In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

Left 4 Dead

aka: L4D
Moby ID: 38055
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

In Left 4 Dead, four humans, Francis, Zoey, Bill, and Louis, had the bad luck to land in the middle of a zombie invested zone, are now trying to get to the evacuation point, and survive the apocalyptic pandemic. The game contains several scenarios which are all divided into several chapters with the goal to reach the save room and hundreds of zombies in-between.

The doors to the save rooms can't be opened by the infected once closed and they contain weapons (shotguns, sub-machine guns, etc.), medipacks, and ammo for the survivors to restock before the next part of the journey. The door of the save room can also be never opened again by the survivors once it's closed so the team needs to stay together or otherwise they will have to decide whether they leave a friend behind or fight a hopeless battle at the save room door.

If a survivor is too badly damaged, the character goes down but is neither dead immediately nor defenseless. The character still can shoot with a pistol at incoming zombies to make it easier for teammates to help the character up. This is especially important when one of the special zombies such as the Hunter, who can jump great distances and immediately downs his target, has a survivor in his grasp. If the zombie isn't killed in time, the teammate will be dead.

Other special zombies include the Tank, which is a huge mutated zombie that can take a few hundred bullets before it goes down and does a serious punch as well as the boomer which vomits on a survivor and immediately attracts dozens of new zombies. This also happens if a car burglar alarm goes of or something similar disturbs the night.

While the campaigns can be played either with AI controlled teammates or with other human players in co-op, the multiplayer also features an additional game mode called "Versus". The basic premise remains the same with four players needing to get safely to the save room but at the same time four other players are randomly assigned the roles of one of the special zombies with the obvious goal to help the normal, AI-controlled infected to get rid of the survivors. The zombie players have the advantage that they can spawn almost anywhere on the map if it's out of sight the survivors and see them through walls if they make a noise but are otherwise, except for the tank, easy to take down if noticed early.

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Credits (Windows version)

207 People (200 developers, 7 thanks) · View all



Average score: 88% (based on 109 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 114 ratings with 3 reviews)

"When There Is No More Room Left In Hell, The Dead Will Walk The Earth"

The Good
Could I survive a zombie apocalypse? That is a question that has bugged me for a long time. I’m like the philosophers of old wasting time, that could be better spent, and never coming up with any definite answers. But unlike them, I can now prove if I could survive. With the zombie apocalypse simulator, that is video-game, Left 4 Dead.(It’s a play on words, get it?-MM-)

Zombie games have seen a resurgence lately. Or at least it seems that way. What with Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, and the upcoming Dead Island. And as a zombie enthusiast, I am loving it, but a multiplayer zombie game? Can that possibly work?

“Don’t use that zed word, because it’s so ridiculous.” -Shaun Of The Dead-

The story is very light in Left 4 Dead. Basically, you team up with three other survivors. Whom mysteriously are immune to the outbreak. Each survivor has their own back story but I won’t go into that here. The object of the game, is to get to the safe room at the end of the map. And kill as many infected as possible.(Yes, they are referred to as “infected” instead of zombies, at least most of the time.-MM-)

Along the way there are weapons to collect, guns, pipe bombs, etc. Pills and health kits to use. And aside from the hundreds of infected, there are also special infected. The Smoker for example is a large infected that creeps around and uses his tongue to grab fellow survivors. If he gets one you must free them or they will die. And one less fighter in the game can be trouble. There are also hunters these little bastards are very fast, and will pounce, and slash you.

There are other ways you can help your fellow survivors. If they fall you can rescue them, heal them, or just provide them cover fire, to get out of a precarious situation. Just like in the classic zombie movies, if you are a jackass and do not help your teammates you will all die.(Maybe that’s why this game is not on PS3, only uncooperative idiots, with more money than sense, own one of those.-MM-)

There is a great deal of replay value in LFD. As each game will differ. For example one game session you may see lots of hunter type infected other times, almost none. The monster placement is completely random.

And as Valve wonderfully demonstrated in The Orange Box.(No not the new detergent, the awesome Half-life 2 set.-MM-) Achievements don’t have to be bland, like “finish the game”. They can be cleaver and take skill, and sometimes luck to attain. For example, the achievement, “Unbreakable”, is earned by never being healed during an entire campaign. It will take a good deal of your skill and maybe some luck to unlock it. Thus making you feel as if you actually did achieve something. And also like the aforementioned Orange Box, PC gamers, and not just Xbox gamers both get to get in on the fun.

