Saturday, 15 November 2008


Valve is one of those game-companies I love but hate. I love them because everything they seem to make (over looking the early years of Steam) is classic and also because it's nice to  see a small games company doing so damn well considering their up against the likes of EA and Blizzard/Activision. Alas at the same time I hate them because although their doing well, they take the piss a lot. Their only new franchise in years was Portal and they had to bring in a team to simply re-hash their old game concept with a more Half Life style plot and graphics (don't get me wrong, I loved Portal and the fact even friends who hate FPS have fallen in love with it). It seriously felt like Valve were printing money from giving us a fuck you in the form of such classic titles as Half Life Source...what was wrong with Half Life? or how about Counter Strike Source...once again I found no issues with the original.


I'm happy to say today though that Valve have won back a bit of my love to replace some of that icky hate though releasing the demo of god...I'm in love.

The demo was about a gig to download so if you have low bandwidth limits you might wanna hope they stick the demo on some magazine's promo-CD or something but if you can afford to download the demo it's well worth the download time!


The graphics are amazing, I mean as a console gamer I've come to accept that what we see on consoles is normally not what you'll see on a high end PC but it's normally good enough to over look...L4D was gorgeous. The environments captured the feel of an 'end of the world though evil running zombies OH SHIT THERES ONE!' city and the Zombies themselves, there was nothing quite as creepy as running backwards loading my shotgun desperately as a screaming female zombie charged at me, her eyes wild and her mouth soaked in blood.

Audio wise the game is...ok I'll admit I have a bit of a gripe here Sad although the sound effects worked perfect, the screams of the zombies scared me silly at times, and in the underground car park hearing the whaling of a child made me wee myself, but all of this was spoilt a little by my NPC team-mates shouting 'reloading' over and over in moments when I was holding my breath in fear of a zombie hearing...kinda, you know, kills the feel of realism a bit.


Game-play is where the game picks back up again. From the second the level starts, after about 3 seconds while the camera zooms into the back of your head (when did games start doing that and why do they still do it? Never made sense of it) your dropped right into the action with a mad dash to grab a gun of your choice and some ammo and for the love of god don't forget your med pack! The second you open your first door the action truly begins with you picking off zombies around every corner as quick as you can before they realise your there and charge at you with a pleasant scream which calls for the need of a change of underwear.

There are so many game-play mechanics I love in the game based on what I've seen so far, the smooth and basic weapon switch is useful because if you go shotgun like me after 8 shots your fucked if there are zombies left so a quick hit of the Y (or whatever it is on PC or PS3) and you have your handgun out. Zombies nibbling on your nipples? Don't worry just pull the left trigger and you'll smack them away giving you some much needed time to empty a round into their heads or run like the wind. There are also little details which although wouldn't have been missed if not there, make the game feel more whole including the fact if you get too close to some cars their alarm will go off which will notify a horde of zombies to where you are to rip off your big toes.


In truth I could go on for ages about the mechanics of the game which makes it spooge-worthy but I don't want to spoil finding out a lot of them for you Big Grin in-fact I should stop now before I spoil anything more for you, this is the kind of game that no video dose justice (but there'll still be a video at the bottom for you to check out) and you really should discover for a dark room...alone. Seriously, I know it's a multi-player game, and no doubt there is a lot of fun in playing online, but you should play level one in single player just to enjoy the scary feel of the game before it's spoilt by some knob who only cares about their game-score stealing all your kills and running though bits that if you haven't played before, you'll be crawling inch by inch though in fear of zombie-rape.

Good Game, Give it a Go!

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