EA Games Left 4 Dead

Some things have always gone great together: peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, and of course, the ultimate combination -- zombies and high doses of gratuitous violence.

EA Games Left 4 Dead
  • EA Games Left 4 Dead
  • EA Games Left 4 Dead
  • EA Games Left 4 Dead
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5


  • Tight controls, amazing variety, pulse-pounding gameplay


  • Slightly dense AI allies, campy dialogue, can get repetitive

Bottom Line

The team at Valve has delivered another amazing experience with their latest effort, the survival FPS Left 4 Dead. With an amazing range of variety, unprecedented team dynamics and a genuinely frightening atmosphere, L4D is the game horror enthusiasts and trigger happy shooter fans have been waiting for.

Would you buy this?

Some things have always gone great together: peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, and of course, the ultimate combination — zombies and high doses of gratuitous violence. Valve's highly anticipated cooperative survival shooter has finally arrived, but does it live up to the flesh-munching, sinew-snapping, shotgun-pumping hype? The short answer is a highly enthusiastic "yes". The long answer would be a somewhat MORE enthusiastic, "Boomer to your left! Flank the Horde, flank the Horde! BOOM — headshot!"

Evil in your Residence

It's finally happened: the zombie apocalypse is upon us. What exactly spurred this epidemic of the walking dead? Illegal pharmaceutical outbreak? Ancient ritual gone awry? My question to you is, when you're standing before a rampaging behemoth known simply as the "Tank", molotov-cocktail in hand — does it really matter? Left 4 Dead chronicles four heavily-armed Survivors who — under the rather unfortunate circumstance of an undead invasion -- are forced to fight alongside one another in order to put an army of corpses back in their shallow graves.

Even with the game's limited selection of playable Survivors, L4D's characters don't share any special attributes or skills that really separate them from their gun-toting counterparts. Where this may feel like a letdown for some, this design choice definitely has its perks as gamers won't be rushing to snag the "best" character out of the four, their differences purely aesthetic. The way the Survivors play is completely up to the person holding the controller -- and in most cases, the adrenaline-filled fire-fights will more than likely have you forgetting who you chose to begin with. While it would have been interesting to see a class system implemented or certain abilities available for specific characters, as long as you have a team-mate with a first-aid kit, there's no reason to even bother shouting "Medic!"

Down in the Ground

Each player is allowed two default weapons — a pistol with limitless ammo, and a secondary firearm ranging from assault rifles to automatic shotguns. Variety is certainly the spice of life in L4D, as each weapon handles remarkably different, allowing players to really carve out their own niche and style of gameplay. From sniping Smokers with the hunting rifle to a steady stream of bullets with the submachine gun, L4D's weapons cover all of your basic zombie-massacre needs, including incredibly rewarding melee attacks from the brunt of each weapon. Survivors also have four basic item slots designated for flashlights, homebrewn explosives, med-kits, and bottles of pills for quick healing. When playing as the Infected in Versus mode, however, your range of attacks change from simple firearms to incredibly inventive (and oft-disgusting) forms of taking down your opponents, from vomiting streams of Horde attracting bile onto the oncoming survivors to giving a quite literal tongue-lashing to your foes. No matter how you decide to play, Left 4 Dead's got you covered in variety, style, and control with even the swift clawing that comes from a Hunter's rotting hand feeling incredibly natural with a squeeze of the left trigger.

The Spice of the Afterlife

Okay, we've covered the why, what and who — let's talk about L4D's strongest asset: the gameplay. From the get-go, players are given the option to choose from one of four gore-filled Campaigns, each chronicling the Survivors' quest to simply make it from point A to B in one piece. Sure, this sounds simple enough on paper, but throw in an army of fast-running, grossly-mutated, insanely-relentless zombies that put George Romero's imagination to shame and you've got yourself a bit of a challenge. The Campaigns can be played episodically; either with AI controlled allies watching your back, or, ideally, a group of friends over Xbox Live. Now, when I say that Left 4 Dead is the definitive reason to subscribe to Live, I mean it; this is a game you're going to want to play with friends, then spend the next day talking about how much fun you had the night before. While the AI does an adequate job of keeping you enthralled and interested, nothing beats fighting off a mob of Horde as you try to resuscitate an incapacitated friend, or the classic "Behind you!" that you'll no doubt hear screamed time and time again through your headset.

The cooperative aspect of Left 4 Dead isn't just for show, believe me; one member of your party wandering off could cost your Survivors their lives. Thankfully the Survivors all have a bright blue aura about them that lets you keep track of their whereabouts at all time. Incapacitated or injured teammates share a green glow, cueing you for when it's time to bust out the med-kits. One of my favourite aspects of Left 4 Dead is the absolute unpredictability of each level. You can play any of the intricately designed levels from the game's massive Campaign a number of times, but with random spawn points and numbers for both enemies, items and weapons alike, you're almost guaranteed to never experience the same level twice.

Dead Aim

All in all, I can't recommend Left 4 Dead highly enough. With an intense, pulse-pounding Campaign mode, a brilliant twist on convention with the game's Versus mode and an overall mind-blowing experience from the moment you pick up your first gun, you know that Valve's delivered another amazing product that's more than worth a look.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?