Happy Halloween season bloggers and bloggettes.
It is the season where everyone gets in the mood to scare people, or scare themselves via movies, games, trips to theoretical haunted places, etc. Whether it is scares, thrills, gore, or spooky eeriness one seeks, October is the time to hunt for it. There are plenty of options out there for the thrill-seeking, however I figured I would take this opportunity to talk about one of my favorite games.
The word "favorite," is brandished about a lot by people to try and dramatically convey the importance of what they are talking about, which really serves to dilute its meaning. I'll talk a little bit about why I consider this game one of my favorites. I would say I am a team player. I receive gratification in accomplishing things collectively with a group of people. When a goal can be reached by the fusion of a unified effort, one can witness the genuine and blissful feeling of successful cooperation.
In essence, The Left 4 Dead games are the definition of a cooperative game. If you are a PC FPS fan, there is a good likelihood that you have already heard about and played these games. Created by Valve, the company behind Half Life, Counter Strike, Team Fortress and Portal, The Left 4 Dead games, like many multiplayer games, focus on teamwork in order to achieve victory. The difference in comparison to the other multiplayer games Valve has made is that, it is near impossible to be successful without teamwork.
In Left 4 Dead, the premise is that a zombie virus has overtaken the majority of the population. You and three other survivors must work together to make it to the safehouse in a desperate attempt to work your way to a rescue point. The games don't really focus strongly on story, and actually play out as if you were watching a zombie themed movie. Even so, it is still incredibly immersive. There are hordes of zombies constantly flying at you, trying to rip you to pieces, as well as special infected with certain powers that can easily incapacitate you. The best strategy is to stick together, because as a team, you can help a fallen survivor. If someone separates from the group, there is a good probability they are done for.
There are the regular campaigns where you work together with three others to beat what the computer throws at you. There is also the incredibly intense multiplayer mode, where the special infected are inhabited by real people, who work together to take your survivor group down before you can reach the end. Other modes that have been introduced over time include a survival mode, where you attempt to hold out at one place as long as you can, before the horde of zombies destroys you, and the multiplayer Scavenge mode, where you work together to collect gas cans around a map to lead to your escape. Each mode is a ton of fun. One could spend days just mastering one of those modes, only to find a fresh game in the next.
Left 4 Dead 2 expanded upon the original. I prefer the original characters from Left 4 Dead 1, but everything else about Left 4 Dead 2 is superior. The introduction of melee weapons, uncommon common infected, new special infected and more help it surpass the already phenomenal original. At this point, the majority of the original Left 4 Dead levels have been added to Left 4 Dead 2, with the included use of melee weapons, new special infected and improved gory graphics.
If you do not already own Left 4 Dead 2, I highly suggest you purchase it. Valve is very giving with its own games. Right now, among other great horror themed games, Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 are on sale on Steam for $6.79 each. In my opinion, this is a steal. If you have 3 other friends, you can buy a 4 pack for even cheaper, (20.39). Do yourself a favor and invest in one of the funnest and exhilarating games to grace the multiplayer FPS genre, before Valve removes the deal and you are Left 4 expensive.
Alternatively, if you haven't played it in a while, check out some of the new things, like altered ending maps for the L4D1 levels, mutations of regular game modes, or user made maps. The utility from successfully surviving with your friends for me, still remains unmatched.