Left 4 Dead Footage

By Jim Rossignol on May 16th, 2008 at 6:54 pm.


Brand new Left 4 Dead in-game footage? Blimey. I only just noticed these two clips because I was off talking to people at Nordic Game for most of the week, and it was a fun time. I’ll probably talk more about that over the weekend, because lots of stuff happened. Anyway, after the jump are those two new trailers, which show lots of speedy-looking in-game footage. Perhaps even sped up a little? I can’t tell, my brain is in perceptual neutral.

The “meatgrinder” trailer shows plenty of zombie-death, and some of that vital saving-your-friends stuff. Not sure about that music though – sounds like mid-90s scrolling-shooter title screen track to me.

A good glimpse of the teamplay in this, er, teamplay trailer. You get to see how you can be dragged to your feet and saved by chums during the fight. Nail-biting stuff, or it would be if you weren’t so busy rekilling the undead.

If I can ever get any spare time to work it up I’m going to try and post a detailed preview of Left 4 Dead. I’ve played it a couple of times now and I think the big write-up might be overdue…

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103 Comments »

  1. Joe says:

    I might be missing something, but both of those videos seem to be of the same thing…

  2. Max says:

    Yep really are. Typo? Copy & Paste-o?

  3. Jonathon says:

    What the hell are you talking about, that tune is awesome

  4. Jim Rossignol says:

    Oh you guys are so fussy!

    *edits*

  5. Max says:

    Bettar.

    Gotta say… Looks like a big heap of “meh” to me…

    Imma get my FPS fix from Haze instead.

  6. Jonathon says:

    Haze? We have a comedian in the house

  7. Max says:

    OH NOES IT’S NOT ON PC!!!11 MUST BE BAD!

    What’s so funny? It has an intriguing plot, great development team and publisher and awesome networking features. I’ve pre-ordered it and I can’t wait. The concept of Left 4 Dead and the footage I’ve seen have bored me completely.

  8. Janek says:

    Man, that shotgun really seemed to lack oomph. And if there’s one thing shotguns, zombie games, and especially shotguns IN zombie games need, it’s oomph.

    I dunno. It all looked a bit floaty. If you see my meaning.

  9. cHeal says:

    Man I thought I’d be alone in thinking that looks genuinely ‘meh’.

    What the hell is the green glow crap and why would they bother, it looks stupid.

  10. Jim Rossignol says:

    I’m interested by Haze too, but Left 4 Dead is quite a different proposition. It’s definitely not a narrative FPS in any sense, it’s co-op/competitive multiplayer through and through. This is more Counter-Strike lineage than anything else.

    The green glow crap allows you to keep track of your team-mates, and you come to rely on it as things get hectic.

  11. derFeef says:

    Without sound, hard to tell. But it looks a little bit “fast” and “light” if you know what I mean. Missing weigtht and bang… hard to describe…

    I heard Haze? Lol :)

  12. Jonathon says:

    @Max. Actually I have a 360 and a PS3 as well as a PC. Intriguing plot, you mean the one where they spoilt the story months before it came out, way to go. Work for a company, company is evil, switch over to rebel scum who turn out not to be scum at all but really the good guys. Amazing.

    It’s just a very average plot and premise at best, it doesn’t even look nice and shiny and there’s no excuse for that because it’s PS3 only

  13. Max says:

    Jim Rossignol said: “I’m interested by Haze too, but Left 4 Dead is quite a different proposition. It’s definitely not a narrative FPS in any sense, it’s co-op multiplayer through and through.”

    Haze has both… Narrative and a strong emphasis on accessible multiplayer co-operative play. ;D

    But anyway yeah I’m well off-topic so I’ll just be quiet now. Probably.

    @ Jonathon

    Er, actually the details of the plot are still under wraps. Yes we know you switch sides because of Mantel and their Nectar drug which blinds their soldiers to the horrors of war, but we don’t know exactly how it happens, and I’m intrigued like crazy.

    As for looking nice and shiny, I honestly couldn’t give a damn. I’ll play any game with a good, solid story but how many of us played shiny Crysis for any length of time? Sod graphics.

  14. Nick says:

    I think the problem is everyone is moving a bit too fast. Players and zombies.

