I couldn’t resist Valve’s 25% off sale– I picked up Left 4 Dead.

A denizen of the post-apocalypse

A denizen of the post-apocalypse

It’s very well done, and they addressed my biggest complaint about TF2– the lack of a tutorial.  There’s a single-player mode, so you can learn how the game works before attempting multiplayer.

I can’t add much to what Chris has already written about the game.  It’s very intense, sometimes very scary, and is very cleverly designed (even more than TF2) as a team game.  E.g., the boss zombies can immobilize you, so you need your teammates.

I’ve tried Versus mode a few times, and it’s more fun than the single-player.  Two teams of four players alternate as the Survivors and the Infected– as Yahtzee puts it, this turns the game from horror movie into hilarious griefing engine.  I’m not a very good Infected yet, though I think I show promise as a Hunter. 

Single-player mode works very differently from the multi-player.  In Versus, the survivors basically move as fast as they can, doing their best to ignore the ordinary Infected– just melee them out of the way.  The real action is the boss zombies, who since they are played by humans are much nastier, since they can coordinate their attacks.

The world-building is interesting.  Valve implies that the zombies are diseased rather than dead (which makes more sense, at least marginally).  From the signage, it looks like the epidemic has been studied to some extent, and there were attempts to contain it.  Of course, the realism wears thin in spots… e.g. the Hunter and Witch’s attacks are truly brutal– it looks you’re being eviscerated– yet you can be healed by wrapping bandages round your arms and legs.