DAR Classic Games: Left 4 Dead

By @TrueGodImmortal 

Now, when we discuss classic games, you get your usual Sonic, Mario, Zelda, maybe even a Metal Gear or something of that nature, but rarely do you see a game rooted in zombie warfare get that sort of love, unless of course you are Resident Evil. Now, I'm not truly a big fan of Resident Evil nor am I a big fan of zombie games, but that changed for me a bit the moment I picked up Left 4 Dead in November 2008. I had heard a bit of news on it, but admittedly wasn't that invested in purchasing it. I had my NBA 2K9, my Madden 09, and my yearly Call of Duty game, so I was pretty much all set. At the time, I was usually solely focused on those games and the one player experience that came with it. However, the simplistic gameplay and massive amounts of fun that Left 4 Dead provided would soon take over my gaming experience daily. It would be myself and my ex-girlfriend who would both enjoy the game, adding to the fun, and making the multiplayer experience that much better. I was never really a big online play fan during this period, so my L4D fun was just going into the game with 2 players and 2 CPUs and killing zombies.

Now, that I got a bit of backstory out of the way in regards to this game, let's get to the facts. Left 4 Dead is set in an apocalyptic epidemic as something called the "Green Flu" has plagued the world. Now, as this disease and infection begins spreading, it becomes about survival and maintaining your group. Your group consists of 4 people: the war veteran Bill, the student Zoey, the skeptical black IT analyst Louis, and an outlaw biker named Francis. As the outbreak reaches high levels, the four of you navigate through the town of Fairfield, PA looking to find other survivors and feel relieved when they hear through radio that there is a place called Mercy Hospital that has meds, first aid and could possibly be shelter. The fight to get out of Mercy Hospital is a grand one, and when our survivors make it to the evacuation point, all seems well. However, the helicopter that picks up the four survivors is being led by an infected pilot and when Zoey has to kill him, they end up right back where they started.

They end up in the town of Riverside, and unfortunately that town is no better. It's swamped with the infected and they have to flee that town as well. The journey of these four is quite the experience and after they escape from the airport to apparently end the game, all seems well. However, an additional stage on the game was introduced through the DLC titled "Crash Course", and the survivors ended up in a National Forest fighting for survival yet again. Now, as the four make their way to a military base, they find out the truth about the infection and watch as the military base gets overrun with another horde. As the four try to get to safety, they are met with one grim reality: someone has to sacrifice themselves in order for them to get to safety. Bill makes this call and sacrifices himself as the three remaining survivors end up heading towards Florida. In a bit of interesting lead up to the sequel, these survivors encounter the four survivors that are the main characters for L4D2. We might have to come back and cover the sequel, as it featured a lot of fun as well, along with a wider variety of weapons (though I feel it isn't as good as the first one).

Now, with the story and narrative of the game out of the way, I have to discuss the fun of this FPS. On top of the multiplayer experience, you have the Survival mode where you can play online as survivors or the infected. This would prove to be a fun addition to the game as well. Now, the game isn't necessarily difficult: it is pretty straight forward with its shooting mechanics, providing you with a pistol from the start that has unlimited ammo, making the game a bit "easier", but a pistol with unlimited ammo versus a horde of about 60 or more isn't necessarily as effective as you would hope. You can also use a submachine gun or a pump action shotgun as a secondary weapon, and as your campaign progresses, you find upgraded weapons like a fully automatic assault rifle (to replace the submachine) and a semi-auto shotgun(to replace the pump action) and a hunting rifle. You also can be armed with a pipe bomb or molotov cocktail to do massive damage to a horde. All these weapons are extremely fun to use and make for obvious better precision than the unlimited pistol (you can also pick up a second pistol for double shooting as well).

Here are the four original campaigns
*No Mercy
*Death Toll 
*Blood Harvest 
*Dead Air
(Crash Course was the DLC campaign, and was much shorter than the first four).

Now, while the infected horde make up the majority of your adversaries in this game, there are a few exaggerated "special infected" that adds to the experience:

*The Boomer
-The overweight green bile spewing infected who can impair vision with that. Easy to kill but when you kill him, try to not be too close because the green bile explodes when he dies.

*The Smoker
-Now, as silly as this is, the smoker is a long tongue infected who grabs his victims with his tongue and chokes them. Also easy to kill, but tough to break the survivors from his grip at times.

*The Hunter
-Likely the smartest of the infected. He pounces on survivors when they least expect it and tries to rip apart their flesh at any chance. A bit tougher to kill because of his stealth nature.

*The Witch 
-She sits. She waits. She sees light and attacks. It is better to just let her sit in the dark alone than to shine light and kill her. She can kill you on just one blow. Deadly.

*The Tank 
-The hardest to kill and truly the toughest to beat. The big muscle bound infected who can take your health down quickly with just one punch, The Tank requires a ton of bullets to stop him and the full team of survivors to take him out. He is essentially the Infected Incredible Hulk.

Now, with infected hordes, special infected, unlimited pistols, pipe bombs and more, what's not to love about L4D? If you've played it before, you know the greatness. If not, well, get familiar. It is a true classic and my favorite Zombie game, as well as one of my all time favorites.



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