    I’m sure it will be great fun with people you know swearing a lot, cHeal =P

  15. Cruz says:

    The Haze demo made me wish I had more gamer friends with PS3s. In fact, it dashed away what little hope I had for the human race. It seems that 8 out of the 10 times I’ve jumped into a multiplayer game, there is a moronic deathmatch in progress in the are of the first gunfight. I hope L4D does not prove to be as attractive to such ilk (it probably will).

  16. Jonathan says:

    Theres something wrong about standing there and just being punched by zombies until you fall over. I was hoping for a slower more atmospheric and thoughtful online shooter.

    But. This is Valve so I trust they’ll keep tweaking after release to make a classic.

  17. Cruz says:

    @Jonathan: STALKER with zombies instead of mutants perhaps?

  18. born2expire says:

    meh, ill wait for Dead Island, that is how a zombie game should be done, none of this hollywood running zombies shit.

    i imagine ill end up getting this anyhow if its packed in with episode 3.

  19. Nick says:

    STALKER had zombies!

  20. Lavitz says:

    I think this game has a lot of potential but they are following to much of the valve route. Like they still have no iron sights for weapons which for me is huge thing. I think it add whole level to gun play just like how duck & cover did. But in this game it has none of those. When will valve take gun play to a new level ??

  21. terry says:

    CS with zombies?

  22. Jochen Scheisse says:

    The first tune sounded like it was made for a boss fight. I couldn’t really concentrate on the action because I was constantly expecting a big monster to appear on the right side of the screen and shoot differently colored balls at me while occasionally exposing some glowing weak spot I have to shoot.

    Also, I somewhere read that left4dead’s AI will be remarkable. Judging by the gameplay the trailers show, that might be a waste of work.

  23. Jonathan says:

    Reply to Cruz
    Well surely there’s a happy middle point between the high speed death match of this, and also every shooter ever, and the utter impenetrable soberness of Arma and Flashpoint.

    Reply to Jim Rossignol
    I thought each map was a scripted scenario. Was this just a lie from P(ropagand)C(entral) Gamer?

  24. Kadayi says:

    It should be good fun. I really want to see some footage of the cornfield level, running through the sheafs at night being chased by hordes of zombies = big fun ;)

  25. Rob says:

    That’s what PC stands for? Boy have I been getting it wrong.

  26. Windlab says:

    Those videos aren’t all that great, considering that they both lack the original audio, and the first is certainly sped up.

    From what I’ve seen in other L4D trailers, the game looks rather promising.

  27. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Honestly, I could care less about this game – but if they wanted my absolute undivided attention and adoration, they should develop a Zombie MMO with the mechanics of Dwarf Fortress.

  28. Ging says:

    I like the idea behind L4D, but I’m not too sure about the implementation I’ve seen so far – as others have said, it does seem a tad too fast and floaty. I might have to try and find out how they did the green effect though, as I’ve been trying to figure out that sort of outline effect for about 3 years in Source now (off and on anyhow).

    We were discussing Haze at work earlier today – we came to the conclusion that it’ll probably end up being a category 4 generic shooter (we’re not sure what category 4 actually means though).

  29. Ian Dorsch says:

    It’s fast, but believe me, it’s not floaty. From the limited experience I’ve had with Left 4 Dead, it is really visceral. The shotgun in particular is poetry in motion, removing zombie limbs and heads and spraying the camera with gore. These videos don’t really do it justice.

  30. born2expire says:

    ‘removing zombie limbs and heads and spraying the camera with gore.”

    ugggh, another one of those games that wants you to think your watching a movie.

    note to devs: its not a movie its a game, so please stop with the “movie-like” effects

  31. Ian Dorsch says:

    I’m telling you, it’s awesome.

  32. Cruz says:

    I like movie-like games personally.

  33. Larington says:

    Which suggest the public at large needs to be treated to demo material, not uninteractive videos in order to ‘get’ this game… I expect it’ll be good, but I still think it’d be better with slow hordes of zombies and a reliance on head shots.

  34. Blindpsychic says:

    And some mod will reduce the movement speed a day after the game comes out. If the base is solid and exciting, it can only get better.

