Left 4 Dead

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Left 4 Dead


A horrifying co-op shooter breathes new life into survival-horror

A Cooperative Effort

Turtle Rock Studios and Valve Software team up to enter the realm of survival horror with Left 4 Dead, a multiplayer cooperative game being developed for Xbox 360 and PC on the Source engine. The two developers hope to bring something fresh and exciting to the survival horror genre.

28 Days Later

Well, not exactly, but the movie definitely comes to mind when you read the plot description of Left 4 Dead. Basically, as in the movie, a new and deadly virus has emerged and spreads through the human population faster than greased cats. This virus turns humans into disfigured psychopaths who hunt down and kill any uninfected in sight. The survivors naturally do whatever is necessary to get out of the way and escape the grizzly fate. As far as the developer's hope to bring some fresh and exciting to the genre is concerned, the fact that they drew their idea out of a recent hit movie tells us something. Ok, ok, they got disfigured monsters instead of zombies, but still...

Survivor: 17th season

There are four unique human characters who are referred to as Survivors in the game. Each of the four human characters has the same abilities and can use the same weapons as the others. Players are randomly assigned a Survivor character to play when they join a game. The undead, or Infected players are offered a little more variety. Out of the four types of playable Infected (the Boomer, the Hunter, the Smoker, and the Tank), only three may be chosen at the start of the game (two Hunters, one Boomer, and one Smoker). The Tank Infected spawns on rare occasions throughout a single scenario and can only be chosen during those times. There is also one more type of Infected beyond the normal hordes, and it is known as the Witch. The Witch is the most powerful Infected in the game but will only attack under certain conditions, such as shining a flashlight into her eyes or shooting at her.

The object of the game if you're playing as the Survivors is to complete a main objective for each level, whereas the Infected only need to eliminate the Survivors to win. When a Survivor runs out of health, they do not die right away, but instead they are knocked over and may defend themselves from the ground until a team mate comes to rescue them. If a team mate does not rescue the downed Survivor in time or they are knocked down three times, that Survivor is dead and out of the game. When an infected runs out of health, it dies, but is re-spawned an infinite number of times.

A Deadly Arsenal

The Survivors will not only need to depend on each other for survival, but also various weapons and items, such as handguns, M16s, Molotov Cocktails, and Medkits to name a few, whereas the Infected rely on their abilities, such as the Boomer's ability to explode and damage anything in the blast radius or the Hunter's agility and cloaking capability. The player-controlled Infected's abilities seem to be a lot more dangerous than the Survivors' weapons, but this is countered by the fact that the Infected are, for the most part, lacking in physical strength and are easy to kill.