Zombies have never quite captured the global imagination as much as vampires have - Stephanie Meyer's epic tale of Mormon sexual mores wouldn't have been nearly as palatable for her intended audience had Edward Cullen been noticeably deceased - but they do make for lots of high octane fun purely because there's nothing quite like offing a bunch of lumbering monsters that are 1. Already dead and 2. Itching to eat your flesh. Left 4 Dead creates a marvellous zombie-busting experience with more than a few nods to the classic movies of George A. Romero.
If you don't really fancy shelling out £30 or so for the slightly spruced sequel, then the original game will still provide all of the cadaverous arse-kicking you could hope for. You can now pick up a copy of Left 4 Dead for just £11.95 from ShopTo, saving you a good £6 on the nearest in stock competitor (HMV - £17.99). You can save even more if you go for another game in the 2 for £20 list, bringing the price of this game down to just £10!
Valve are good at what they do, and what they do particularly well here is make you feel like you're playing through your own zombie movie. The setup is very simple in each level: you and your three companions are stuck somewhere with limited weapons, surrounded by flesh-eating 'Infected' (so actually more 28 Days Later than Dawn of the Dead) and you need to blast your way from safehouse to safehouse until you can reach a designated rescue point.
The FPS action is brilliant, as you'd expect, and the horde of raving monsters between you and safety are plentiful. Aside from your run-of-the-mill demonic cannibal there are some special units to look out for such as the Boomer, a fat acid-vomiting pie who will explode in a massive torrent of toxic bile if you shoot at his body, and the Witch, who upon first viewing looks like a small crying little girl, until you disturb her and she eviscerates you with one hit.
Left 4 Dead is damn good at making you jump too, something that is helped by the minimalist score which only really swells into a frenzy when you're about to come face to face with a whole bunch of nasties, and also a welcome little feature called the Director. The AI Director essentially makes for unlimited replay value. The game is short, and once you've seen one level, you've pretty much seen it all, but you'll never play the game the same way twice as the Director changes weapon cache placements, and enemy locations every time.
Confused? Don't be. Say for instance on your first playthrough you and your teammates are descending a staircase. You reach the well lit basement, open the door and come face to face with a Boomer. The second time you play it through, a couple of things might have changed. The lights may now be out, and the room empty. The game will ratchet up the tension until, just when you think you are safe, a Hunter bursts through the wall and starts chomping on your face.
Left 4 Dead is a fantastic game, especially if you have three mates playing too, and at this price is certainly worth a look for any FPS or horror fan out there.
Thanks to GIANTHANDMAN at HotUKDeals