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Old 02-11-2007, 12:34 AM   #1
General Balls
Join Date: Sep 2006
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>> Left 4 Dead Information Thread <<

“Fight together…or die alone”

Gameplay is divided into Survivor and Infected sides. Take your pick.


To start off...
- Left 4 Dead is a First Person Shooter Co-operative Multiplayer game in which you can play as one of four people (called “Survivors”), luckily immune to a virus that’s sent most of the population raving mad. You, as a survivor, are pitched against a seemingly endless horde of infected humans, turned into deranged psychopaths, as a result of the lost battle against the virus.
- There are no character classes, every player starts off on an even footing in terms of skills and weaponry, meaning success requires teamwork and quick thinking.
- At the start of each campaign of choice you and your comrades begin with a basic pistol. Next to you are tables from which you can grab your choice of SMG or shotgun. Then you get into the action.
- Friendly Fire is always on in all difficulty levels, and there is no way of turning it off.
- Your goal is simple...survive. Reach the rescue zone at the end of the campaign.

The 'Infected'
- Whilst players with 21st-century weapons pitted against weaponless psychopaths with no thought of tactics may seem like a no brainer, it won’t be. The infected have one very clear advantage…

...numbers. Massive numbers.
- The Infected horde is gigantic, they pour out from everywhere. A lack of strength means nothing if there are a good fifty or so of them attacking at once.
- One thing that needs to be stressed is the speed of the Infected. These aren't half-dead shamblers, they are alive, mad, and their speed shows it.
- Usually you'll find infected wandering around the city aimlessly. But once they see you, they'll know you're not one of them, and their demeanour changes immediately. Their only thought is of stomping your face in and, unless you do something about it, that's exactly what they'll do.
- You cannot kill all of the infected. There is no set number of them. They attack you at the Director's discretion, and they will not stop coming. The goal is to escape, there is no way you can survive if you stay in one spot for too long.

Unfair Advantages
- As the survivors, you have access to a variety of projectile weapons and happy little explosives. Shotguns, Uzis, and Pistols are all at your disposal from the get-go, with more weapons becoming available as the game progresses through the separate levels of the campaign (scroll down further for a more in-depth view of the weapons).
- Equipment-wise, you have a flashlight (unlimited battery) for seeing in the dark, can see the outlines of your teammates through walls and other objects so you don't get separated, and have one med-kit each for healing yourself or a teammate.
- There is a melee attack with your weapon that does some minimal damage, but its important aspect is that it pushes the infected back. Tactical uses of this become apparant with the knowledge that pushing one into another will cause both to fall down, and domino effects are quite in play. Also, the only way to effectively combat some of the Boss-Infected without hurting your teammates is to melee them away before using the more deadly aspects of your chosen weapon.
- As a Survivor, you can close doors behind you. This effectively stalls any infected pursuing you, for a while. They can and will break through wooden doors, but it takes a while, and it is also possible to blow a hole in it yourself use it to shoot at them, though that only delays the inevitable. Of course, certain Boss-Infected don't find doors very hard to open. Or walls, for that matter.

'Til death do us part...
- Death is being handled differently in Left 4 Dead, but note you will not get Infected if you die.
- Instead of dying outright when your health reaches zero, a Survivor will fall to the earth and be unable to move, only having the energy to weakly fire their pistol.
- When you hit the dirt, a 'bleed out' timer commences. Pretty much your health is replaced by temporary health (300 points), which slowly depletes (at 3 health points per second), with any extra damage from Infected (or careless teammates) depleting it faster. When it is depleted, you die.
- Here, a mate can help. You can be 'revived' by your mates if they face you and press the appropriate key, causing them to pick you up and keep you going. Of course, this takes precious time and, when you're bearing the brunt of an infected horde, sometimes it's wiser to deal with them first.
- You can only be revived three times. When you've used up all three of your revives, your view will become black and white and your health temporary. If you cop it big time again, you will immediately die rather than simply being knocked down.
- When you die, you have to spectate until your teammates find another Survivor, either barricaded in a closet or at the next checkpoint, depending on where you died on the map. When you respawn after death, you start off again with basic equipment, wherever you are.
- The speed at which you move is affected by your health. 100% and you're beating Cathy Freeman, 1% and you're slower than a two-legged turtle with heamorrhoids. It's important for healthy survivors to keep an eye on their injured comrades, as it can be all too easy to leave them behind to be easy pickings for Infected. It is in every Survivor's best interest to keep everyone at full health, as the group can only move as fast as it's slowest member.
- Each survivor will be able to carry one medkit, which can be used to patch yourself or your mates up, it can only be replaced by finding one throughout the map or at the next checkpoint
- There are also pills, which give you a temporary health boost that depletes back to base health over time, but are very quick to take.

