For those who know me this pick comes as no surprise. For those of you who know nothing about me or my gaming choices, I LOVE HORROR! More than that, I am one of those who has been sucked into the seemingly never ending zombie obsession which has swept the world and to be honest, I don’t know if I’ll ever get enough. Now that we have an understanding, we can move on to the pick: “Left 4 Dead 2.”
Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2) is a first person shooter based in a zombie infested near future. The player is thrown into the role of a survivor in a small group of 4 who have to fight their way through many different paths to (hopefully) end up at an extraction point which will apparently take you to salvation. In a similar fashion to our last game, The Ship, the story is not the important part of the experience. What is important? Well, killing zombies of course!
Along with the average zombie which you will slay over and over (the hoard) there is an array of specialty zombies who all have specific advantages. For instance, there are Smokers who can grab you via strangely elastic tongue and pull you towards itself. Or there are Boomers, whose power is to apparently be so fat that they explode upon impact and poison any surrounding players with its rancid bile…Yeah, kinda gross.
When playing a single player campaign the player is in a movie. Hold on, I’ll try to explain as best I can. Each campaign is played in a specific setting, such as a hospital or a farm, and each of these are zombie “movies.” So the player runs through several movies racking up as many kills as possible while surviving. At the end of the movie, or upon the death and dismemberment of your entire party, the stats are displayed in a credit reel. For bringing up a new way of game presentation and keeping with it I give L4D2 a gold star. Wear it proudly.
Just as with The Ship, I prefer multiplayer to single player. Yes, you can play through the various movies with your friends against AI, which is a fun and rewarding experience, but I am talking specifically about PvP online play.
“But Cam, why is PvP so much better?”
Well guy who seems to ask highly appropriate yet leading questions, I’ll tell you why…You get to play as the zombies. Thank goodness you don’t take control of a normal, average, boring, blubbering zombie, but you get to play all the various specialty zombies, even the Tank. Which if you’ve ever played any MMORPG you can probably imagine the gist of this monstrosity. As the survivors you attempt to do the same you did previously, get to the safe house/extraction point. As the undead you must try to simply kill the survivors at all costs.
My personal experience with Left 4 Dead 2 was great. Every time I play the game I find that hectic feeling that I have come to hope for from the horror genre. The mechanics for the most part are tight and it can be picked up easily by any FPS player, while still having intricacies which must be learned for success. I say buy it and play brothers and sisters. Well worth the money.