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taterchimp avatar 2:42 PM on 01.10.2009  (server time)
L4D: A love AND hate relationship

So I got Left 4 Dead for the holidays and have been getting a good chance to play it, for 360. After running through the campaigns, doing some online, doing some versus, and listening to some of the director commentary I realized this might be the worst game of last year. No really.

What went wrong?
4 hour story mode.
2 maps for multiplayer
4 'characters' (really jusat 1, the rest are just skins)
4 special enemies
1 incredibly trite plot
6 weapons (two of which are upgrades)
Repetitive gameplay
Difficulty just affects damage
In the director commentary they said they made the engine in a way to make them lazier.

How was this meant to be fun? If you told the community and one of those things about any game they would rip it apart! But you know what the weirdest thing is? I can't seem to put it down.

The game really looks terrible on paper, but when you sit down to play it suddenly something changes and it becomes incredibly fun. The achievements make you strive to do various things that spice up the gameplay. Playing with people teaches you new areas to hide, and forces you to help incompetent teammates. The director actually is neat because you don't know where and when anything will come from, which helps out a lot in replay. You can't just hunker down in area X because Tank 2 will show up and cant bass by obstacle Z. Its neat that way.

Ah teamwork in this game...there usually is none. Some people play without voice. Some people have the option, but dont use it. Some people blaze ahead and leave others behind them to die. Its rather annoying how poorly a team can go. But if you play single player the AI is so overpowered that you can't actually kill any special infected, so you need the crappy people team. When a team does work together it feels awesome. No special infected can bring you down, and you don't leave any man behind.

I find multiplayer to be the same thing as single player, but with every problem worsened. If you have crappy teammates you will die ten times faster. Or if you are infected you will never touch the other team. There are 2 maps (and really No Mercy is played about 4:1 to blood harvest). However there is a general feeling of relaxation while playing as the infected. You get infinite spawns, so if you die, its not big deal. I actually like that aspect because it makes it more fun to just get to try again in a bit.

So I guess overall I can't really say a score on this game. I figure I will be bored with it eventually and give it about a 6 or 7, but for now its the one game that I cant put down, at about an 8 or so.

(As a final comment, you PC users can just shut up now. I know you can do maps and mods and all sort of goodness that the 360 people can't, and I am sort of jealous. So in short, I know, keep your elitism to yourself, this is a 360 review, not PC. : P)

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