Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead - Busy Gamer Rating 3

Left 4 Dead - Busy Gamer Rating 3


First Glance:
The killer trailer and demo lead you to expect a lot out of this game. The effects and detailed texturing are amazing. Sounded like a good title for players of Dead Rising.

The Short Story:
You are one of four survivors attempting to fight your way out of the city while helping your other team mates. Fight together or die alone.

The Score:
I’m giving this title a BusyGamer rating of a 3. L4D was very visually pleasing but there was not much brain teasing involved. Valve spent a lot of time on the technical aspect of the game which made a lot of eyes open but when it got down to it, the lack of story line or varying goals kind of bored me.

Body of Review:
So far I’ve seen nothing but top reviews for this game. Many reviewers appreciate, or accept, the simplicity of the campaigns and compared it to some classic shoot-em-up titles. I, however, expected a bit more depth. One could simply run a straight shot from the beginning of the game to the end and miss nothing but maybe some hidden ammo. The goal of the levels were simple but I can say the charisma of the special infected keeps you on your feet. The lack of varying weapons and interactive environment left a lot to be desired. I, as a gamer, am into exploring and wasted a lot of time looking in empty rooms for something awesome to happen only to find nothing. You’re limited as to what you can use in your defense, guns and bombs only, plus melee.

L4D features a dynamic artificial intelligence system for game dramatics, pacing, and difficulty called the Director. Instead of set spawn points for enemies, the Director places enemies and weapons in varying positions and numbers based upon each player’s current situation, status, skill, location and alerts your team mates when you are injured so they may run to your rescue. A similar AI system was developed for Halo 3 in its campaign mode. Valve calls the way the Director is working “Procedural Narrative” because, instead of having a difficulty level which just ramps up to a constant level, the A.I. analyzes how the players fared in the game so far, and tries to add subsequent events that would give them a sense of storyline.

One major feature that cranks this game’s rating up a notch is the ability to play online and through system link. This puts it ahead of past zombie titles in that aspect. When waiting for a lobby to fill during online play, you can choose your character; survivor, infected, or random. When infected, you choose your spawn position; not too far from the survivors, and not too close. You’re randomly placed as one of four special monsters – a Smoker, Hunter, Boomer, or Tank – and you are given special moves and tactic tips to help strategize your feast. Should you be killed by a survivor, you respawn again. If you happen to complete a mission without dying at all as a survivor, you could randomly respawn into anything. As a human, you are expected to help your team mates get to their feet when they are injured, give extra health or pain pills, and fend off any zombies that might have circled around them in order for your team to win. In campaign mode this is fairly easy and allows for the levels to pass quickly. But during online play, your team mates are not always available to assist and you might often find yourself killed. When respawning, there is a bit of a wait, 25 seconds the majority of the time, but sometimes you wait even longer before the countdown, so the survivors can either enter or exit the safe room. While this occurs you are switched to spectator mode and because of the wait, there is often more anticipation than actual gameplay.

Hopefully, in time, there will be more levels released in the Xbox marketplace at least for online play. The fact that they used the same maps from the campaign was a bit dissapointing, and once again, boring. Working with actual players instead of AI did make it a bit more interesting though. If it were not for the online ability of this title, L4D would have gotten a much lower rating from this gamer.

Miss Genocide – signing off

Posted By Miss Genocide

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