The Left 4 Dead Online Experiance is a lot more fun than the gaming world will ever admit. The fast and exciting style, randomized events and a complete focus on cooperative play makes this game more and more popular every day that it sits on shelfs and is available online. Valve displays truly epic and beautiful live action scripts and scenarious, all while maintainigng frightening and heart pounding suspense that will keep you on the edge of you seat until its all over.
Having started my L4D experiance with campaign mode, I was comfortable dealing with the overwhelming power of the infected horde enough to take my game online. Signing on to Xbox live is a quick process and getting into a game is often easier than expected. THe game lobies are simple, and you are given the choice between one of the four survivors of to play as the infected in a turned based versus movde. Playing as survivors is much like the campaign in the visual sense, but after you encounter a good team, you will realize that player based infected bring an extremely challenging element to the game.
What really seperates L4D from other zombie based FPS's or any FPS for that matter is the ability to play as the infected and call massive hordes of zombies onto your opponents. While the humans are fighitng for survival, the infected use a respawn system that ensures a constant threat to the opposite team. The infected play as three different types of units, the rabid leaping hunters, disease ridden smokers or putrid explosive boombers. Each unit posseses a special ability and a basic claw attack which all adhere to the infected's chatoic and sudden attack style. Even after several weeks of play, I do not prefer one unit over the other as they each play out a different fight style and each possess the potential to destroy the entire human cast. The name of the game is teamwork, on either side, as the stressed aspect of L4D has always been, fight together or die alone which goes for either side of the fight. Humans are easily knocked down and dominated by the numerous horde, but are resialiant to death and can mow through wave after wave of zombie horde. The Infected however are extremely brittle and expendible to the cause, being caught out in the open means certain death from any alert gunmen. If players can cooperate and time their strategy well enough, either side can make or break the game and decide the fate of the surviving humans.
What L4D lacks are additional levels, unit types, and weapons. There are a total of 6 gun types including pistols, 2 thrown bombs, and other various explosvies which are used every game all the time. After extended play, the gunes all seem to meld together into play style of shoot shoot shoot reload. This does not mean that the weapons do not play nice, L4D presents a wonderful and unique experiance of shooting wave after wave of sickly ghouls. It would just be nice to have a few more weapon options to mutilate the other team. Aside from a few inconveniant factors such as long respawn and ability cooldowns, L4D online plays like any other good Xbox Live tital, has lightning fast matching, fast loads and fun content.
Overall this game earns a 4.3. Left 4 Dead is an incredible experiance unlike no other, its unique blend of suspenceful and bone chilling atmosphere with an addictive run and shoot play style creates fair and highly competative online content. If you find yourself with time after the sun goes down and you want a thrill, L4D online is everything you need to start pwning nubs as soon as you familiarize yourself with the style of play. This is a rare gem in a normally terrible and generic game genre and worth every dollar that it costs.
Oh by the way - the L4D developement team is rolling out 2 new multiplayer campaigns as DLC in the next few months, enjoy!
-Review by TommyOh