2404: Left 4 Dead Review

2404 writes: "It's tough to not associate Valve with quality at this point, so it's no surprise to see that their latest, Left 4 Dead, is completely awesome. It successfully blends the cinematic and grandiose qualities of their single-player epics with the social and competitive chaos that's associated with all great multi-player games. Even more, all of this is set in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and all the potential dread and intensity associated with this setting are completely and utterly exploited. If it isn't obvious already, Left 4 Dead is easily one of the best games of the year and one of the best co-op experiences you'll have, ever.

Two weeks after all hell broke loose, it's you and three others simply trying to get out of the quarantine zone. It's very simple, and there is no developing narrative, but as in most of Valve's games, you get a good sense of the state of the world by just playing. Abandoned vehicles, wrecked metro stations, the writing scrawled all over the walls in every safe house – they all tell a tale. They do a great job of establishing that the infected rule over whatever is left and that you're definitely in the minority. Even the four characters you can play as are injected with enough personality that they're far from just four different skins to choose from. They'll occasionally exchange lines with each other, and they're always funny, really establishing a sense of bond and friendship. For a multi-player centric game, it's amazing how Valve extrapolates the strong narrative and immersive qualities of their single-player games and integrates them seamlessly into Left 4 Dead."

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