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Left 4 Dead!

The highly anticipated co-op focused FPS from Valve has finally, but will Left 4 Dead be able to reach the same success that Half-Life 2 and other Valve shooters have reached?

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Final Impressions: The final impression is just that, our completed breakdown and overall thoughts on the game based off of our entire game playing time.

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How Did They Get Here: Left 4 Dead takes place in an unnamed urban city, as well as a couple of countryside environments during a zombie outbreak.

For unknown reasons that are never explored at any point during the game, zombies have infected mass amounts of people and you and a common group of people must figure out how to get rescued.

Your team of survivors is completely ordinary and consists of a retired war veteran, an office employee, a college student and a stereotypical tough-guy/biker. Each character has their own personality, though you will rarely see any of it, as there are only a handful of cutscenes in the game.

The storyline in Left 4 Dead is nearly non-existent and the game seldom focuses on any sort of explanation to the plot at any point or time. L4D instead tends to focus solely on its gameplay.

Get Out Of My Way: L4D has a massive focus on co-op gameplay, but also allows you the option of playing the campaign with AI controlled teammates...doing this would be a big mistake.

The campaign mode consists of a few episodes with a few chapters within each episode. It doesn't take very long to get through each chapter, maybe spanning a max of 20-25 minutes, which means that the game ends rather quickly. You could most likely get through Left 4 Dead on a single devoted sit-down.

If you choose to play the campaign with AI partners, your experience will be very hindered. Your CPU compodraes are quite moronic to say the least, and you will have a countless number of problems when playing with them.

They will very often get in the way of your crosshair, stand in doorways without any sign of budging, take massive amounts of damage and many more troubles. If you choose to play without even a single live player, your enjoyment will suffer greatly.

If you choose to play with friends over Xbox Live or playing on a local connection you will find the game much more enjoyable.

Most of the players on a local connection or over Xbox Live are competent enough to be much better allies then your CPU followers. The game is much easier though, as even on the higher difficulties you and your team will be able to exterminate wave after wave of enemies with relative ease.

L4D's local co-op has a bit of an advantage over Xbox Live co-op, as those playing with you on a single console know how to work together. On Xbox Live, your team is often not working together as a team and instead each player tends to move on his own.

You Look Familiar: Left 4 Dead is made by the creators of the Half-Life series and you can see many influences of Half-Life in L4D's gameplay. L4D plays eerily similar to Half-Life 2, and that is what makes the game as mediocre as it is.

Left 4 Dead feels very similar to Half-Life 2, though does not feature all of HL2's enjoyable gameplay features such as some unique weapons and a slower pace.

L4D is very fast-paced and you will constantly have swarms of mindless, moronic virtually powerless zombies attacking you. Your guns will relentlessly be firing at all times, either to check an area that feels too quiet or to exterminate attackers.

The enemies that you face are much of the problem; as your brain-eating attackers are completely, well, brainless. They simply stand around and wait for you to shoot them. Only if you miss will they pay attention to you, and even then your enemies are very weak and can only cause notable damage if hundreds swarm at one time, which is a very rare event.

In addition, nearly every single zombie looks identical with the exception of the occasional clothing difference. The only time you get some variety is when you face the special types of zombie that vary from the Tank (a huge mutant who relies on brute strength) to the Smoker (who explodes in damaging smoke when shot).

The gameplay in L4D can quickly become monotonous as facing the same enemies who are easily killed over and over is very repetitive.

Slim Munitions: The weapons that you dispose of your enemies with are also very unimpressive. While I can understand that the game tries to be realistic (is doesn't succeed there either) the amount of weapons you have at your disposal are downright terrible.

You will only have the choice of simple, boring weapons like a Hunting Rifle, an Assault Rifle, a Shotgun and Pistols. There are no options to customize your weapons or alter their dull feeling.

You Don't Look So Good: he visuals featured in Left 4 Dead are decent, though they are not the best the console has produced. You will see fairly undetailed environments as well as many identical antagonists to kill.

The audio on the other hand is quite impressive. All of the voice acting is incredible, as are the eerie sounds that emit from your environments at random times.

Rent vs. Buy: Left 4 Dead is a decent game all in all, though is simply isn't original in any sense and does not bring anything new to the FPS genre.

The repetitive gameplay, so-so graphics, dull arsenal and incredibly easy enemies make L4D is rather run-of-the-mill game, despite the impressive co-op capabilities.

If you are a fan of other shooters such as Half-Life 2, then you will fins quite a lot of enjoyment in the game. If you are looking for something new or fresh, however, you should look elsewhere.

Report Card

Left 4 Dead is a decent game all in all, though is simply isn't original in any sense and does not bring anything new to the FPS genre. The repetitive gameplay, so-so graphics, dull arsenal and incredibly easy enemies make L4D is rather run-of-the-mill game, despite the impressive co-op capabilities. (Krakrabbit.com)


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