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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.


Left 4 Dead Windows Loading Screen
Left 4 Dead Windows Standin' on a Pile o' Corpse.
Left 4 Dead Windows Francis and Bill rush to save Zoey from a Smoker's tongue (versus mode).
Left 4 Dead Windows Playing as a tank is fun.

Promo Images

Left 4 Dead Screenshot
Left 4 Dead Screenshot
Left 4 Dead Screenshot
Left 4 Dead Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "L4D" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

"When There Is No More Room Left In Hell, The Dead Will Walk The Earth" MasterMegid (902) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Already one of my all-time favorites Asinine (1006) 4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars
BEST FPS OF 2008 StorytellerShannon (19) 4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars

Critic Reviews

G4 TV: X-Play Nov 18, 2008 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Middle East Gamers (MEgamers) Dec 09, 2008 9.7 out of 10 97 PC Gaming Dec 01, 2008 9.3 out of 10 93
Cheat Happens Dec 30, 2008 9 out of 10 90
Bit-Tech Nov 20, 2008 9 out of 10 90
GameSpot (Belgium/Netherlands) Nov 21, 2008 89 out of 100 89
Absolute Games ( Nov 30, 2008 88 out of 100 88 Dec 25, 2008 86 out of 100 86 Nov 24, 2008 86 out of 100 86
GameLemon Feb 21, 2009 8.2 out of 10 82


Topic # Posts Last Post
L4D Valentines 1 xroox (3957)
Feb 03, 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.

Related Web Sites

Sicarius (61517) added Left 4 Dead (Windows) on Dec 08, 2008
Other platforms contributed by Kabushi (257603) and Sicarius (61517)