  35. Alan says:

    That music sounds like it was added by GameTrailers to me…

  36. Zuffox says:

    It’s not much of a far cry from the HL2 mod Zombie Panic. In general, it looks like more of a mod, expandalone of sorts rather than a whole game.

    Of course, if they release it at a cheap price tag, it’s a great project. Full price = meh, though.

  37. Monkfish says:

    There’s more, newish (Tuesday) Left4Dead gameplay footage over at IGN, complete with in-game sound. Go take a look.

  38. Marcin says:

    Actually, there *is* a zombie scenario in Armed Assault. It’s quite awesome and very suspenseful.

    This is way too fast, in video form at least. I’m holding off judgment until I play the demo.

  39. Mr Wonderstuff says:

    Heard you interviewed on One Life Left during the conference. Book sounds interesting.

  40. Janek says:

    Okay, the video on IGN is much better. Although there’s still an awfully lazy attitude to ammunition consumption. Hopefully that’s just because they’re demoing it, and mowing down hordes looks much better than running like hell and trying to conserve ammo.

    Also both survivors and zombies still move a bit fast for my liking, but that’s just a matter of tweaking a cfg I’m sure.

  41. Crispy says:

    Jeez, I’ve seen low-quality convention footage of L4D that shows off the game way better than this. I think the sound adds a lot, but I still think the art side is weak in some respects. The shotgun animation, for example, is still lacking something. It’s way too static, just look at how 2D it looks as the player view swivels over the background – it lacks depth. An idle animation or two, like what you see in TF2 or DoD, some more weapon sway, would breath some more life into it. I think the Uzi animation could do with some work as well. I’m not saying it’s crap, but I know what the Source engine’s capable of and I think they can do better, certainly for first-person models.

    I have to agree it does look sped up compared to what I’ve seen before. The shotgun melee animation is so fast it totally lacks believability which you’d think would be important in an atmospheric survival horror game.

  42. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    It does look too fast, but I don’t think i’ll get too worried until a demo or something. I bet CS looks fast to people who’ve never played it before, but it feels perfect when you’re actually in control. Although of course in L4D the zombies won’t be waiting around corners for seconds at a time planning a flank attack. And it isn’t THIS fast, I know.

  43. martin says:

    looks good so far, cant wait for a racoon city mod

  44. Pod says:

    Wow. I think I saw a preview of this game the last time I read PC Gamer….which was probably about 2 and a half years ago? (That figure is probably entirely wrong). Has it really been that long?

    Also; I agree. The shotgun lacks oomph — but then again we can’t HEAR it. Most of the “oomph” of a gun is from it’s sound. I rememebr when DOD changed it’s Garand sound and instantly every player claimed they had increased it’s power, rather than a simple WAV :)

    Also: No muzzleflashs of anykind on the shotgun, yet there’s one on the uzi? Maybe that’s why it feels less “deadly”?

  45. RichPowers says:

    The gun play reminds me of CS. While CS is one of my least-favorite online FPS’s, its weapons handling is fantastic. Too bad L4D’s shotgun lacks a suitable amount of “oomph.” FPS games should stop skimping on the shotty’s destructive power; at close range, one should blow a zombie to bits.

    Anyway, the last time L4D appeared on RPS, I snidely remarked that “Yakety Sax” should play in the background, given the comically fast movement speeds of the players and zombies. James T took it a step further and actually did it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azkuCfWjwpU

    Hopefully the game won’t play as though it’s sped up 1.5 times…

  46. eyemessiah says:

    I was going to say meh, but after the the yakety sax trailer I am convinced this is made of win.

    I am sold.

  47. Dracko says:

    What’s with the door? What happened to your physics engine, Valve?

  48. Muzman says:

    I wish I’d seen that old saxed up trailer before. Holy cow that’s funny. Needs a bit of a cut here and there, but there’s so much unintentional hilarity; like the bit where the player is surrounded, holding two pistols and the zombies appear to be moshing along with the tune.

  49. THERAILMCCOY says:

    Some of the comments on this thread really make me despair. Due to the obsession Western developers have with realism, both in visual and gameplay terms, we’ve been subject to a perpetual movement towards it as graphics improve. The notion is realism is best, slower is more realistic, therefore slow and realistic is the paragon which we must all aspire to. Thus a huge percentage of FPSs on the market feature elite special forces who can barely beat a crawling toddler in a foot race and who end up hitting Pluto should they so much as flinch when shooting. We’ve lost many of the best elements from early FPSs, such as a sense of the frenetic, movement skill as well as just aim and a cut and thrust to battles rather than just firefights ending before they begin due to the player downing enemies with one bullet.