When you play online, your team consists of other human players. You can also play Co-Op with just two humans, and A.I. doing the rest. There is also a very cool mode in which one side plays as survivors and one side plays as infected. Playing as an infected is a little different. Your only goal is to kill as many survivors as possible. If they escape they win, if not the infected win.

If you have no friends, don’t trust people you don’t know, or hate everyone, or your girlfriend/boyfriend is not cool and does not like videogames, fear not. Because in Left 4 Dead, you can play alone, with the A.I. And considering how effective they can be who needs friends? There are a few things that the A.I. cannot do but more on that later.

“Oh no a cabin in the woods. I know how this movie ends.”-LFD-

The graphics are good. LFD, uses the Counter-Strike Source Engine. Which is starting to show it’s age. So while the visuals won’t blow your mind, they are hardly poor.

Like any good horror based game, the sound effects are quite good. The guns all sound appropriate. As do the blood-curdling screams of the infected. And each special infected has there own unique cry. Cueing the player into what is ahead. The character voices are well done also. I also liked the little dialogue between them. As the quote above exemplifies they are often quite humorous.

There is not much music to speak of. Except for the incidental music that cues when there is something to be wary of up ahead.

The Bad
I wish the zombies were more Romeroesque.(Yeah that’s right I just made up a word, so what, wanna fight about it?-MM-) In other words, I think that I would have preferred the slower, Night Of The Living Dead, classic zombies to the fast ones that can climb, etc.

Of course I can see why the game has the faster variety zombie. As the slow classic ones would make the game too easy. At least the Romeroesque, the zombies are only dangerous in large groups thing is still present in the game.

The A.I. cannot use bombs. But what’s worse is that sometimes they take forever to come to your aid. Which can cause you your life. More often than not they act intelligently. Which make the times they don’t that much more disappointing.

There are some minor glitches here and there as well. One that comes to mind in the blood glitch, as I call it. When pounced by a hunter, if you kill it fast enough, the blood will still flow from where you were. Like some kind of temporal anomaly.

More campaigns would be nice. Hopefully they are working on some as I write this. And I hope they are free, not extra. Either via, Steam, or Xbox Live.

A more in depth single player campaign would have been sweet. It could have you choose your survivor and then have you play out the scenario of how the escaped and met up with the others. Like the great Half-life mod, They Hunger. Sans, the wacky humor of course.

The Bottom Line
Left 4 Dead, is one of the best non MMORPG multiplayer games to come out in long time. Could you survive the zombie apocalypse? Now, thanks to Left 4 Dead, I know I could.

Windows · by MasterMegid (723) · 2009

Already one of my all-time favorites

The Good
- beautifully atmospheric: you can always related to the areas your in, meaning that you may walk through a street or a house and think: "This could've been my house" or "This looks a hell of a lot like the street I live in".

  • AI director makes sure the game is never the same twice and that the game is always challenging. He spawns health items, weapons, zombies en the Special infected.

  • Special infected will always show up to ruin your tactics. Even with one of the most coordinated teams you will run into problems. You might stand back to back and mow through the infected without any trouble when a boomer shows up and vomits on you (causing a horde of zombies to converge on your position while you are blinded) while at the same time a Smoker pulls away one of your teammates.

  • The four main characters are very like-able and we had to decide who would play which character prior to starting a new game lobby. I also like how the AI director can create interesting conversations between the characters.

  • The story is mostly told through graffiti that has been left on the wall by other survivors. Sometimes the characters say something interesting or you could find something odd like a body covered with a blanket as well, but the walls are where you should look for your story, It's also deliberately vague because naturally normal people are not scientists who know everything about viruses.

  • You will need to work as a team to even stand a chance and this and the game makes sure you do. You can't run off and go on your own or even pick what weapons you want without keeping in mind what other players are carrying because you will fail at every turn.

    The Bad
    - Although the developers commentary talks a lot about how they worked hard on the music, I just can't ever seem to notice it. Only the occasional music that hints at something interesting happening, but the rest just makes me wonder if I didn't mute the game.