The Director
- You will not be wading through hordes of infected from start to finish. What Valve has implemented is an AI Director that places the infected on the map in real time using no flags or checkpoints at all. It is intelligent enough to place them on it's own, needing only a map to be able to work with.
- As a result every game is relatively unique to play through, as you will never know where and how many zombies are going to be hitting you at any certain time.
- The director also works on a system of highs and lows. There will be times you are fighting for your life, and there will be times where you don't encounter an infected for a minute.
- There are a few small mini-stands scattered throughout a campaign, as well as the finale while waiting for the rescue vehicle, but apart from that, the Director is not scripted.

- In a co-op game, especially one such as this, communication is vital. Implemented into Left 4 Dead is a call system that involves pressing a corresponding key and moving your mouse in a direction on a radial menu of commands.
- Also, there is an implemented auto-alert system in which your character automatically says something when a certain event happens (ie 'Help!' when knocked down, or 'Boomer!' when the crosshairs are centred on a Boomer).
- There is over 1000 lines of dialogue for each character so generally there is a good variety of voice-acting available.
- On top of this is the ever present in-game chat, allowing communication between players with microphones.


Choosing the other side
- In Versus mode you can, if you want, decide to forgoe the weak realm of sanity and become an Infected psychopath, hellbent on killing the four survivors.
- This is entirely different from playing as a Survivor. Your goal is to terrorise and kill, to do your absolute best to hamper and harass the Survivors until they are overwhelmed.

It's all in your head
- As a Boss Infected, your goal is the same as that of the infected horde, kill the Survivors before they can escape.
- With hundreds of Infected at your side, it may seem an easy chore, but with the infected as weak as they are (they are only human, after all), you will not survive, let alone hurt anything, by mindlessly charging in there.
- Tactics is the game here, you know when, where, and how you are going to attack. They don't. This immediately gives you an advantage, and it is up to you to use that advantage to it's fullest potential.

Boss Classes
- There are four playable types of Boss-Infected, known as the Boomer, the Hunter, the Smoker, and the Tank (scroll down for a more in-depth look at them). The first three are the most common, with the Director spawning you as them more often, while the latter is given out randomly at certain times due to it's power.
- There are limits as to how many Boss Infected there can be at once as well as limits on each Boss infected (One Boomer at any one time etc.). The Director has full control over what Boss Infected you will spawn as.
- Everyone will get a chance to play as a Tank before someone gets a chance to play him for the second time.
- Respawn times for the Boss Infected range from 15-20 seconds.
- All Boss Infected have a basic melee attack, it's not a primary weapon (exception the Tank), but it helps to dish out some pain before you lose your head. Apart from this, the Boss Infected rely heavily on their special abilities to kill the Survivors. All the bosses special abilities are geared towards different types of play, and can all be devestating if used correctly. Scroll further down for a more in-depth look at the Boss Infected themselves.

