Thoughts on Left 4 Dead

Thanks to a generous friend (who actually went on a shopping spree as soon as Left 4 Dead was available for pre-order!) I've landed myself a copy of the game :). The official public demo for PC should be out already according to this Gamespy post.

From what I've played of it so far, the game lives up to its promise of being a game that rewards teamwork and not doing so can make life difficult. The demo consists of two stages you can play with each of them taking probably 10 minutes of your time - which is a good thing since it means that it's more likely that you and your mates will have spare time to play it together. It gives you an idea of how the game mechanics work and what enemies you face.

In terms of guns you can choose to use pistols, sub-machine guns, shotguns, auto-shotguns, assault rifles and hunting rifles (there's even a stationary machine gun nest on one stage of the demo :)). There are also Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs for explosives plus you can also bring medkits and pain pills for healing (the latter being temporary). At first, I thought each character in the game would have different strengths and weaknesses (and different weapons) but it seems so far that they're all pretty much the same besides looks.

You'll encounter a lot of zombies in the game but there are special "boss" zombies and in the demo you get to experience Hunters, Smokers, Tanks, Boomers and Witches (the Witches being the most creepy and deadly IMHO). Hunters can pounce on you, Smokers can strangle you with their long tongues, Tanks are just that, Boomers spread bile on you so you become a homing beacon for more zombies and Witches just about kill you, instantly.

The game is expected to be released very soon - the 18th being the release date.