Well, the holiday season is upon us. It’s cold outside and families are gathering together for fun and food and gifts. So, opportunities for co-op should be rampant. This was true for me, since I got some quality time with one of my favorite co-op games. This game is great for family togetherness and unity. I’m speaking of course about Left 4 Dead. There’s nothing like a zombie apocalypse to bring family together.
I’ve previously had Left 4 Dead as my game of the week, but that was just the demo. This week, I got a fuller appreciation for the game. Over time, my buddies and I have developed a love of the game. But what did we love the most?
I personally loved the horde, even though chaos usually erupts because of it. I guess I love it so much because it fulfilled my “zombie apocalypse dream” of playing a video game version of 28 Days Later. When a few dozen zombies are sprinting at you, you can feel the adrenaline pumping into your veins. So while I fear the horde, I nonetheless see a bright spot in it. Once you’ve gunned down a dozen zombies in a few seconds, you will know what I am saying.
My roommate loved the mood and feeling of the game, and I agree. The game doesn’t have a story, but the sounds of the zombies tell a whole different story. From the gurgling sound of a Boomer about to puke to the mournful-yet-ominous crying of the Witch, the game oozes with ambiance. While playing the game, we’d actually stop moving and look at each other. We’d say “shh...Witch!” or “Hunter!” to each other, then move with caution. The gunfire's loud and powerful pops mixed with zombie screeches makes a very compelling gaming environment.
However, the big draw of the game is the co-op aspect, and naturally Left 4 Dead is a co-op masterpiece. My teammates (ranging from friends, my roommate, etc.) and I always used a great deal of communication, something that we’ve never really done; and we are co-op fans. The most common words yelled were the name of the special infected (i.e. “Witch!” “Boomer!” etc.). But we also yelled things to each other that the characters in the game do when you play with the AI. The AI will always yell “weapons,” “here they come,” and so forth. The neat thing is that we performed in a similar fashion, so whenever we didn’t have a full squad, the AI worked rather seamlessly. And of course we used the basic co-op standards, covering fire, watching each other’s back, etc. The neat thing is that in Left 4 Dead, flanking maneuvers and covering backs actually matters, and that sets the game apart from other co-op games.
So I had a fun co-op week, especially during the happy holiday season. Sure, Left 4 Dead doesn’t have the same festive mood as other games, but it does have its strong points. Also, the holidays are all about togetherness, and so is Left 4 Dead.
So, what is more festive than that?