Left 4 Dead Xbox 360
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Left 4 Dead Product Details
Released on 21/11/2008
The Survivor Co-op Game Mode is played out across four sprawling campaigns, set in urban and rural environments. Each campaign has an over-riding team objective, and is comprised of five large maps. The campaigns link together to tell the story of the Survivor’s escape to safety. The team of four Survivors may be comprised of 1 to 4 human players, allowing for single player and multiplayer co-op games.
Next generation AI technology powers all non-player Survivor and zombie characters. This is facilitated by the AI Director, a pool of systems used to procedurally generate a unique experience by monitoring the players’ experiences and tailoring the pacing and difficulty of action for each game. This makes for a different experience each time the game is played.
In Left 4 Dead’s Vs. Mode players may play as a Survivor or as one of four types of “Boss Infected.” Each of the “Boss Infected” possesses an exceptional mutant ability – such as a 50-foot tongue lasso (Smoker) or a giant belly full of explosive methane gas (Boome) – instead of traditional firearms.
Left 4 Dead on the Xbox 360 Features:
Addictive co-op action gameplay from the makers of Counter-Strike and Half-Life
Advanced artificial intelligence drives both friendly and unfriendly creatures to dynamically create intense single-player, co-op, and multiplayer experiences every time the game is played
20 new maps. 10 new weapons. Four sprawling campaigns.
Match making, stats, rankings, and awards system drive collaborative play
Designer’s Commentary mode allows gamers to go “behind the scenes” of the game.
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Are there any Zombies out there?
Released amidst Gears of War 2 and CoD: World at War, many may pass over Left 4 Dead. That would be a huge mistake. It may not have an epic story like those games (indeed, the only real cutscene is right at the beginning), but Left 4 Dead is an extremely fast paced co-operative FPS from the makers of Half Life, that’s amongst the year’s most addictive offerings.
The zed-word. Don't say it! Because it's ridiculous!
In Left 4 Dead you play as one of four survivors trying to make it through a zombie apocalypse. There are four scenarios to try and live through. No Mercy, for instance, sees you fight from an apartment block, through the city streets, into the subway and sewers, and then through a Hospital, to the roof where you must wait for an extraction helicopter. Sounds easy, until you see waves of infected on-screen at once. Add to that the special infected that are lurking about the levels as well, and the task gets even more daunting. And that’s just one example!
The first time you see a Witch appear between you and that helicopter, you won’t know whether to run, shoot or simply cry.
It’s all governed by Left 4 Dead’s primary innovation, AI director. Can’t find enough real players to team up with? Not to worry – the AI Director will take up the mantle. It also adapts the game’s difficulty to your skill level. Do too well and you’ll get a horde of special infected to combat. If you’re struggling, it’ll give you breathing space. The upshot is that no two games of Left 4 Dead ever feel the same, with the type of enemies you’ll face and weapon and health spawn points being constantly unpredictable. The first time you see a Witch appear between you and that helicopter, you won’t know whether to run, shoot or simply cry.
Who died and made you king of the zombies?
Visually, Left 4 Dead isn’t as polished as a Gears of War, but the sheer volume of action is, quite literally, scary. With four survivors in total, 40+ infected and large maps that feature zero load times, it’s quite a spectacle – and features some of the best lighting we’ve seen in a game. A torch attached to every weapon casts shadows that will make you jump even without an enemy nearby, and the way you’ll slowly scan rooms for infected, only to have things descend sharply into a cacophony of microphone shouting and panicked gunfire makes Left 4 Dead possibly the year’s most atmospheric release.
With four survivors in total, 40+ infected and large maps that feature zero load times, it’s quite a spectacle
It’s arguably even more fun in the player vs player mode, too. Here, the four survivors are hunted by four player-controlled infected; the latter of which offers an entirely different gameplay experience. Hunters leap large distances to pin down survivors, Boomers vomit over survivors, attracting the zombie horde, and the smoker can pull the survivors towards him. The Boomer and Smoker are quite slow, however, so the abilities balance out – though it can frustrate when you only get to walk for 10 seconds, then wait 30 second to respawn.
There are only six guns in total in Left 4 Dead, though – a rather small number by FPS standards. Initially, there doesn’t seem to be much difference in power; and even at higher difficulties it’s not as pronounced as you’d expect – although range, and reload times for different weapons are an altogether different matter. Likewise, there’s no individual character classes in Left 4 Dead like in, say Call of Duty. So the strategy element comes down to communicating with your friends and working out the best balance of weapons between the four of you. It’s immensely pick-up-and-play, then, but boasts enough variety to have you playing solidly for hours.
Come and get it! It's a running buffet! All you can eat!
A word of advice though; ramp up the difficulty. Left 4 Dead can be completed quickly on the lower difficulty settings, while Advanced and Expert offer a really satisfying challenge. And despite the somewhat small number of campaigns and weapons, the possibility of download content in the future makes Left 4 Dead an investment that’s full of potential. Focusing on teamwork, communication and deliver fun by the clipfull, you’d have to be dead already not to love this.
- Really fast paced and relentless.
- Brilliant with friends.
