Unlike many a gamer, who had no shortage of fond memories with Valve games, their catalogue of work was alien to me until Left 4 Dead. As an active avoider of PC gaming, I missed out on Half Life and Team Fortress completely, while being years late to Portal. Thankfully, I was there on day one for Left 4 Dead.
On a whim before the game’s release, I downloaded the demo on Xbox Live. I was not ready for the awesomeness that would ensue.
This fast-paced co-op shooter put you in the midst of a zombie apocalypse unlike another other game before it. As you and your partners fought your way from point A to point B, you’d always get caught by surprise by what lied around the next corner. Would there be a Boomer? A Hunter? The dreaded Witch? Or maybe a giant horde of zombies? Through the game’s intelligent AI, it was never quite the same experience twice. Because of this, my brother and I had so many wonderful stories from playing those same handful of levels over and over.
Though this generation of gaming saw more zombie games than any other before it, Left 4 Dead stands near the top of that pack. I’ll forever cherish my time with the game and would be down to press my luck against the horde once more. Sure, the sequel may have it beat in a number of ways, but it never captured me like the original. If you haven’t played this one yet, it’s worth tracking down.