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Left 4 Dead (Left For Dead)

Released on 21 November 2008

Rating: 18+ (BBFC)

4.0 out of 5 (90 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Left 4 Dead is a new action title from Valve, creators of the Counter-Strike and Half-Life games, that promises to redefine the co-operative genre as those titles did for multiplayer and single-player action games.

Set in a modern day survival-horror universe, the co-operative gameplay of Left 4 Dead casts four "Survivors" in an epic struggle against hordes of swarming zombies and terrifying "Boss Infected" mutants.

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 A.I. technology powers all non-player Survivor and zombie characters. This is facilitated by the A.I. 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.
  • Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By purchasing this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age and over.
  • 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 maps and 10 new weapons over 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
  • Powered by Source and Steam

customer Reviews

 Average rating (90 reviews)

 Amazing - Must have *WARNING - Long Review*

| | See all Hajimee's reviews (3)

Zombies, one of the oldest horror creations. Throughout the years, the brain chewing has been mixed with neck-ripping and general flesh eating. The causes of zombiefaction are similar: Viruses, rabided animals, government made weapons, cures-that-went-wrong and I believe even alien diseases. What ever the cause, you are bound to see moaning zombies, with blood and gore everywhere. While most games have made zombies slow walking, easy targeted mobs, with the odd "super-fast zombie" (Half-Life 2 for example).

Left 4 Dead gets rid of that cliché, all zombies (or Infected) run towards you, just like normal people. Screaming, and making general noises. If they are not sprinting towards you, they are crying, leaning against walls, shambling around, vomiting, or indeed fighting each other to death.

Now this is where I think the L4D Zombies are brilliant. They are just like 'normal' people, they don't have super sharp teeth that can break your skull or rip your neck open. No, they just run over and start kicking and punching you. If you are knocked over, they will begin to kick you to death. Finally! A game that warrents the players to have a "life bar". As you are only being kicked and punch, it warrents you to be able to take a lot hits from the zombies, instead of you being the bullet-absorbing macho muscle ridden / hot guy character.

On to the characters themselves, they are incredibly believable, well voice acted and are dressed like 'normal' people. No super-mega-awesome armor of awesomeness that has a nuke build in the collar. They are fantastic, and nothing breaks the fear than Francis saying "I hate hospitals...and laywers..." only for Bill to reply "Is there anything you don't hate".

Valve plan to release films on each of their characters and their background. Their names are, Bill, Louis, Francis and Zoey. Bill is an old 'war veteran' who smokes. Louis is an office worker, and has a similar look to that of Shaun in Shaun of the Dead. Francis is a typical macho muscle guy, who is a biker. While Zoey is a 'attractive' girl, who sounds 'hot' as well as 'looks'. You get to choose one of these characters in the game Lobby, and they are all similarly adapted and blowing a zombie head off (In spectacular style!).

There are three modes, Single Player, Campaign Mode and Verus Mode. There are five maps, all are playable in Solo mode and Campaign Co-op mode. All 'campaigns' are split into several maps.Unfortunatly only two are availble in Versus mode. Which is a shame, as all the maps are awesome, and Versus mode is the best mode of them all.

Speaking of Versus mode. This is a brilliant idea, not only do you play as the Survivours, but you play as the Super-Zombies (boss). These are 'special' zombies which have different looks and abilities to other 'normal' zombies, each are fun to play and are even more fun when your working together to kill your friends. The special zombies are: Hunter - Fast, high jumping hoodie zombie, that pounce on survivours and rip their skin off. Smoker - Long tounge that pulls survivours towards them and drains their life. Boomer - Vomits on players which summons a horde to come attack the target. It also blinds the survivours when it explodes near them. Tank - The best one of them all, big and powerful, able to life up scenary and throw it, take lots of hits, and hit cars towards people. You swap teams at the end of each 'level' so no hogging on zombie side. The Witch is an unplayable Special Zombie, but She is very powerful, when you buy the game, you'll see why.

Over all, this game is amazing. Not enough characters in this review to explain it. Only poor points are limited maps in versus mode and weapons.

 Great team shoot-em-up

| | See all DaveFaz's reviews (182)

Top 100  Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer Top 100 PC Reviewer

The basic idea of the game is that you have to make it from point A to point B with your team of fellow players, and the way is blocked by countless Zombies. It's an instantly addictive game and great fun to play. Everything about the game is designed for simplicity and fast play. No brain required, and I have to say that's the way I like my games! Gore is this games middle name and the graphics are superb. Of course very reminiscent of half-life, but very well adapted. But it's not all good. It's brilliantly fast and fun, but also shallow and short. The game has clearly been developed for a console and your average PC game player is likely to be disappointed with the lack of depth and the small size of the levels. One thing that annoyed me was there is no save on single player, but there you go. All in all if fast paced gory console games are your thing, then this is a absolute must. It's brilliant fun!

