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.

Most recent blog posts from Jonathan Stark...

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.

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2019 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors.