:
smallharmlesskitten said:
Mariena said:
Mwhahaha. Smallharmlesskitten, you got ooowned!

=P
Limos said:
Hehehe, Smallharmlesskitten got eaten alive.
Thanks you two. I killed him a few times as well.

(I only had the game for two days as well)
That footage mysteriously disappeared and didn't make it into the cut...
Lies... it's all lies. I'll get you again tomorrow.
 

TsunamiWombat

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Slycne said:
gmjapan said:
Nice review. Want to levy 1 criticism (and it might be coz i missed it...) you only mention playing as the 4 survivors in co-op. The game can really take off for some people when you play 4v4 taking turnabout as survivors and infected to try and beat the other team.
It can also be played single player but really you dont want to be getting the game for that, it'll get old fast.
The video supplement discusses versus mode.

I pre-ordered the game so that I could get the demo early, and I haven't stopped having a blast playing this game since. I honestly think this might be my game of the year.
Got it for Steam or Xbox? Steam name is Mooshielar. Lets play on expert and cuss about the director together.
 

Doug

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PopcornAvenger said:
As far as "zombie canon" goes, I've an admittedly small nit to pick. Namely, I'm tired of the "reasonable explanations" for zombies and vampires. I wish Left4Dead had -true- zombies, not "infected". It's like, "oh, no, they can't be undead, that's just too unrealistic!". Puh-leze. "Wait, they're infected instead, yay, that's so much more believable, thus fun!". I disagree. Undead a hell of a lot more fun, and scary, than infected people. For me, at least.

Waiting and hoping for the day when media and games once again feature the real zombies . . .and all the emo anne rice-esque vampires die a quick and horrible death.
Meh, I don't care where the zombies are from, but I admit I was sick of all that magical stuff. Not to say non-magically done explantions are always better ("Dead Rising" was rubbish to me). However, I do find rushing towards me undead more troubling than the slow, shambing type. With the shambers, you know you can outrun them, wait until something else distracts them, and then your clear. The running ones have the automatic fear of things charging at you with no sense of self-preservation, and at the same time, you can't outrun them.
 

Chrinik

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I think soon enough this game will be flooded by 12 Year Olds ramling into my ear that "Thar is a witch!!!111 Lets ALL BE SILENT!!!" and then be the first to make his flashlight on<.<
 

Doug

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Chrinik said:
I think soon enough this game will be flooded by 12 Year Olds ramling into my ear that "Thar is a witch!!!111 Lets ALL BE SILENT!!!" and then be the first to make his flashlight on<.<
Nah, I don't think zombies appeal as much to them - and they'll get tired with being left dead by other team mates for screwing up so much and leave ;)
 

PopcornAvenger

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Doug said:
Meh, I don't care where the zombies are from, but I admit I was sick of all that magical stuff. Not to say non-magically done explantions are always better ("Dead Rising" was rubbish to me). However, I do find rushing towards me undead more troubling than the slow, shambing type. With the shambers, you know you can outrun them, wait until something else distracts them, and then your clear. The running ones have the automatic fear of things charging at you with no sense of self-preservation, and at the same time, you can't outrun them.
Well, we're talking about two different things here, zombie origin and then speed. I'm fine with fast moving zombies - one of the creepiest and scariest zombie movies was Return of the Living Dead. Hell, even headshots didn't put those things down, you had to dismember them. Braaaaainsssss! I was fine with the explanation it was some top-secret government nerve gas - because even the government couldn't explain the hows or whys as to zombification.

The shamblers are creepy, too. There's this sense of inevitability about them - that no matter how many you kill, eventually, one of thems gonna get ya . . . .

I liked Romero's undead, original or extra-speedy. He never explained the why's or how, although the characters in the movies debated it. Some opted for the plague or virus explanation, but others claimed it was God punishing us - "God wanted to show us what Hate looks like", or "When there's no more room in Hell, the Dead will walk the Earth".

Shaun of the Dead was hilarous. Hated 28 Days.
 

nekolux

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Doug said:
maddog015 said:
Has anyone played Zombie Panic Source? Is there much of a difference between the two games?
I have and I'd say yes. Zombie Panic: Source, whilst good, doesn't match the improved gameplay and team-working of L4D - there is a demo if you want to try it.
demo is no longer available, even if you have the file steam wont let you run it, best thing to do now is run over to the nearest friend who has l4d, bite him till he lets you play ! =D

And yeah i get your previous post i play at night a lot lol but people freaking out over the witch = awesome
 

Slycne

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Feb 19, 2006
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TsunamiWombat said:
Slycne said:
gmjapan said:
The video supplement discusses versus mode.

