Just the four of us.

Role-playing survival game is willing to take risks

In case you missed it, Valve has released the free demo for Left 4 Dead this week, allowing all users (with steam installed) to play the first 1 and a half levels of the game. After getting online late Tuesday night and getting some 4 player co-op in, I pre ordered the game even though I said I didn’t have enough money. While I do have an entry planned comparing L4D to Team Fortress 2, the demo isn’t complete enough for that comparison right now. However I can get into some specifics over the main campaign from the demo.

First off I must congratulate the person who created the animations for the undead, it is a thing of beauty (and fear) in how the infected run at you even while you pelt them in the chest with gun shots. Now for those who have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, L4D is a co-op shooter where four people must survive the zombie apocalypse. To make things interesting there are two things other then the zombies to keep you on your toes, the Director and the special infected. The Director is the AI that watches your progress and will randomize zombie and item positions. As well as spawning mobs (and I do mean mobs) of undead anywhere to come at your group. The special infected are zombies with unique powers and in the full game, other players can take control of them to make life rough for the survivors. Each special has a unique power to compensate for their low health with exception to one. The boomer pukes on survivors drawing mobs to them while blinding the person and explodes when it dies. The hunter can pounce on a survivor pinning them until they die or he gets shot off of them. The smoker can pull someone with its tongue then proceed to strangle them similar to the hunter. The tank is walking death and can take loads of damage while pounding the crap out of anyone who gets within arms length. The witch… well I’ll let you meet her for yourself.

I along with everyone from my Steam group have been playing this demo which on a good run clocks out at about 20 minutes for over 6 hours, thanks to the unpredictability of the Director and of course the insanity that is co-op. I fully believe that Valve is going to score another hit with L4D and with content updates similar to TF2 promised I’m already drooling like the ravenous mobs I’ve had to take down last night. So I suggest if you’re in the mood for some co-op to grab the demo now, you only have about 5 days before it goes down and the full game starts up; please when you’re firing wildly, watch where you’re shooting.