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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Good Zombie Game?

Well, like most people not reading this blog, I'm a zombie fan. I have been for years. My earliest memories of paranoia are of zombie attacks. I can recall times when I was a kid of six or seven standing on my front porch at night imagining what I would do if I saw a horde of zombies stumbling up the street. What would I do first? Secure the doors and windows? Look for weapons? I loved scaring myself with that game.

As I got older, the same basic mental game stayed the same. With every house or apartment I moved into, "what's the first thing I need to do when the zombies attack?" Somehow my game always centered around the planning stages, preparation, and long-term survival. I never really had many thoughts about my actions if I were thrown into a pit or house surrounded by the things. Well, now it's time for another game...

Left 4 Dead was released yesterday for the XBox 360. I only had the time to play a few levels for about an hour or so but as a zombie fan it was great! I'm more a fan of the Romero-esq zombies. Don't get me wrong, I love what Danny Boyle did to the genre with 28 Days Later and I also enjoyed the Dawn of the Dead remake. L4D combines the best of both worlds and throws in a couple of additional zombie "types" for the sake of gameplay variety and enjoyment.

But what about the zombies? Well, for the most part they are mindless, wandering idiots like you would see in the Romero films. Once they notice you, they give chase like their ass is on fire. I'm instantly reminded of the scene in the Dawn remake where the husband begins chasing after the heroine's car in the beginning of the movie. Arms flailing and teeth exposed all while running with a blood-thirsty look in his eyes. It is a rush to be playing the game, hear a noise, and turn around only to see dozens of zombies running around a corner preparing to tear off your flesh.

Gameplay is standard FPS style. My only gripe so far is that you have to be positioned just right to pick up items. There's no lack of ammunition and lighting effects work very well. You have a flashlight and when not used, dark rooms are DARK. This game was centered around group play and teamwork. Having only played it solo, I look forward to hopping online with some friends.

Bottom line... as a game, it's fun. As a zombie fanatic, it's great! All we've had up to this point is Resident Evil which is great, but those titles tend to get crazy-mutation-monster-thing-zombies which, to me, takes some of the fun out of it. The Land of the Dead game for the original XBox was alright at best. Fun for a zombie fan to play through but it did play like a cheaply made XBox game. So go buy Left 4 Dead and look me up for some play time (xnoybis zombie).

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