I pre-ordered the game so that I could get the demo early, and I haven't stopped having a blast playing this game since. I honestly think this might be my game of the year.
Got it for Steam or Xbox? Steam name is Mooshielar. Lets play on expert and cuss about the director together.
I have it on PC/Steam. If you want to add me, my name is still Slycne on Steam. And yes the AI director can be brutal sometimes. Oh let me spawn a tank for you in this nice confined space where you have no room to run.
 

ElArabDeMagnifico

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Doug said:
PopcornAvenger said:
As far as "zombie canon" goes, I've an admittedly small nit to pick. Namely, I'm tired of the "reasonable explanations" for zombies and vampires. I wish Left4Dead had -true- zombies, not "infected". It's like, "oh, no, they can't be undead, that's just too unrealistic!". Puh-leze. "Wait, they're infected instead, yay, that's so much more believable, thus fun!". I disagree. Undead a hell of a lot more fun, and scary, than infected people. For me, at least.

Waiting and hoping for the day when media and games once again feature the real zombies . . .and all the emo anne rice-esque vampires die a quick and horrible death.
Meh, I don't care where the zombies are from, but I admit I was sick of all that magical stuff. Not to say non-magically done explantions are always better ("Dead Rising" was rubbish to me). However, I do find rushing towards me undead more troubling than the slow, shambing type. With the shambers, you know you can outrun them, wait until something else distracts them, and then your clear. The running ones have the automatic fear of things charging at you with no sense of self-preservation, and at the same time, you can't outrun them.
The slow shamblers will be stronger, as opposed to the infected horde that takes a few shots. That's the trade-off I would see. There would probably be more numbers too, but the way the scenarios are in Left4Dead, it's better off the way it is.
 

the_carrot

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Jordan Deam said:
It will have you huddling so close to your fellow Survivors you'll forget they're likely piloted by a bunch of foul-mouthed pre-teen misfits. Any game that can get stereotypical Xbox players communicating and collaborating deserves more than just rave reviews - it deserves the Nobel f**king Peace Prize.
win.
 

TheBadass

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Ugh, another game to go on the list of things-to-buy. This is getting ridiculous...
 

milskidasith

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I noticed a few things wrong with the review supplement: First off, versus mode has tanks spawn based on how well the survivors are doing (like in the game). It's entirely possible to have no tanks spawn in a round, and once my team had to fight three in a round.

Second, the AI in the game is great for normal and easy mode, but on higher difficulties, especially expert, their love of using health kits at merely yellow health WILL get you killed. And I've encountered AI pathing issues leading to me being killed at full health by a smoker three feet from them (the computers just stood there). The AI is good, but I didn't find them as impressive as in the real game. It would be nice if you could tell your AI counterparts not to heal you, though.
 

Jordan Deam

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PopcornAvenger said:
As far as "zombie canon" goes, I've an admittedly small nit to pick. Namely, I'm tired of the "reasonable explanations" for zombies and vampires. I wish Left4Dead had -true- zombies, not "infected". It's like, "oh, no, they can't be undead, that's just too unrealistic!". Puh-leze. "Wait, they're infected instead, yay, that's so much more believable, thus fun!". I disagree. Undead a hell of a lot more fun, and scary, than infected people. For me, at least.

Waiting and hoping for the day when media and games once again feature the real zombies . . .and all the emo anne rice-esque vampires die a quick and horrible death.
The idea isn't for realism, it's for gameplay and it's part of why I love the game. Slow zombies present almost no threat in a game, but fast zombies coming in hordes presents arcady fun that most game developers tend to neglect these day. I really loved seeing old school concepts with new school game making come together.
 

TsunamiWombat

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milskidasith said:
I noticed a few things wrong with the review supplement: First off, versus mode has tanks spawn based on how well the survivors are doing (like in the game). It's entirely possible to have no tanks spawn in a round, and once my team had to fight three in a round.

