Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead Review for PC

On: PCXbox 360

Co-op game featuring Zombies.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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Don't mess with her unless you want an early grave
Don't mess with her unless you want an early grave

Don't mess with her unless you want an early grave

The Hunter, a leaping enemy that pins you down and repeatedly smashes your skull in, can only be taken down by one of your team mates once it has you. Smokers grab you round the neck with a long disgusting tongue that drags you to its location while strangling you. The effect is sudden and shocking, and unless you shoot them instantly you're helpless, left to shout out for help and hope your team mates spot your location (which the game does a good job with, thanks to a handy colour coding system and outlines that can be seen through walls). The Tank is a massive beast that appears to have a steroid abuse problem, able to smash you clean off your feet. Taking it down without too much incident requires a team effort. The Boomer, a fat, bile-filled nasty, acts as a as laser targeting system for the infected horde. If it manages to mark you (charmingly done by puking all over you and smearing your vision with green goop), there'll be a sudden scream of: "It got me!", or most likely something far less family friendly. As soon as you hear one it's essential you pinpoint it and take it own before it has a chance to do its business, or you'll be on the end of a sudden torrent of infected coming from everywhere.

Perhaps the best enemy and the one you should be most fearful of is the Witch. This innocent looking crying girl will send chills down your spine when you hear her, and the accompanying soundtrack does little to help. She hates light, so it's vital you don't spook her with your flash lights, and it's best to sneak around her if possible. Don't do what we did on one occasion, and try to be smart with fire. Having spotted her we thought we'd throw a Molotov on her then all pummel as many bullets as possible into her. Bad idea. It seems being set on fire isn't something she enjoys, so she proceeded to go absolutely mental, running around and unleashing fiery hell on us all. It's a moment I won't forget in a long time.

Valve's Director means that you can't approach a level knowing what's coming. Whereas in lots of shooters you can learn what works best in each fire-fight, in L4D you have to react on the fly, using whatever buildings you can to take shelter and hoping you've got the weapons best suited for the job (we found the assault rifle to be a good all-rounder, but the uzi, shotgun and hunting rifle all do well in the right hands, and the pistol is a good secondary weapon especially when doubled up). Your character can also carry one explosive weapon, with the Molotov cocktail and pipe bomb each proving to be great weapons in the right situation. The pipe bomb attracts the brain dead enemies to it before exploding in a shower of blood, but be careful to watch out for flaming infected if any survive a Molotov attack.

The co-op mode is really only half of what L4D has to offer. There's also a versus mode, in which one team play the four survivors, while another four players take on roles as the four most lively special monsters (Hunter, Tank, Boomer and Smoker). With the Director still calling the shots with regard to what it spawns and real people controlling the other nasties, it's a game like nothing you'll have played before. There's an almost sadistic pleasure from sneaking up behind a group of players as a Boomer and puking over them, then retreating and watching as your team mates attempt to pin down other survivors at the most opportune moment. Although not all the co-op campaign maps are available in versus, hopefully more will be released over the coming months - along with new movies to play through too.

The special monsters elevate the game to another level

The special monsters elevate the game to another level

Built using an enhanced version of Valve's Source Engine, L4D looks good, but isn't quite up to the standard seen in other high profile shooters released this year - although the PC version can look considerably prettier than the Xbox 360 version when running on a high end PC. Although it lacks the sheer beauty of something like Gears of War 2, it more than makes up for it by throwing an obscene amount of enemies at you and is full of the usual Valve attention to detail - scribbled writing on the wall being a particular highlight. For the most part it runs well too, with the frame rate only dropping during the most crowded scenes that also happen to have a raging fire in shot.

There are games you want everyone to play, just so they can experience what you've such a good time with, and Left 4 Dead is one of them. It's unlike any other game I've ever played and demonstrates the true power of cooperative gameplay. It's worth noting that the experience is somewhat dulled if played alone, but if you've got online friends or are happy to play with randoms, Left 4 Dead is a game you simply can't pass up. Just make sure you've worked out what you'd do in a zombie outbreak before you start playing, as you won't be able to make anything approaching a sane decision with a screaming witch bearing down on you.