- Nothing else like it.
- The weapons don’t seem to offer all that much power difference.
- Character abilities would have been cool.
- Levels can feel a bit short – though potential future DLC should sate this somewhat.
Fight of the living dead
The idea of setting a survival horror game amid a zombie apocalypse is hardly the stuff of Nobel Prize-winning originality. But no one has thought of doing it quite like this before. Designed by the makers of Half-Life, Left 4 Dead is a truly co-operative first-person shooter, with four players teaming up online to battle through wave after wave of undead nasties.
As with the best horror flicks, the back-story is left deliberately ambiguous. Some kind of virus has turned most of the world's population into ravenous death beasts - think of 28 Days Later's fast-moving Infected rather than Night Of The Living Dead's shambolically shuffling corpses. Now, a ragtag bunch of survivors - Francis the biker, Zoey the rich kid, Bill the Vietnam vet and Louis the shop manager - must make their way to 'safety' through a series of huge environments, taking in every horror movie cliche possible along the way, from creepy farmhouses and devastated hospitals to pitch black abandoned subways. The baddies come at you from everywhere, crashing through windows, doors and even walls to feast on your glistening entrails.
Bosses from hell
Along with the classic zombie hordes, there are boss monsters to face off against. Boomers projectile vomit into your face then explode to finish the job; Smokers wrap you up with a tentacle-like tongue; Hunters can leap at you from 30ft away; and Tanks are enormous muscular berserkers who can kill you with one measly shove.
Lone gunmen who run off into the dark by themselves are going to get ripped to pieces quicker than you can say 'chicken bucket meal'.
Brilliantly, when you play Left 4 Dead online, human participants are able to take on the roles of these boss creatures, stalking and slashing at the survivors. There's also a terrifying queen zombie known as the Witch, a scrawny wretch who crawls silently around like something out of a Japanese ghost movie. Make a noise though, and she becomes an enraged and hideously powerful banshee, killing anyone within eyeshot. Tip-toes all round then.
Importantly, this isn't just a co-op game by name, survivors really are going to have to work together to make it through. Lone gunmen who run off into the dark by themselves are going to get ripped to pieces quicker than you can say 'chicken bucket meal'.
Stay together, slay together
But together, players can share weapons, ammo and med kits, covering each other as they run through exposed areas and healing pals who've been munched on by the enemy. There are also times when you must rescue teammates from a particular monster. The Hunter zombies, for example, pounce on survivors and keep them pinned until someone else shows up to wrestle them off.
Perhaps the most ingenious aspect of Left 4 Dead is its AI system, known as the Director. Instead of creating set spawn points for enemies, Director assesses your progress through the environment, noting your accuracy with weapons and other performance indicators, before chucking a carefully selected bunch of zombie monsters at you. This way, the balance is always perfect, plus the game is different every time you play.
You never know where the next stash of ammo is going to turn up. There'll be no rushing through locations on the way to the best weapons.
And, oh yes, there are guns. Shotguns, rifles, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs can all be picked up and satisfyingly employed. Like enemy start points, Left 4 Dead's weapon stockpiles are moved each time, so you never know where the next stash of ammo is going to turn up. There'll be no rushing through locations on the way to the best weapons.
While co-op gameplay is all the rage right now, no other title is so obsessively based around teamwork as Left 4 Dead. It's all about pitching in together, facing down seemingly endless waves of psychotic sickos, bent on your demise. It's about watching each others' backs as you inch through hugely atmospheric environments, listening for the slightest zombie groan. If you're not excited by this prospect, you're surely already dead.
Preview by: Keith 'Shotgun' Stuart
Preview Published: 15.10.08
Left 4 Dead Review (27/11/2008)
Are there any Zombies out there?
Released amidst Gears of War 2 and CoD: World at War, many may pass over Left 4 Dead. That would be a huge mistake. It may not have an…Left 4 Dead Preview (15/10/2008)
Fight of the living dead
The idea of setting a survival horror game amid a zombie apocalypse is hardly the stuff of Nobel Prize-winning originality. But no one has tho…Left 4 Dead User ReviewsTop review1 year agoThey're coming!This game is so much fun to play! Wether you stratiegegly and plan your moves or run around shooting anything that moves (like me) your bound to be enjoying yourself. If you look in the right places you'll see that there is a story behind the zombie attacks. The characters have different personalities which results in some funny dialouge. Plus in verses mode you can change sides an hunt down the survivours as one of the infected. I would definately recomend this game to my friends, except they all already have it! And remember; Don't startle the witch!1 year agoAwesomeGreat game, the lack of usual story mechanics doesn't affect the experience. Best if you have friends.1 year agoAll Prepared...Excellent game, good gameplay, fun characters, always a fun and different experience every time you play. Now fully prepared for when the zombies actually attack...1 year agofantastic gameVery good zombie game good story love the way you can jump from level to level excellent story2 years agoLeft 4 DeadThis one of the best games that have ever been created in my opinion. Great gameplay, great characters, and great online. Not the best game for 360, deffinatly one of the best for PC though. Much more fun on the PC.Configuring your price alert
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