wallace

The Rules of the Game.

In PC on July 1, 2009 at 9:45 pm

aboard

Left 4 Dead: Death Aboard- PC.

We haven’t done a complete run of this campaign yet, and I’m only going to be writing about one area, so don’t take this as any kind of critique. Left 4 Dead has certain rules that, despite the caveats and exceptions, make you a better team player if followed. Don’t Startle The Witch. Help A Downed Team Mate. Don’t Shoot The Alarmed Cars.

These rules are ground into you quite thoroughly during multiple replays of the Valve campaigns; mainly because going against them results in another fresh horde of infected, or losing one of the team, and in L4D the next fuck up could be the one that wipes out the team. Eventually, you react instinctively to the signals. Hear a witch? Flashlights off. Incoming horde? Look for a defensive position. This is what makes it so jarring when a map comes along and expects you to break one of those rules. Enter the ship’s cargo bay on the fourth map.

The way out of this area is through a precariously balanced container blocked by an alarmed car. It took us a minute or two of exploring the rest of the bay to see that we’d have to shoot the car into tumbling out of the container, which didn’t click with us instantly, because you Don’t Shoot The Alarmed Cars, and this grates quite badly with the design of L4D. It’s a nice puzzle (even if it isn’t much more than a disguised mini-crescendo), but there are no puzzles in the game because standing around deciding what to do (unless it’s preparation for a crescendo or finale event) just means the director is going to drop more hordes and special infected onto the team. More ammo wasted. More health lost.

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