Saturday, November 29, 2008

Left 4 Dead Quick Review

It's Valve. It's Zombies. What else do you need to know? I said "quick review" right there in the title.

Oh, okay. Here's more.

Left 4 Dead takes the zombie apocalypse genre and does it right - more than right. Then, it tosses out the old cliches, like slow, lumbering zombies and replaces them with spastic "infected" that run at you in huge numbers like those women at the Filene's Basement bridal gown sales. And just to prove how insanely innovative they are, Valve added five special types of infected - sort of mini-bosses, that each have special attacks and abilities.

The single-player is fun, but the online co-op play is really great. It puts the cooperation back in co-op, as players can get stuck in situations that only another player can help them out of. Players can heal each other and revive each other.

I have yet to try out the online versus, where you get to play two teams of four against each other - one survivors and the other as special infecteds - but it looks pretty sweet, too.

There's not much to Left 4 Dead beyond all that. But again, it's Valve, so the game has the absolute highest level of polish in the gameplay, presentation, and level design perhaps possible. The craftsmanship of software engineering from this company shows in every title it makes, and Left 4 Dead is just the latest example of how to do everything - even something as cliched in the videogaming world as zombies - and do it right.

No comments: