Left 4 Dead thoughts
December 10, 2008

Despite having very little experience with the game, it did leave an impression on me, one I've found hard to put into words. Today, though, I think I finally found those words.

Endless fun? No. A lot of fun? Yes.

There's a lot of things that keep Left 4 Dead from being the number one title that it could be, though I think the two I get most stuck on are the lack of tension and the lack of graphical quality.

I'll start with graphical quality, because it ties into the tension. I don't usually give a jot for graphics, but I do like them to be used well. Left 4 Dead annoys me with its "one face fits all" approach to the hordes of zombies. While I realize that it greatly reduces processing requirements to have your thousand and one zombies look pretty much alike, I do think an additional three or four faces wouldn't have hurt. Also, I can't usually tell my teammates apart from the zombies, which leads to less friendly fire than you'd think, and more of a general awareness that I'm playing a programmed experience.

This lack of immersion makes me yawn (and lock and load) every time another hoard bursts through a door or pours through a window. I'm simply not impressed by them. It's just one more hoard to mow down. Even when this leads to my untimely demise, the biggest emotion I can muster is "oh well... shall we have another go?"

Now, I'm not saying that Left 4 Dead isn't fun. It's amazingly fun, and offers continual replay value (or will, once it gets ported to a system that's actually worth owning). The controls are great, the level design is good, the final seige moment is awesome... I'm not contending any of this.

But I can also only play so much before I yearn for a more immersive experience. Left 4 Dead had the best chance in gaming history to provide the feeling that you really were in a zombie over-run city. Instead, it provides a great game, but little immersion. And I know that must sound silly to the first person shooter lovers out there, but believe me... a little immersion can go a long way, especially when it has as good a foundation as Left 4 Dead supplies.

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Halon Halon - December 10, 2008 (05:21 PM)
The hoarde (sp?) is actually super intense on expert. Once you get the hang of the game try it on expert where one swipe does 10-20 damage. It's a blast.

(or will, once it gets ported to a system that's actually worth owning)

Everyone knows Valve games are meant to be played on the PC, duuuh.
zippdementia zippdementia - December 10, 2008 (11:13 PM)
Well, I can't argue with sportsman, it's against my religion.

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