Left 4 Dead is out, and it is without a doubt unbelievably cool. The premise of the game is that you are one of a group of 4 survivors and you're trying to survive one of the 4 campaigns that you are on. Each campaign plays out just like a zombie movie would, from the artwork right down to the campy dialogue between characters. Heck, the whole experience is like playing in a zombie movie, complete with movie credit-style statistics at the end of the campaign.
As you go through, you have to fight hordes upon hordes of zombies. On top of those there are several "boss infected", upgraded zombies with additional abilities. These include:
- Hunters - Zombies with the ability to jump long distances and pin down a survivor (and wail on him)
- Smokers - Zombies with really long tongues that can be used to snare and drag away a survivor.
- Boomers - Fat zombies with the ability to vomit goo on survivors. If vomited on, more hordes of regular zombies are attracted. Also, boomers explode when they take even the smallest amount of damage but spray goo everywhere in their explosion, giving them another chance to spray the survivors. I hate these guys.
- Tanks - The zombie equivalent of the incredible hulk. Holy crap are these guys scary.
- Witches - These crying abominations will remain stationary and leave you alone so long as you don't startle it. DON'T STARTLE IT. If you do, you've just forfeited your life. No joke.
Boomers. They always seem to somehow slime me and no one else. Not cool.
This game is insanely fun. There is an AI "Director" that changes up where things are located every time you play. Weapons, ammo and health packs are never in the same places. Zombie hordes are randomly sent on you and boss infected can spring up anywhere in any combination.
That, and you do this cooperatively - ideally with friends. You cannot win on your own in this game and you need to stay together with your team in order to survive.
I haven't even started playing the versus, where you have humans playing as the boss infected, but already I've had 2 moments that I had to take a step back and appreciate the awesomeness.
The first one, we had to lift a platform that we knew would attract a zombie horde. The only place we had to retreat to at this point had a witch (that we had previously snuck around). So we decide to hole up in a nearby gas station to give us some protection. Little did we realize that some of errant bullets were hitting the gas pumps, and the whole gas station exploded on us, killing 3 of the team. Top that with the fact that a boomer and hunter were harassing the lone survivor... I was shouting newer and more interesting profanities than I think I ever had before.
Secondly, we're in a hospital looking to use the elevator to get to the roof (to be rescued). We hit the call button on the elevator. Suddenly, a tank bursts through a wall Kool-aid man style right next to me. He proceeds to beat the crap out of me as I try really hard not to soil myself from the scare I just got. It was awesome.