  • Sometimes the AI director can be too punishing.Me and my friends remember moments when we were playing on normal and the zombies and special infected just wouldn't stop spawning. We had to fight five minutes without any breaks, just constant shooting and helping the wounded comrades up ever thirty seconds.

-The online modes in this game aren't fun. It takes ages before you can join a game of Survival and while it's fun to play as the Infected in Versus you just don't stand a chance if your team is full of pricks (like 60% of all the games). And if you die in Versus, you will have to wait roughly 30 seconds before you can try again.

  • The bots that will replace the characters that aren't played by humans are functional, but at times they just stop working and stare at you while a with is literally tearing your nipples off.

    The Bottom Line
    This game is simply put amazing. Thanks to the AI director the game is endlessly replayable and never the same twice. The characters and story are also both very interesting, but it's the presentation that really deserves to be set in the spotlight. Multiplayer is also a lot of fun and the only way to get rid of the damned bots, but most people would do well to stay away from the Survival and Versus mode.

Windows · by Asinine (956) · 2011


The Good
Arguably the best FPS for its year. L4D is one of those games that punishes you if you try to be a lone wolf and go out by yourself. In fact, one of the many strengths of this game is that you live or die by your team and the weakest teammate can even be a liability (because you're always saving them or they're not covering their corners or they're using all the team healing resources up). No matter how good you are at this game you can still get capped by a Special (i.e. something tougher than a zombie) and the only way to be saved is by one of your teammates. Additionally, it's almost impossible to do the finales by yourself (especially on any difficulties above normal) so, again, I like that the team is vital to the success of the mission. Weapon selections are tiered as you progress through the campaigns (which vary in length from half an hour to many hours, especially if you die and keep repeating chapters) and there are nice goodies to help you against the zombie hordes such as Molotov Cocktails, pipe bombs, gas cans, propane tanks, oxygen tanks but none of these matter much if you don't follow one of the cardinal rules of positioning yourself strategically. This is a game that also rewards you for positioning your team in the most strategic positions when you are attacked by random zombie hoards or at various chapter finales. In fact, if you aren't very good at protecting your teammates and putting your back to a solid wall when the hordes come, well, you probably shouldn't be playing on advanced difficulty and certainly not the unforgiving expert level. Healing resources are limited to health packs and pills and in the higher difficulties there's never enough. In fact, sometimes it makes sense to let a few teammates die so that the others can make it to the safe house chapter where everyone who died spawns for the next chapter. That way, you don't all have to die and repeat the chapter. If someone died soon enough in a particular chapter they respawn in one of the many closets up ahead but a teammate has to "rescue" you. Spawned characters start at moderate health and lose some of their resources, especially a favorite main weapon.

But the real pleasure of this game is the multiplayer. In fact, if you don't MP your gaming experience may dwindle after a time. Yes, it's true that the director of this game changes elements even if you play the same campaign over and over with the bots but the dynamics of playing with real people and not just bots throws in so many variables. Weaker players will make the campaign harder and sometimes that can be fun. Stronger players will make it easier and they'll also show you tricks that you're unlikely to read in the cheat books. In fact, chances are good that you'll start to have favorites that you like to play with regularly and as you get to know your particular team better you will react better to them when they need help. Compare that to when you play with new people for the first time, even if you all have microphones for faster communication. Other nice things about MP (at least, on Steam which is my experience) is that you can do different types of coop scenarios that fans have created. They're free to download. If you're tired of the same maps this can be a lot of fun. Additionally, if you want something different they have survival games in which a group holds out for as long as possible but the real attraction, if you want something different, is the versus games. Each side takes turns playing the Specials and try to stop the other team from reaching the safe house. Victory points are all determined by how far the survivors have gotten, how much damage was inflicted on them, whether health packs were used or not and several other variables. Interestingly, people who are very good at coop games are usually not very good at versus games as its a totally different beast.

In closing this is an awesome game for FPS fans, especially if you want an action horror video game. Unlike a lot of other video games the achievements are unique and sometimes entertaining. A nice thing about them is that you get to show them off to your friends on Steam. These days I typically look to whether a particular player has achieved the expert status achievement. If they have then I know they're likely going to be a tight player.BTW, playing this on Steam and other multiplayer sites make this a lot harder than your Xbox. A couple of friends who played it on the Xbox jumped on to Steam with me and couldn't even handle normal difficulty until they practiced some. Just a fair warning.

