Seeing as counter-strike source is pretty old and no longer cared about by valve / anyone, its time to talk about something new. Left 4 Dead. Even though it's been out since november 2K8 I stil maintain it's new since I believe it'll be around for a long time, much like counter strike but in a different way (seeing as it's co-op and only 8 players max)
However, Left 4 Dead is one of those games which was rated high, and yes it is a good game but only to those who've played it once, or twice... now and again. I should explain myself. First of all, if you've only played it a few times, you won't have time to spot why this game fails in so many different ways. And secondly if you must've gotten those games in pretty easily unlike how reality turns out to be if you've played it often...
Im gonna start on why I like this game so damn much seeing as the content is terrible yet I've played it solidly for half a year now.
Firstly it's co-op! yeah! get a group of friends together, and you'll definately be playing for an hour+ and if you're the typical FPS player then higher difficulty settings won't prove *that* much of a challenge. For me, quickly realising ways to conquer the game i.e closet camping or player stacking (tactic just requires all players in one place, which allow quick saving and gathering of zombies) makes campaign pretty pointless. The improved difficulties, also pointless. I say this because all what happens is if you play on expert, one shot will knock down your team mates, and zombies do alot more damage (I think its about five times more from normal to expert) Which basically means having loads of zombies hitting you is not an option on expert campaign.
Though Left 4 Dead revolves more around it's versus setting, where 4 opposing players can play as the infected! omg! Basically, much like campaign (with slight level alterations) survivors have to get to the end while the opposing infected stops them. This is exteremly fun since I believe Valve has done a good job on the way this works, you just have to play it to see that there isn't much fault on how they've implemented human controlled special infected. Despite this, there are so many things wrong only because I guess, Valve didn't intend the humans to be complete morons.
So it's time to list those points (i'll try and put them in some kind of order):
First up, even though there are only 4 campaigns available, only 2 are available for versus. That's right 2 levels consisting of 5 parts, not all of them that great... It *does* get repetitive, lucky the games differ so much depending on player's skill.
Best multiplayer game? I can't believe developers would even attempt to boast about this since most of the time you can't even play the game to begin with. Left 4 Dead has a silly matchmaking system where you get a group of people into a lobby and then the host searches for a server. Great right? Wrong.
- Creating a lobby is easy, but you have no control how you get people to join, you only set "public" so people who click on "find a lobby" will auto join. This may take up to 15 mins.
- You have no control on how you join a server, the host clicks start. And in small writing at the top of the screen it says "leader is searching for a lobby". Well in all fairness, no he's not, he's just clicked a button and the system is doing it for him. This may take forever (and there is no indication if there are a high or low amount of servers, ure just staring intoa blank screen). When a server is found everyone is instantly put in with no ready indication.
- Like most games there should be a way to designate 2 sides, but instead the players have to select themselves who they want to be. Host only has control on kicking a player. This leads on players quickly choosing infected side or simply just leave if they can't get it.
- The server you join, seeing as you have no control on what you join, could be so terrible that you'll end up calling a vote to go back to lobby and find a new one. At which point most players will leave.
- Players will leave if theyre losing, reminds me of DotA...
- Humans believing they're better than the rest, and therefore end up not working together causing arguements and a bad game.
- If a player leaves a server in-progress, *things* can happen, such as the server still thinks it's full.
I should note that I'm actually in favour of survivors losing all the time, this way I believe it'll make players struggle to get full survivor points every time. Saying this, I dont want the special infected to be super powerful, only the AI director to actually do something, not only that, tell us what it's doing. I've looked on wikipedia and seen an example of "stress levels" which each player has. Bullshit. I *really* want to see what mine looks like.
While running through the level, players can find items such as molotovs and pipe bombs to assist them while getting to the safe-room, the locations of these are the same every game, but they may be a different amount in each area. This being said, it does not balance the game since sometimes the winning team has a massive amount whereas the losing team may only get as little as.. nothing. One thing which bugs me a bit is, why are the ammo locations the same? Players can camp by a pile of ammo, press E, it'll never run out etc. Pointless. As well as the gun locations.
Players start with a choice of a shotgun or an uzi, and later may find a table with guns (rifle, auto shotgun or a sniper) The range of guns aren't great but im not really complaining much about that. Only that The infected players can see where these guns are, and when it's their turn to play survivors, they will know the exact location of the guns... It should be noted that, these guns are infinite, players can take 100 shotguns just from 1 table. I don't understand why there cant be guns scattered across the level, and it being limited.
For example on Death Toll (unavailable to versus) there is a part where there is a dead guard with an auto shotgun next to him. The whole team can take this auto shotgun even though there is clearly just one. But why would they want to do that anyway, they have a choice of all the guns at the start of the level. lol.
The point system in this game is awful and is generally ignored. The only thing taken into consideration is "do the survivors die, yes or no". The infected score is something like 2 points per damage you deal. Which is fine up to when you start getting assist points and that's when your points either sky-rocket or make you look terrible (oh hey you only have 50 points and I have 3000 hahaha). Also survivors have no score. And it's all quickly scrolled by at the end of both rounds.
Anyway, things are still fresh in my mind, perhaps when I play l4d later I can update on a few things. (maybe I should cover how bad multiplayer is due to bad players / playing against a team)
Finally, a new patch has been announced for mid April talkin about all kinds of crap, which im waiting for. The Crap includes, a new game mode which looks promising, the other 2 campaigns which should've been included in the first place, improvements to the levels themselves (i sure hope they re-work the original 2 campaigns because I can garuntee they won't be played otherwise), and finally the SDK which will be good but seeing how the servers work at the moment this won't shine straight away. Don't let me down Valve! (lol.)