This week was essentially Left 4 Dead week for me, since I finally got my hands on the game. After playing it and beating all the campaigns, I walked away very impressed. The game never really gets dull, and I just keep coming back for more. Also, the game is a “great co-op moment” machine, and I could list at least a dozen common moments in the game that are great moments in co-op. However, one of the best co-op moments of the game is one of the first ones you will encounter in the game: the Horde.
Through the magic of the AI Director, you never really know when the Horde will come. However, between the Boomers, car alarms, and the director’s sadist tendencies, you will encounter the horde early and often. So, everyone who has played Left 4 Dead knows the dilemma: the horde is coming, now what?
Well, it all depends on where you are. If you are in a house with many entrances, you are pretty much screwed and will likely take some damage; so shoot away. An alleyway’s a good place to be, since it bunches up the horde, making them easy to eliminate. Of course you could be in the wide open, really keeping the team on their toes, employing a strategy best learned from the movie Gladiator is your only chance of survival. The cool thing is that wherever the horde comes from, strategies always emerge. I saw my buddies throw a few Molotov cocktails to stop the horde from surrounding us and I picked off the stragglers. And there is always the pipe bomb trick, which can eliminate over half the horde. Whatever the strategy, communication is the key.
However scary the Horde can be, it’s also exhilarating to mow down tons of zombies, even when they are trying to eat your flesh. Also, much like many other things in life, you always remember your first time. It's hard not to smile...or scream...the first time you see the surprisingly fast zombies sprinting at you through the dimly lit streets of the unnamed city. That musical cue immediately sticks with you, and like Pavlov's dogs, you yell HORDE on queue.
My roommate played the game for the first time and survived a half dozen Hordes within a half hour. So! Any other Horde survivors out there?