Stickin' it to 'em
- Playing as the Infected is very different from the Survivor side. Most obviously when you take your position behind a pair of bloodied hands, you can see the outline of survivors as a ghostly figure which can be used to see them at any time.
- There is an exception to this 'Survivorvision'. If a Survivor is standing completely still, without their flashlight on and aren't shooting, the red outline becomes nonexistant.
- So, Infected players can almost always see where the group of survivors are thus they always have the element of surprise, being able to position themselves in many places Survivors can't.
- Other advantages of being Infected is complete immunity to fall damage, night vision, and having the ability to climb parts of walls that aren't available to Survivors. Thus the infected have a great deal more of the map available to them, and are much more mobile, with the ability to attack from any angle.

The Director
- What you will first notice when the Director pops you into the map, is that you can choose exactly where you spawn, with the only limitation being that you can't spawn within a pre-determined distance of the Survivors (or in their line of sight). Generally, the director will drop you where the Survivors currently are.
- What essentially happens is that you are put into the map as a 'ghost', then you run around, look at the surroundings, and choose yourself a place to spawn. Then you go annoy the Survivors.
- The Director has full control over what Boss Infected you will spawn as. If you die, you are respawned after a short wait to continue toward your goal.
- By working with the Director (as in watching his deployment of the other infected) you can spin things to your advantage while attacking the Survivors, such as dropping into the middle of them from a rooftop as a Boomer when they are surrounded by infected. Or, if you are lucky enough to find the Witch before them, attack in a way as to herd them towards her.

Psychotic Tactics
- Apart from the Tank, playing as the infected tends to go towards ambushing. You want to attack when it's the worst time for the Survivors, and generally this involves you stalking, waiting around a certain corner, then WHAM! You've scared the poopers out of them and maybe even done some damage.
- Generally, if you attack, don't be surprised if you die, especially if you charge head-on. Infected are weak, even the Boss', and attacking from a ambush will not guarantee you anything unless you do it right. The whole goal is not to outright kill the survivors yourself, but make enough mayhem in their ranks so they can get separated, overwhelmed, or just plain confused enough so the horde can rip them to shreds. Sure you can kill them, and you should, a skilled and lucky player can take all of the Survivors out in one go. But don't run in there expecting to notch a kill every time.
- As for the Tank, you must do the complete opposite. You can be heard for miles, and if you don't attack Survivors in a certain time, it's the worse off for you. So basically you find them, and try to kill them.
- In that sense, the whole aim is whittle down the Survivors, chip away at them over time until they cannot stand the constant attacks, and then slaughter them.
- Playing Infected is for the most part very tactical. You have to choose the right moment, the right place, and the right way to attack, otherwise you won't do anything worth noting.


Gameplay Modes and the Campaign
- There are two gameplay modes currently in Left 4 Dead. A Co-op Survival mode and another mode called Versus. 'Survival' is Co-op only, with no Human controlled Infected at all, while 'Versus' allows players to control the Boss-Infected as well.
- Nevertheless, in both modes, the Survivor's must escape their predicament by getting to a point where an escape vehicle can pick them up. As the Infected (if the mode allows it), you have to stop them.
- There are four campaigns, consisting of 5 maps each, which can be both played offline (with AI controlled friends and enemies) or online with up to 8 players (four Survivors and four Boss Infected). They are seperated by the aforementioned 'checkpoints' in which you restock on ammo and health, and dead teammates revive if they were killed towards the end of a map.
- At the moment it seems each campaign can take up to an hour to finish (you can leave the game anytime you want, you'll just be replaced by a bot until someone else joins)
- At each checkpoint a message will pop up showing how everyone did comparatively in certain areas (damage to/as Tank, least damage taken, Infected killed, etc.).
- At the end of each campaign, there will be an elaborate “last stand” in which you and your mates must hold off wave upon wave of Infected waiting for the rescue vehicle to come and rescue you. The Infected will temporarily stop attacking you so you can set up your defence, then you radio the rescue vehicle, a timer pops up, and all goes to hell. This is especially hard and you will be facing many more opponents than you did on foot to the point.

Last edited by General Balls: 04-26-2009 at 12:20 AM.
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