 Left 4 Dead review [Demo only]

| | See all theonetruewill's reviews (4)

Having downloaded the demo I planned to play a bit on my own and try it out for about half an hour. Little did I know Valve had concocted a game far more potent than simple 30 minute morsel. After about 20 minuts I though I would try my hand at playing online, and pretty much the only word to express my sentiments is 'wow'. The game is action packed enough on single playerbut to say this game excels online would be saying that about Call of Duty 4. Just as with the latter (and perhaps more so as the single player feels very boring after co-op) the game really comes alive. I played for about 3 hours with random human players logging in and out and I had a whole lot of fun. The teamwork is essential, I noticed some fps god who was obviously far to adept for the rest of our team when it came to kills, but when he decided to go on little jaunt into the unknown alone he was soon crying for help begging for rescue from some loathesome tongue-of-death 'smoker' zombie. What furthers this teamwork idea is the distribution of painpills and medic packs. For example, you're on about 20% health so you really don't want to die but have that medic pack on you... so why don't you use it on yourself to ensure your surival, at least until another wave hits. But your teammate has about 1% health and is really looking a little worse for wear. Do you give it to him and help the team or use it on yourself in human selfishness.

Enemies come in several variants with bosses ranging from annoying to 'holy hell how the heck do we kill this thing??!!' If there is one criticism of the game it is the graphics. It is clear that Valve had attempted to rework the Source engine again but in all fairness the graphics are not bad at all. In fact I was quite impressed with the graphics bearing in mind the engine debuted in 2004. Valve have also used the age old trick of adding 'gaininess' to the graphics to create a rawer and murkier atmospohere. I normally criticise this, but irritatingly I had to change my opinion - it really works well here. Damn you Valve and yor constant attacks on my opinions! In short, the game is dynamic, highly teamwork orientated, and whole lot of fun. I can see myself playing this game a whole lot. The choice of whether to but it is yours, but if you want download the demo of Steam. This is without a doubt, an absolutely epic game- a must have for online and lanparty fans.


| | See all MKultra's reviews (1)

Should be loads of fun in co-op with friends, the Source Engine performs great. The maps in the demo (i have not tried the full game) are not that good imo, the game will come to its full right with better maps.

I cant understand how this game is cheaper to buy online from Play.com including shipping/handling and box/DVD than to order directly from Valve of Steam, redicilous.

 Has the Single Player experience been left 4 dead??

| | See all joejohnstone's reviews (2)

I must be one of the few poor sods who at this stage still does not have some sort of LAN/broadband that enables playing online games.

As such, I've watched with a sense of foreboding and even sadness as the trend has shifted from single player to multiplayer. I suppose when I finally get the facility to play online with the rest of the world this won't be as big of an issue, but for the moment, and indeed for the past year or so, things have not been good in a single player sense!

And its with this introduction I can say that, based on the games I've played (I've recently purchased a new PC so for the first time in years can play graphics-hungry PC titles again), Left 4 Dead is the first in a series of final nails in the potential coffin of the single player game.

While the game looks fabulous and is eminently playable, it was clearly written for the multiplayer market. As such, I can see the following pros and cons:

As already mentioned, looks gr8, plays gr8, sequence at the start is amazing.

Good for a bash if u just want some good old fashioned zombie blasting for a few minutes, even after you've finished it;

I imagine its a gr8 laugh with mates but;


That said, I can see it getting repetitive even with friends.

This is basically a multiplayer game. There is no real storyline after the initial sequence. All four episodes can be played in any order, and all chapters in each episode can be played in any order. This, for me anyway, completely ruined the single player experience.
There's no real sense of pregression; no cut scenes to indicate progress or furthering the storyline. Once you've finished one episode you've essentially finished them all, since they all only have a small cut scene showing the heroes' escape from that location.

So there's no real sense of satisfaction when you 'finish' the game. There's no big cut sequence at the end of the game to show the heroes have finally escaped.

The game doesn't get harder. All 4 episodes are the same. Sure you can up the difficulty level, but all games have this in any case and once you've played it once the enthusiasm has waned to just play it thru again with a few more zombies thrown into the mix.

The weapons choice is limited to denote realism which is fair enough, but barring one point in all episodes when you get slightly better verisions of the guns that are available at the start, that's it.

Pretty much all zombie types are available from the offset; there are no really harder/nastier ones introduced.

In the end, I finished the last episode in the hope there would be an end sequence like the one at the start; but sadly no. Even by episode 3 my interest was waning; it was basically the same old thing in a different location.

To sum up then, Left 4 Dead is a great game (i'd imagine!) if you go online and have a blast with your buddies, but from a single player point of view it offers almost nothing to recommend it after the initial hour or two, and the aforementioned return after a few days when you can blast zombies for a few minutes. So longevity for single player is non-existant.

I really hope this isn't the beginning of the end for the single player aspect of games; sure, i'd say its loads of fun playing online, but in terms of what makes single player games great (progression, unfolding of storyline, sense of satisfaction at the end), Left 4 Dead is unfortunately sadly lacking.

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Rating18+ (BBFC)
Minimum RequirementsInternet connection required for activation
Windows XP / Vista
3GHz Intel Pentium IV, Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD64X2 or equivalent
1GB RAM (2GB for Vista)
ATi 9600, nVidia 6600 or equivalent DirectX 9 compatible Graphics Card with Pixel Shader 2.0 support