2.16.2009

Left 4 Dead Review (PC)



I finally collected all the achievements for this game after about 2 months of playing. I rarely ever play a single FPS for extended amounts of time before moving on, but this game hasn't gotten as old as quickly. Unlike a lot of other games, teamwork becomes a necessity in order to progress through the levels. In single player, the bots will serve you well through advanced difficulty, but at the expert difficulty, you should bring along at least 2 other human players unless you want to re-try some of the maps for hours.

Versus mode, which pits 4 players against another team of 4, can be frustrating sometimes, depending on the skill level and cooperativeness of your teammates. Many games end right away due to the "fail teams" that leave immediately after a map loss, despite having 4 more maps to catch up. I generally do well here especially when I play with my friends, and adapting to random online teammates isn't as hard as it seems either due to tightly integrated in-game voice talk.

My main problem with versus mode came about with the last patch. In order to equalize the difficulty between teams, Valve made it such that tanks and witches no longer spawn at random per team, instead they spawn at almost the same place. The team that goes infected first has the advantage then: when their turn to play survivor is up, they know exactly where the tanks and witches will show up, taking away the element of surprise and allowing them to prepare well in advance.

Presentation-wise there's not much to say; the graphics and sounds are what you would expect from an A grade title. The only criticisms here are the most common ones - too few maps, and little difference between the maps that do exist.

A few online publications and mags made this their game of the year, but I don't think I would.
Arbitrary kenholic rating: 8 out of 10

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