Second, the AI in the game is great for normal and easy mode, but on higher difficulties, especially expert, their love of using health kits at merely yellow health WILL get you killed. And I've encountered AI pathing issues leading to me being killed at full health by a smoker three feet from them (the computers just stood there). The AI is good, but I didn't find them as impressive as in the real game. It would be nice if you could tell your AI counterparts not to heal you, though.
Agree, the AI does a decent job of sticking with you and covering you and a great job of not shooting you, but they just don't cut the mustard on expert- perhaps because none of them grab grenades and having a teammate who can lob a pipebomb during a rush or throwing down molotovs during a showdown is necessary. Also they tend to run INFRONT of you whilst your shooting, and they waste heal kits.
 

Jordan Deam

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milskidasith said:
I noticed a few things wrong with the review supplement: First off, versus mode has tanks spawn based on how well the survivors are doing (like in the game). It's entirely possible to have no tanks spawn in a round, and once my team had to fight three in a round.

Second, the AI in the game is great for normal and easy mode, but on higher difficulties, especially expert, their love of using health kits at merely yellow health WILL get you killed. And I've encountered AI pathing issues leading to me being killed at full health by a smoker three feet from them (the computers just stood there). The AI is good, but I didn't find them as impressive as in the real game. It would be nice if you could tell your AI counterparts not to heal you, though.
Thanks for the correction, and agreed on the A.I. issues. The bottom line is that even if Valve could have programmed the A.I. to play perfectly, it still wouldn't be as much fun as playing with three friends. You need someone to share those "oh shit" moments with :)
 

milskidasith

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Actually, with further testing I have found that you are more correct than I thought (on the tanks, I mean). On the first few stages, they spawn none or one (more likely on later stages). On the second to last stage, they spawn one or two, usually one. On the last stage, they spawn 3: One after a big wave of zombies, one with the second big wave of zombies, and one with the massive wave of zombies at the very end of the level.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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Well, I've played as Zoey versus two 'schwein' friends of mine and I managed the first 3 levels purely by running for the exit at all times.

They're far better shots than me, so they took their time to finish me off. The Hunter and the Tank are a mare to control at times, but nothing is better than a Boomer within a horde.

Any serious player should be able to drop a Smoker with ease, unless he gets some fool off on their own.

And the dirtiest trick of all: Get a Boomer or Smoker to stand behind the Witch. :)
 

milskidasith

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Smoker's are too weak. They hit too slow and take forever to kill their opponent, and have a horrible recharge time on their toungue. If they did, like, double the damage of the hunter when they hit, I'd be OK with them, but hunters are NEVER worse than smokers except in areas with lots of rooftops and no branching paths (and even then, it's a tie at best).

To the above: There are dirtier tricks than standing near a witch... such as binding K to kill for boomers. You can explode without the survivors having a chance to push you away.
 

smallharmlesskitten

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Apr 3, 2008
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The_root_of_all_evil said:
Well, I've played as Zoey versus two 'schwein' friends of mine and I managed the first 3 levels purely by running for the exit at all times.

They're far better shots than me, so they took their time to finish me off. The Hunter and the Tank are a mare to control at times, but nothing is better than a Boomer within a horde.

Any serious player should be able to drop a Smoker with ease, unless he gets some fool off on their own.

And the dirtiest trick of all: Get a Boomer or Smoker to stand behind the Witch. :)
Or get the Tank to throw a car with an alarm on... I hated that move. Happened to me twice
 

Jordan Deam

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Great review. This game is really fun. I only ever play it with friends online because I can't stand the annoying people who hog the med packs and throw a pipe bomb right before closing a door and keeping themselves safe.
 

ElArabDeMagnifico

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milskidasith said:
Smoker's are too weak. They hit too slow and take forever to kill their opponent, and have a horrible recharge time on their toungue. If they did, like, double the damage of the hunter when they hit, I'd be OK with them, but hunters are NEVER worse than smokers except in areas with lots of rooftops and no branching paths (and even then, it's a tie at best).

To the above: There are dirtier tricks than standing near a witch... such as binding K to kill for boomers. You can explode without the survivors having a chance to push you away.

I like the smoker, just stay behind the group and get the last one in line while you are around a corner, they rush to get him/her, then a boomer or 2 hunters cause chaos.