    Someone in this thread bemoaned the lack of iron sights aiming, and that feature is a perfect example of what one loses following the pursuit of realism. FPSs ultimately boil down to the simple acts of moving and shooting. When you bring in iron sights and thus slow the player’s movement to a crawl, you effectively remove half the game and in doing so turn the exercise into an Operation Wolf-style shooting gallery. Though the CoD games certainly have their strengths, the whack-a-mole nature of the combat gets exceedingly tiresome after prolonged play, as your stationary soldier merely knocks down the cardboard cut-out adversaries when they pop up from behind cover.

    In this climate, it’s so refreshing to see Valve stick to what they’ve always done, innovating in certain areas of the genre, while retaining a minimalist, fast-paced core which harks right back to the foundations of the genre and thus retains many of the strengths other developers have long since forgotten about. The idea that the game would be better if the zombies were a slow moving mass – as I’ve heard many, many people suggest – is absurd, since it would be essentially a form of non-combat, if one defines combat as a two way battle. It would devolve immediately into the sort of turkey shoot described above, as virtually static players pick off virtually static zombies, a form of ‘combat’ as unexciting as it would be repetitive. The variety of fighting off agile zombies that can attack from countless directions and at varying speeds is surely infinitely more appealing. It’s also infinitely more terrifying, as the threat of sudden, unexpected death that constantly hangs over the player echoes the experience of watching 28 Days Later, easily the most frightening mainstream zombie film. I’m generally all for contrivances in film and games, preferring whatever approach creates the most enjoyable experience over that which makes the enterprise most realistic, but the premise found in most zombie films of lithe 20 somethings being caught by a vegetative group of lobotomised oafs is an unlikelihood too far for this individual to overcome. Whoever suggested fast zombies are a Hollywood staple may wish to think again as well, given that the best undead-centered films of recent times have been British and Spanish, the aforementioned 28 Days and the more recent Rec respectively. Properly fast and properly scary.

    Finally, the notion that extra speed will result in lessened tactical potential is again mistaken. The term ‘tactical shooter’ has always been a horrendous misnomer, as anyone who has experience of a high-level Quake team deathmatch or CTF contest will confirm (the writer of this very news post may be able to able to provide testimony on this point). Tactics in a fast-paced game may be more difficult to spot for the uninitiated, but make no mistake they are there in abundance and in unquestionably equal measure to that found in much heralded ‘tactical’ games such as Counter-strike and Red Orchestra. Extra speed generally just results in additional skill requirements, so while you’ll still have to watch your teammates backs while they’re reloading and you’ll still have to be attentive to medkit management among other considerations, you’ll have to do it at a pace that requires an impressive level of concentration and organisation, while your hand-eye coordination will be tested in a way it wouldn’t be were the horde to be the shufflers so many seem to desire.

  50. Jonathan says:

    Reply to THERAILMCCOY

    Thats an awful round about way to say “I’ve never heard of Serious Sam, Halo, Time Splitters, Hellgate, Unreal Tournament, Painkiller and most console shooters” I really don’t see what you meant by the whole genre going down realism avenue. Apart from S.T.A.L.K.E.R, self confessed soldier sims and the three or four team tactics games, shooters just don’t aim for realism.

    We’re not criticising it’s speed in terms of realism but rather the fact theres no tension. Likewise the iron sights which force you to slow for an accurate shot which makes you feel vulnerable and forces you to use blockades to buy you a few seconds. Fast zombies may very well be scary, but they’re a different kind of scary requiring different sets of skills. I personally prefer the slow build up and pressure cooker feel created by slow moving walls of rotten flesh.

    Also, 28 Days Later is overrated. Zombies? Fine. Soldiers who turn into sex crazed rapists after 3 weeks, assuming civilian evacuation took a week, and happily try to have sex with a worryingly young girl? Not so much fine. Now if thats what really happened after a girly free month, I would currently be serving 3 consecutive life sentences. Probably including treason.