E3: The Trailers – Left 4 Dead

Redesigned characters and procedural generation in Valve’s upcoming zomcom team FPS, as narrated by Gabe somebody. Never heard of him.

61 Comments

  1. Leelad says:

    Am I the only person on the planet wanting episode 3 wishing this sap on VALVe resources would GO AWAY IN THE TOILET OR SOMETHING!!

    Looks fun though, wait no it doesn’t GO AWAY!!!

  2. delfino furioso says:

    I can’t believe they’ve changed all the characters ;__;

  3. Freelancepolice says:

    They’ve not changed them I was under the impression they’re adding these as new characters? It even shows the old characters

  4. MasterBoo says:

    Looking great. Been waiting for co-op game like this for years for small LAN parties.

  5. MisterBritish says:

    Yeah, can someone confirm that these are extra characters we get to pick, and not replacements? Then again, all the stereotypes are the same; hard nut, cute chick, veteran and, erm, black guy.

  6. derFeef says:

    I HOPE they are replacements. I think they have not finished them and thats because the gameplay scenes are with the “old” ones. Looks way better, imho.

  7. Freelancepolice says:

    Actually watching the presentation it does look like they’re replacements. I prefer the old army guy but still looks great.

    The visuals have certainly got a marked improvement over the footage a few months back, the filmic filter looks even more prominent and the lighting effects are gorgeous in the fight at the end.

  8. Stefan says:

    Leelad: Left 4 Dead was being independently developed by Turtle Rock Studios, before they were acquired by Valve this year. They operate as a subsidiary of Valve, and are probably not draining resources from the team of developers working on Episode 3. Just be patient with them, although all the press is going to Left 4 Dead at the moment (which makes sense since it will be released before Episode 3), that doesn’t mean that they aren’t working on it in the background just as hard (though not as publicly) as the Left 4 Dead team are working on their title.

  9. Narvi says:

    They appear to have finally implemented clothing physics. Did you see that tie move when they showed off the black guy’s model?

  10. roskelld says:

    Gabe said they’re replacement characters to fit more with the final style of the game.

    I can’t remember what the old ones looked like, but these look great. Really well defined.

    It’s the first time I’ve felt some interest towards the game, which is strange because the Powerpoint presentation for it was something you’d hope to see more at GDC, not e3.

  11. Theory says:

    They appear to have finally implemented clothing physics. Did you see that tie move when they showed off the black guy’s model?

    link to developer.valvesoftware.com

    Edit: damn thing won’t show the link right. There should be a $ in front of jigglebone.

  12. sigma83 says:

    Based off a powerpoint slide I saw on a different video on gamevideos.com they wanted to take what they learned from TF2 about read hierarchy and conveying useful information through character design, and to match the characters designs with their new filmic filter.

    I guess the survivor models were way too muddled up and you couldn’t tell them apart. These seem much more identifiable in a pinch.

  13. Captain Bland says:

    I really like the “Office Worker” character model, but I’m not so sure about the others. I think i prefered “Grizzled Ex-Army Guy” with a beard. And “Biker Man” looked better when he was hairier.

    I think what i am saying is Beards is Best.

  14. BJ Blazkowicz says:

    Meh, I had better first impressions.

  15. gulag says:

    They’ve had this at a playable level for quite a while, and this is Valve, so I imagine play-testing has been exhaustive. If they’re changing the character models, it’s probably for a damn good reason. Can’t wait for this.

  16. Someone says:

    IMO best of the trailers of E3,expecting this game.

  17. Kitt Basch says:

    No more beard guy :(

    I think I’ll play as Black Shaun though. He’s even got red on him.

  18. sigma83 says:

    ‘Based off a powerpoint slide I saw on a different video on gamevideos.com they wanted to take what they learned from TF2 about read hierarchy and conveying useful information through character design, and to match the characters designs with their new filmic filter.’

    …and then I watch the video and I find out the slide is in the damn thing. Way to make me look stupid.

  19. DraconianOne says:

    November cannot come soon enough.

  20. sana says:

    I liked the other chick more. Bring her back!

  21. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Wow… I had faith in the game before… but now I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy it a considerable amount. That director thing sounds like it’s going to make the game extremely exciting, although how they’re going to implement player boss infected into that will be interesting. But yeah… november now please!

  22. Subjective Effect says:

    Homage to Tony Todd? Looking good Valve, looking good.

  23. Tom says:

    oh yeah baby! This one’s never gonna get old.

  24. Alex says:

    Having the black guy as the cubicle worker CAN’T be good for avoiding the honking of the overly PC crowd.

