Posts Tagged ‘Left 4 Dead’

New games could monitor your arousal level

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Excited yet?

(Kotaku) – Half-Life and Left 4 Dead developer Valve has been toying with new ways to use biofeedback – heart rate, facial expressions, eye-tracking, levels of physical arousal – for years. What does that mean for the future of people who like Valve video games? How about controlling games with your eyes?

Valve’s Mike Ambinder talked about the sundry ways the company is experimenting with incorporating user biofeedback at GDC today. Currently, that includes prototype versions of Left 4 Dead 2 with an “AI Director” that responds to your arousal levels, modifying how it distributes health items, zombie hordes and Special Infected based on “player trauma.”

It also includes a build of top-down shooter Alien Swarm that alters the game’s timer in response to stress and a version of Portal 2 that decoupled aiming a cross-hair and viewing the game world.

Ambinder showed a demo of a Left 4 Dead 2 player connected to a biofeedback measurement device, a custom piece of hardware designed to detect skin conductance response. An in-game graph displayed levels of arousal from the player as he fought a series of Special Infected zombies, trying to refill a generator with gas cans. The player’s stress levels steadily increased as he was attacked, until ultimately he peaked during a Tank battle. A post-gameplay graph showed spikes in player trauma levels, tied to game events: Smoker attack, Charger battle, game-ending Hunter pounce.

A Left 4 Dead 2 prototype used player biofeedback in another capacity, showing a teammates’ arousal levels above their health bar to illustrate how other Survivors were responding to in-game trauma.

Ambinder said that data was entertaining to watch during competitive play in the upcoming (Defense of the Ancients) DOTA 2. This, he said, was “the most enjoyable thing we’ve done so far” with biofeedback. Players who saw their opponents’ sense of arousal spike would “go crazy” with delight.

“It’s great to watch people suffer because of your actions,” he said.

[Full article at]


Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Latest DLC Coming to Both L4D1 & L4D2

(Press Release) – Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the new add-on for its co-operative zombie thrillers — “The Sacrifice,” in development for both Left 4 Dead (L4D) and Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2) — is due for release on October 5, 2010.

“The Sacrifice” is the prequel to “The Passing,” and takes place from the L4D Survivors’ perspective as they make their way South. In addition to advancing the story, “The Sacrifice” introduces a new style finale featuring “Sacrificial Gameplay” where players get to decide who will give their life so the others may live.

The Sacrifice DLC for L4D1 is a seperate download than The Sacrifice for L4D2.

In The Sacrifice for Left 4 Dead 1 gamers receive the complete Sacrifice campaign with maps playable in Campaign, Versus, and Survival.

In The Sacrifice for Left 4 Dead 2 owners receive “The Sacrifice” campaign playable with the Left 4 Dead Survivors. In addition, those with Left 4 Dead 2 receive L4D’s “No Mercy” campaign. Both campaigns are playable in Campaign, Versus, Survival, and Scavenge modes and both will feature the Left 4 Dead 2 Special Infected, items, and weapons. Yes, Zoey with a chainsaw!

Targeted for release on October 5th, “The Sacrifice” will be available for download on Xbox Live for 560 Microsoft Points and free to all PC gamers.

For more information, please visit

Left 4 Dead 2 DLC brings back old friends

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009


Valve is ready to bridge the gap between Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. The DLC currently titled ‘The Passing’, will see the original survivors encounter the newcomers in Left 4 Dead 2.

The DLC will crossover the two sets of survivors in the game, but you’ll be playing as the new ones. Valve describes the upcoming campaign as “the most important campaign in the Left 4 Dead story.”

In addition to a new story campaign, the content will include a new “uncommon common” zombie, melee weapon, gun and new playable areas for the Survival, Versus and Scavenge game types. Valve is also promising a new “co-operative challenge mode of play,” but has released no details.

The Passing is scheduled for a release in “early 2010″ for both Xbox 360 and PC.


L4D: Surviving in the new DLC “Survival Mode”

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Better hit up your friends on XBL to handle all this.

Better hit up your friends on XBL to handle all this.

Ok, so maybe I should have titled this article “not surviving the new survival mode” of Left 4 Dead’s new downloadable content pack released yesterday. Myself (Crutchboy), Gritskrieg and‘s ViggoTheCarp had a chance to experience some of the new free, yeah we emphasize FREE package available on Xbox Live for this game. And considering that Left 4 Dead has been noted as being a little short on content from the get go, it is a welcomed addition to your zombie gaming pleasure.

The first word that comes to mind to us at concerning this new survival mode would definitely be “unforgiving”. The object is clearly simple, stay alive. No escaping, no rooms to run to, and very few health power ups (and most which are just not worth running back for). The wave of enemies will eventually over run you and your partners. You are scored on how long you are able to fend them off in a variety of available maps, including a new “Lighthouse” area. I believe our first attempt got us to about 70 seconds before we were hosed. You are granted a medal for each map, on how long you can hold out (4 min bronze, 7 min silver and 10 min gold) before your last non AI player dies. After a good deal of strategizing (thanks to the nice directing of Viggo) we were able to grab a few bronze medals, but not without a large amount of grumbling and yapping in a frenzy over Xbox Live. You have to be able to communicate with your partners to pull any of this off with success. And you can forget about the AI helping out too much, with just two real players we had a tough enough time lasting longer than 3 minutes, some levels ending with us yelling things at each other like “Dude just run! Keep running!” (haha).

We did like that fact that you get as much time at the start of each the levels to prepare. With a nice assortment of moltovs, gas and butane canisters around that you can move about, it makes it very entertaining to try and anticipate what would ‘concievably’ be a good idea. Some of us later found out that certain rooms are just too small to spread fire in, as we laughed and burned to our doom, all so gracefully of course.

As was noted amongst our group, Viggo pointed out that it was the sheer number of normal infected (zombies) that deal you the most damage over your entire run in this mode. With an above average amount of skill, the tank, smokers and hunters can be manageable utilizing all the resources available and the ability to find a decent place to “turtle and hole up”.

Over all we highly recommend, you’d have to be really thick in the skull (where even zombies can’t smell you), to not get this new add on for your Left 4 Dead game. It’s free. And free is good.

- Crutchboy Out

Check out our ‘BusyGamer’ review for Left 4 Dead by Gamette Miss Genocide.

Left 4 Dead – More Free Zombies!

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Publishers are saying that both PC and Xbox 360 owners of Left 4 Dead will receive the upcoming DLC for free when it goes online this coming spring. The ‘Left 4 Dead Survival Pack’ will add some new flavor (human most likely) to the multiplayer mode as well as two new campaigns in versus mode.

Reports are saying that survival mode features up to four players against wave after wave of onrushing zombies across a dozen or more maps (sounds like they are taking notes from Gears of Wars 2 and COD WAW since this type of scenario is seen in both of these titles.) Times are then logged, as all players compete online against others on the leaderboards to see who can stay alive the longest.

The update will provide new campaigns (we think in the versus mode) for the Death Toll and Dead Air scenarios.

Sounds like this will add some great longevity to this title, and it’s free which sweetens the prize even better, zombie brains are bitter enough as it is.


-Crutchboy out.

Left 4 Dead

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

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