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User Comments

GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar


i love this game so much and without being biased i wish it was a 10, i dont see any problems or glitches with the game, for me its just about perfect.

if i was to mar it down it would only be because there is no downloable additional movies to download and play, though im hoping they will come soon
Posted 17:37 on 12 April 2009
TURBO_RAD's Avatar


I somewhat disagree i don't play it co op ever and i love it just as much as ne one i play it daily and never can get enough....yes it is funner with others but i think its just as fun solo....
Posted 03:10 on 27 March 2009
page89's Avatar


Great game if your playing online. Offline play leaves a lot to be desired but the game is aimed at co op play which it is brilliant for!
Posted 21:36 on 02 March 2009
Anonymous's Avatar
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This game rocks when played in Co-op . I keep on playing it again and again .

Please add me " : ticklion
Posted 01:58 on 11 January 2009
TURBO_RAD's Avatar


UMMM...so i have been playing this game for bout a week and a half and i play it daily and when i posted bout the AI system earlier well...i have somethin new to add you can always tell when a group of zombies is gonna attack on the expert level bc the music will change and there will usually b a like high pitch violin sound or somethin like that then immediately after there are tons of zombie moans and ur surrounded
Posted 20:40 on 07 January 2009
TRBO RAD's Avatar
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not so happy that the campaign is soo short...yea the levels are fun to play over and over but...this AI sysem is suppose to change the game everytime?? well i have played the boathouse level about 20x and i can predict everything that is gonna happen just bout everytime i play.....but sometimes it does catch me off guard..wish there was more and the writing on the walls is a great touch but some are over the top especially n the dead air level...don't get me wrong most are funny.
Posted 10:30 on 03 January 2009
St_Taylor_UK's Avatar


Campaign is seriously short on this game
Posted 15:36 on 02 January 2009
asif's Avatar
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i like games so much.
Posted 06:32 on 02 January 2009
TRBO RAD's Avatar
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So just started playin the game earlier tonight and man am i impressed....such a simple concept but yet so intense escaping from zombies has never been soo much fun before....so im hiding in this old abandoned house from the zombies and i was suprised only two tried to kill me while i was inside.....or so i though nver sit aroun in this game no no no in seconds every door was being broken down by hordes of zombies prob one of the better moments i have had in gaming....oh and the Witch what a great addition to a great game
Posted 07:14 on 01 January 2009
TRBO RAD's Avatar
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Thank you for answering my question....well i went out and bought it today...and.........ITS AMAZING prob the best game i have bought in a long long time i have been waitn for a open world full of zombies....even though they are Brutal...i agree with you Dead Dog it prob would b fun with the online..but i gotta deal with the fact i gots no high speed but still its great prob bc i am used to playin by myself but thanks for the advice
Posted 06:56 on 01 January 2009
mydeaddog's Avatar


Well, even without a broadband connection you can still play with a mate via split-screen co-op. It's not as good as playing with a screen to yourself, but it's still a lot of fun.

To be honest though, if you're not going to be playing it online, i'd be very cautious. Most of the fun in L4D comes from working with your mates; playing with the AI just isn't the same. If you can rent the game, do that first and see if you love it... Personally I think you'd be better off buying something else.
Posted 13:44 on 31 December 2008
TRBO RAD's Avatar
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So i was debating on whether to buy this game or not...reading this review i say there goes 60 big ones but...then at the end the reviewer says that its is a game for more than one person....well here is the problem...i don't have xbox live bc i don't have broadband...so i would b playin it alone bc no one in my family gets into games....so should i buy the game or not someone tell me bc im not wastin my money if its boring to play Single handedly
Posted 05:55 on 31 December 2008
ShadowAnbu3X's Avatar
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Yacaman Sony was to busy making their graphs for the PS3 gay 3 Better than anything, that they didn't buy any company's while Microsoft and Nintendo were buying the major and underground company's. So Sony got nothing they woke up and were like F**k we have nothing
Posted 20:50 on 15 December 2008
ShadowAnbu3X's Avatar
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Why no time lapse??????? All screen shots from magazines have them why aren't they in the freaking game?
Posted 20:42 on 15 December 2008
Zoey's Avatar
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The only difficulty worth playing is expert. The other settings aren't proportionally difficult. Even on advanced I find my full team piling in the safe room, usually with a extra health pack or two. On expert, though, expect death. Often. There's nothing like the feeling of acting as a decoy for the Tank while your one last teammate hobbles to the boat/helicopter/humvee/plane.
Posted 22:54 on 13 December 2008

Game Stats

Left 4 Dead
Out of 10
Left 4 Dead
  • Many different experiences
  • Co-op works superbly
  • Brilliantly playable
  • Not all levels are playable in versus
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 21/11/2008
Platforms: PC , Xbox 360
Developer: In-house
Publisher: Valve
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 2,737 6
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