DAR Games: The Left 4 Dead Series

Introduction By @TrueGodImmortal
-In a world heading for the apocalypse, what would you do? In a world where an infection and a virus has taken over the population, what would you do? If zombies came in hordes, and you had to fight for your survival, what would you do? While we've seen movies and games previously that actually take through these scenarios, perhaps there is no game more simplistic yet as perfect as Left 4 Dead 1 and 2. A simple co-op shooter game that takes you through two different areas of the outbreak of zombies, these games showcase survival skills and allow to simply shoot shit up. I remember when I first saw the game in the store, I wasn't really interested at first. I thought it might be a good game based on what I knew, but honestly, it would end up becoming more classic than anyone expected. The first game, released in 2009, would give way to a new series in gaming that would change the dynamic of zombie games. While storyline wise, most zombie related games are comparable to Resident Evil, the way Left 4 Dead is played simply take things to a different level.

The mechanics of the game are super underrated, with the controls being quite easy. The most important aspect of the game to me was the replay value, as it took a game with only a few short campaigns and gave it life that expanded beyond the average. Once you made it beyond the first campaign, you didn't instantly want to go to the next, instead, you wanted to replay the finished campaign and do things differently. With four protagonists, labeled "Survivors", the game takes you through a maze of sorts, as you rush through each piece of the campaign to make it to your safe house. While the first edition of Left 4 Dead was a bit more of a straightforward shooter, the second installment would feature a different landscape, new characters, and upgraded weapons. Many of us, are clamoring for a third edition of the game and if all accounts are correct, we may be getting that sooner than later. For now, we can only hope. Let's take a look at another opinion on the Left 4 Dead series before delving slightly deeper into discussion about this classic two game series.

No co-op shooter was better for my money during the 360/PS3 era than Left 4 Dead and its sequel Left 4 Dead 2. With its innovative “Director A.I.” system, the game brought a different level of challenge that made every stage feel as if you had no idea what was around the corner. It’s a formula that hasn’t been duplicated, which is strange considering the copycat nature of the video game industry. When Gears of War had its Horde mode introduced, shortly after, you couldn’t find a shooter without a Horde mode. But somehow, over the years, L4D’s gameplay style remains with that game. There really is no better feeling in a FPS with your friends than slowly creeping through a level as opposed to blowing through it because you can hear the telltale cries of the ridiculously powerful Witch enemy.

On the other hand, there is nothing worse than one of your teammates being dumb enough to wake her up and the mad scramble that came as a result of it. There was a surprising amount of strategy to the game as playing as a team works much better than trying to lone wolf it. The last thing you want is to be pinned down by a Hunter with no one around to help you. Then of course you have the mad dash to the safe house door in the midst of a zombie bum rush that could potentially wipe out your entire team. I've had so many close calls where either I or a friend was the last one standing in the middle of that hell and had to carve a path to the safehouse only to JUST make it. To this day, I still haven’t experienced anything like that in a video game. I’ve been waiting for years to hear anything about a third game and there have been some whispers and rumors but nothing concrete. Hopefully, this year’s E3 will put an end to that waiting.

Outro By @TrueGodImmortal
-For me, in 2008, when playing the first game, I hated the characters. They would have their own style and abilities, as well as distinct personalities, as Bill (a war veteran), Louis (the lone black dude who was an IT analyst), Francis (a motorcycle biker), and Zoey (a college student) worked together to fight through those infected with the green flu. What was different about Left 4 Dead from other games is that their zombies weren't just regular... they weren't just hyper fast mutated beings who feast, they were able to have different abilities. There was The Hunter, The Smoker, The Boomer, The Witch, and The Tank, all of whom represented a differing level of difficult to kill. The Tank was the toughest of them all to kill, but The Hunter and The Smoker proved to be very sneaky and tough to defeat because they can catch you off guard. The Witch seemingly did the most damage quickly, but those five special infected characters added to the experience of the game without a doubt. The first one was truly a lot of fun and it's my favorite of the two games, and it even comes with a cinematic style sacrifice at the end of the game, which leads us into the second game (in a way at least).

The second edition is the superior game in terms of weapons, look, and overall execution, as it expands on what we loved about the first and takes things a step further. There are more of the special infected and varying types of antagonists in this game, with The Witch, The Hunter, The Smoker, The Boomer, and The Tank all making a return, while The Jockey, The Charger, and The Spitter also make their debuts in this game. I personally thought the new special infected were a bit too much and didn't add a lot to the game, but it also doesn't take away from the experience. The weapons are much more fun in L4D2, and the campaigns are a bit more out there in a way. The characters are interesting this go round, with Coach (a high school football coach), Nick (a con artist), Rochelle (a production assistant), and Ellis (a mechanic) leading the way as they work through six campaigns (two are DLC), all of which are fun for their own reasons. Between those campaigns, I like Dark Carnival, The Parish, and The Passing the most, as they are all extremely fun to play. Left 4 Dead 2 basically took the formula of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and gave us more for our buck and left fans wanting more and more.

Since 2009, the release of the second game, fans have been wanting the third edition. I'll be honest, as unlikely as it seemed prior to this article, the more research you do, the greater the chance it has for happening. Valve needs a big release or two, and while another Half-Life game could be on the way, a surefire hit for the gaming community would be the much needed Left 4 Dead 3. Valve, the world is waiting.



Popular Posts