Wednesday, 12 November 2008

A taste of the dead

Whilst the title of this blog sounds like a rather controversial budget cookery show by Delia Smith, it is actually referring to Valve’s latest demo for online team based shooter, Left 4 Dead.

Having pre-ordered it I managed to get into the advance release, but it is now available to everyone here.

The objective is simple, survive. You have to advance through to the end of each area, mowing down everything in your path like an indiscriminate combine harvester with guns in the blades, whilst working together as a team.

You play as one of four survivors, running for safety and away from the hordes of ‘infected’ that plague each area.

There are only two areas in the demo and a typical run through will probably take about 20 to 30 minutes but the thing that keeps it interesting is the AI director.

Like the banker on Deal or No Deal, only evil, it oversees your actions and the progress you are making, but without a Noel Edmonds style middle man. At the most inconvenient moment he can turn up the heat and flood the area with hundreds of zombies that come running and screaming from every conceivable angle.

Every game is different because the zombies attack you in an unpredictable and random manner with each play through. If an area was swamped with the walking decayed last time, it could be completely deserted the next.

With only two levels this might get old after a few hours, but in the full game there are 20 stretches of random mayhem to run, gun and die in. Talking of guns there are ten. Not so many, but they are all suited to their own specified situations, and so none appear underpowered or will be ignored.

Mowing down hordes of the undead has never been so fun, and the full venture comes out on November 18.

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