OR

It's lovely when helping out a tank, or catching people before they go to the rescue vehicle, or pulling people through their molotovs (the dirtiest trick of all) but most importantly, if you can get them in an awkward position, then you can kill them without having to compromise yourself! The tounge recharge is pretty much the nerf of the smoker, but he's gotta grow a new one since they cut yours off anyway.
 

milskidasith

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ElArabDeMagnifico said:
milskidasith said:
Smoker's are too weak. They hit too slow and take forever to kill their opponent, and have a horrible recharge time on their toungue. If they did, like, double the damage of the hunter when they hit, I'd be OK with them, but hunters are NEVER worse than smokers except in areas with lots of rooftops and no branching paths (and even then, it's a tie at best).

To the above: There are dirtier tricks than standing near a witch... such as binding K to kill for boomers. You can explode without the survivors having a chance to push you away.

I like the smoker, just stay behind the group and get the last one in line while you are around a corner, they rush to get him/her, then a boomer or 2 hunters cause chaos.

OR

It's lovely when helping out a tank, or catching people before they go to the rescue vehicle, or pulling people through their molotovs (the dirtiest trick of all) but most importantly, if you can get them in an awkward position, then you can kill them without having to compromise yourself! The tounge recharge is pretty much the nerf of the smoker, but he's gotta grow a new one since they cut yours off anyway.
Except for dragging people into awkward positions, the hunter always outclasses the smoker. Even in places with many areas where you could drag a survivor from on a roof or down from where he is, it's always a tradeoff between damage and safety. I've seen smokers used to great effect, but I've never really thought "Damn, if only we had a smoker" or thought "that smoker is unquestionably the reason why we won, and it would have been worse with a hunter"
 

MyFiyaBePurged O_o

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ok i must say after reading the review and posts i opted to buy the game instead of paying bills...because im a responsible adult...and i swear after playing it...i joygasmed in my pants. First time I saw a tank come barreling around a corner i swear the neighbors heard me sh*t myself. This game will definitely be one of those things that gives me plenty of oh sh*t moments.
Only thing that pissed me off was this one kid was so excited about propane tanks that he would pick them up, run around, and boast about how white and smooth it was. So i shot it and blew him up. ^_^
 

ElArabDeMagnifico

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milskidasith said:
Except for dragging people into awkward positions, the hunter always outclasses the smoker. Even in places with many areas where you could drag a survivor from on a roof or down from where he is, it's always a tradeoff between damage and safety. I've seen smokers used to great effect, but I've never really thought "Damn, if only we had a smoker" or thought "that smoker is unquestionably the reason why we won, and it would have been worse with a hunter"
The tradeoff between the two is distance. While the hunter can pounce and fuck things up, he has to get up close, which makes him vulnerable, especially since melee is the bane of the hunter, and practically useless when the group is together - so many times have people just shot a hunter on someone while they were downed, but can't get a smoker because he's too far off. Smokers will pull them apart which will cause the group to run back or something, boomers will cause chaos and blind the other half of the group, then the hunters go in for the kill. Smoker was the spark that lit the fire!

That's just a scenario I had and it's a winning combo most of the time - outclassed or not, smokers are vital - and blood harvest is smoker heaven because of all the elevated positions and how easy it is to pull people out of the house in the finale, and heaven for the other 2 because of all the hiding spots.

I do think the hunter is better than the smoker in general, but I've definitely had those 2 thoughts you quoted come to my mind very often. I've also thought "That smoker is why we LOST" too.
 

milskidasith

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ElArabDeMagnifico said:
milskidasith said:
Except for dragging people into awkward positions, the hunter always outclasses the smoker. Even in places with many areas where you could drag a survivor from on a roof or down from where he is, it's always a tradeoff between damage and safety. I've seen smokers used to great effect, but I've never really thought "Damn, if only we had a smoker" or thought "that smoker is unquestionably the reason why we won, and it would have been worse with a hunter"
The tradeoff between the two is distance. While the hunter can pounce and fuck things up, he has to get up close, which makes him vulnerable, especially since melee is the bane of the hunter, and practically useless when the group is together - so many times have people just shot a hunter on someone while they were downed, but can't get a smoker because he's too far off. Smokers will pull them apart which will cause the group to run back or something, boomers will cause chaos and blind the other half of the group, then the hunters go in for the kill. Smoker was the spark that lit the fire!

That's just a scenario I had and it's a winning combo most of the time - outclassed or not, smokers are vital - and blood harvest is smoker heaven because of all the elevated positions and how easy it is to pull people out of the house in the finale, and heaven for the other 2 because of all the hiding spots.