MUSIC/SOUND: A minus ; EASE OF CONTROLS/USES: A minus to A ; GRAPHICS FOR ITS YEAR: A; DIALOGUE/VOICE ACTING/CHARACTERS: B to B plus (even though it's limited as to be expected for a FPS); ATMOSPHERE: A to A plus; REPLAY POTENTIAL A
to A plus (on MP); GENRE: Horror Action Adventure; OVERALL GRADE: A minus to A.

The Bad
Sometimes the AI survivors don't come to your rescue fast enough and you suffer for it. Worse, they won't come to a certain place for defense at chapter finales unless you call them about nine times and even then it doesn't always work.

Some argue that there should be melee weapons and that was remedied in #2 but I think it's fine the way it is.

The Bottom Line
Read the title and get it!

Windows · by StorytellerShannon (14) · 2011


Subject By Date
L4D Valentines xroox (3895) Feb 3, 2009


1001 Video Games

Left 4 Dead appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Censored cover art

  • The Japanese cover art for the game is slightly censored.
  • In the Windows version, the hand's thumb (which is severed in the original cover art) is covered by a small label which says "Best of E3" on it. And in the Xbox 360 version, the thumb isn't missing, it's simply held down, hidden under the palm.
  • The German cover art for the game is also censored, as it usually is over there. However, the uncensored cover art can be found underneath the outer paper slipcover.

German version

Besides the cover art differences described above, there a number of other changes to the German version: * The intro misses the cut off thumb and some blood. There are additional cuts in the Xbox 360 version. * Other Survivors don't bleed when shooting them * All splatter effects (cut off limbs and exploding heads) were removed * Killed enemies disappear instantly * There are no special animations for burning enemies * Xbox 360 only: Blood was recoloured green (infected) respectively grey (survivors and other instances) and bleeding does no longer effect the textures of wall or floor.

A detailed list of changes can be found on (German).

Japanese release

Funnily enough, the Japanese PC version of the game is unrated. It does not have a CERO rating (unlike the XBox 360 version, which was rated Z, equivalent to the ESRB's Mature / Adults Only ratings, PEGI's 18+ rating, and the OLFC's 15+ rating).


One of the game's achievements, "Zombie Genocidest", asks the player to kill a total of 53,595 infected. This is a reference to the "Zombie Genocider" achievement in Dead Rising, which asks the player to kill 53,594 zombies. The Crash Course download campaign even adds a new achievement, "The Littlest Genocide", which tasks the player with killing 5,359 zombies on that particular campaign.

References to the game

Left 4 Dead was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 06/2009.

Recycled content

Left 4 Dead recycles a lot of content from previous Valve games. Examples: The sound indicating an incoming horde is from the "On a Rail" chapter of Half-Life. * Various weapon sounds are taken from similarly functioning weapons in Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life: Counter-Strike. * The gas can looks and functions like the way it did in Half-Life 2, with the exception that Half-Life 2's gas can didn't ignite the environment around it, only enemies. * Map props from assorted Counter-Strike: Source maps can easily be spot . * The Tank moves just like the way Dog does in Half-Life 2.*


  • GAME British Academy Video Games Awards
  • 2009 - Multiplayer Game Award

  • GamePro (Germany)

  • February 26, 2009 - Best Console Multiplayer Game in 2008 (Reader's Voting)

  • GameSpy

    • 2008 – #3 Game of the Year
    • 2008 – #3 PC Game of the Year
    • 2008 – #4 Xbox 360 Game of the Year
    • 2008 – Multiplayer Game of the Year
    • 2008 – Multiplayer Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2008 – PC Action Game of the Year
    • 2011 – #11 Top PC Game of the 2000s
  • GameStar (Germany)
  • February 26, 2009 - Best PC Multiplayer Game in 2008 (Reader's Voting)

  • Golden Joystick Awards

  • 2009 - Online Game of the Year

Information was also contributed by 雷堂承太朗 -djsw-, Nelson340, piltdown man and sgtcook.


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sicarius.

Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Sciere, Foxhack, Havoc Crow, Cantillon, kent c. koopa, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack.

Game added December 9, 2008. Last modified June 1, 2024.