I do think the hunter is better than the smoker in general, but I've definitely had those 2 thoughts you quoted come to my mind very often. I've also thought "That smoker is why we LOST" too.
To your first example: Grouped together people are the bane of smokers far more than hunters. Here's the scenario whenever I see people close together.

Smoker: Tangles up somebody, the tangled guy gets meleed by friends, they fire a few autoshotty rounds in the direction of the tongue.

Hunter: Not counting pounce damage, which can, by simply angling it high, deal 10 damage even to a perfectly spread out (no pounce knockback) group, but you can also get three guaranteed hits in if everybody gets pounce knockbacked.

Hunters die in close range, true, but they deal a good amount of damage, while smokers against tight knit groups can't do much except maybe drag the guy covering their six a few feet away to a range where there is no pounce knockback and hunters are worse because of it.

Also, if somebody is in the house on Blood Harvest, they are doing it wrong. Barn is way better, and there is enough time between the big waves and the tanks to run into the house, heal, and get outside where you can best fight the tank.
 

ElArabDeMagnifico

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Oh, good tip with Blood Harvest, have no idea why I didn't think of that, but then again, a smoker could be the one to pull someone out and at least distract them long enough to get some hunters and a boomer in. I also usually use the smoker tongue when together with a boomer, and hunter knockback like you said (I forgot about that, they use to not have a knockback effect), but I guess that goes to show that the smoker on his own is pretty much useless. Then again, it isn't his purpose.

Actually now that you mention it I just remembered how much I hate that damn knockback effect. The smoker needs to make a cloud of smoke on whoever he tangles or something, he needs an annoyance too!

EDIT: Hunter knockback in action [http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=1054#Left4Dead]
 

SlayerGhede

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I wish you had mentioned some of the issues surrounding versus mode.

The AI director is unpredictable, while one team gets a swarm halfway through the level, another could get it right at the beginning. While one team can get a tank in a strategically advantageous position, another can get it while the survivors are in a prime defensive position, or worse, not at all. With distance being the goal for survivors, this severely unbalances the gameplay. A close match is not so much a test of skill as the mood of the capricious director.

*edit* Just noticed there were two pages, and someone already mentioned that. I'm still keeping it. I spent a lot of time wording that to make me sound a lot more intelligent than I actually am. Lack of sleep helps, for some reason I use more of my vocabulary when I can't keep my eyes open.

The PC server experience is dismal at best. With the privately owned dedicated servers running nearly whatever rulesets they desire, and lobbies having no way of deciding what server side variables are kosher, gameplay can be unpredictable at best, exploitable at worst. Password locked private servers are a pain-in-the-ass and a half to join, and experience numerous glitches and bugs (random difficulty/mode changes if they are preset, lack of lobby for rematch, unjoinable on friends list etc.) not seen in dedicated servers. They essentially developed multiplayer for the 360 and copied that 'feature' for 'feature' over to the PC, a move which has upset many core PC gamers.

All issues which I hope will eventually be addressed, but it's not the best way to show support for your main market. Knowing them it will be patched shortly... valve time.
 

Hendar23

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"Valve has created the first game truly worthy of the word "cooperative,""

Games journalists should check their facts.

www.coopordie.com
 

ElArabDeMagnifico

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SlayerGhede said:
All issues which I hope will eventually be addressed, but it's not the best way to show support for your main market. Knowing them it will be patched shortly... valve time.
Yeah they are changing the matchmaking for the PC version.
 

Proto Cloud

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Loving this game so far, but the only problem I have is that in the final chapter of each movie! Everytime I get into one of those standoffs, something ALWAYS goes horribly wrong (friends leave me to die, just as rescue comes in we get swarmed, team mates fail to gel). Another problem I have is that the difficulty curve between Normal and Advanced is a bit ridiculous. It's between too damn hard (you need some SERIOUS cooperation or you're done!) and too damn easy (little to no assistance needed).

Besides that it's great and you gotta love using the "TAKE A BREAK" function. Excellent for food and bathroom breaks!
 

BillBarilko

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I'm thinking about getting this on PC, but I'd like to know how easy it is to get into games in multiplayer - not very many of my friends are gamers, and the ones who are play on consoles. Is the maximum number of players limited to 8 (4 Survivors, 4 Zombies)? Sorry if that's a dumb question, but that's the impression I've gotten from what I've read so far.