    And I hope they still have the old models in the GCF at least, so people can mod them back in.

  25. MeestaNob! says:

    Holy shit, that looks awesome.

    Every time Valve shows us something I’m convinced they get gaming. They make it look good, let anyone be able to play, and at the same time steadfastly refuse to dumb anything down to the detriment of the hardercore gamers.

    I’m officially a fanboy now, I dont care.

  26. Saul says:

    They’ve taken it up a notch. I pretty much only play Valve games these days, and this is looking like another to add to the list.

    The director concept is even more awesome than I thought. I don’t care what the character models look like– Valve know best.

  27. Don says:

    @Narvi – They appear to have finally implemented clothing physics.

    Not entirely new, in Ep2 Alyx’s belt was separate and you’d see it shifting around if you kept your eyes open. At least that’s my excuse for spending so much time looking at her derriere.

    Wonder if the destructible scenery is just for show or whether they’ll make it part of the gameplay. Give you the option of blowing a wall down to make a shortcut at the expense of expending all the team’s pipebombs, say.

    One reservation I have is that we’ve seen little about the playing as a zombie option. Gets mentioned but not seeing anything in the demos. Whilst playing as a survivor is going to be fun my evil twin is much taken with the idea of sneaking around the rooftops as a hunter and springing an ambush at just the right moment to ruin the survivor’s day.

  28. cyrenic says:

    I had the exact same thoughts as Captain Bland on the character design. The “token black guy” voice actor sounded pretty funny, I’m hoping it was intentionally done as parody (Gabe saying they were going for a horror movie feel makes me think so).

    Hearing Gabe talk about the design theories raised my excitement up quite a bit. He’s so dreamy.

  29. RichPowers says:

    The new designs are cleaner and better-defined than the old ones. Since the game will have friendly fire (that can’t be disabled), easily identifying teammates will be of paramount importance I’m sure.

    Also, L4D will have a pure co-op mode in case you want the boss creatures to be AI controlled.

  30. PaulMorel says:

    whyyyyyy must we keep waiting?!! gawddamn I want this game.

    The only thing I didn’t like is that the director AI seems to implement a kind of ‘catch up mode’ where bad players will still be able to get through the game.

    I prefer multiple difficulty settings over automatically changing difficulty settings. That way if I need to play it on easy, I can. I usually prefer to take the time to work through a game on a medium or difficult setting. I think that it kind of maximizes what a user gets out of the experience.

  31. Mman says:

    I’m not so sure on the new characters, but I guess they’ll grow on me after I see a little more gameplay.

    “The only thing I didn’t like is that the director AI seems to implement a kind of ‘catch up mode’ where bad players will still be able to get through the game.”

    I don’t mind if losing is pretty hard, as long as there’s some sort of incentive for doing well, like a ranking at the end. So if you sucked and had to rely on the AI constantly toning it down to survive your team gets a bad rank, while if you survived an entire super-zombie apocalyse while barely breaking a sweat you get a great ranking.

  32. The D-Man says:

    I think the old army guy and the biker’s faces are just too similar, they’ve gone from both being hairy to both having very little facial hair.
    I preferred the old characters :(

  33. Saflo says:

    If there exists a more delightful term than “jiggle bone”, please let me know.

  34. Theory says:

    One reservation I have is that we’ve seen little about the playing as a zombie option. Gets mentioned but not seeing anything in the demos.

    There’s a video of someone playing the smoker on Gametrailers.

  35. Malex says:

    Mman: “So if you sucked and had to rely on the AI constantly toning it down to survive your team gets a bad rank, while if you survived an entire super-zombie apocalyse while barely breaking a sweat you get a great ranking.”

    I mostly agree, but I think the whole idea of the system is that you WILL break a sweat, no matter how bad ass you are.

  36. St. Andrew says:

    i’d really like it if some info on the sys req’s was out there. seems like most people are excited to play it, whereas i’m wondering if i’ll be able to play it. oh, integrated graphics..

  37. Andrew says:

    You poor sod, why do you have integrated graphics?

    They barely deserve the name.

  38. Vollgassen says:

    Whoa it’s a guy in a shirt! I want to be that guy!

    The new char designs are a little boring, but I guess they fit the ‘survivor’ idea better than everyone being big and chunky or in big chunky gear.

    The new female character seems out of place though. Maybe too attractive, maybe that she’s the only one smiling.

  39. KindredPhantom says:

    The replacements are much better than the ones shown in the footage so far.

  40. GeorgeR says:

    My only reservation is the whole lack of information on the Boss zombies. Hopefully we’ll hear more soon. that was one of the big play points for me.

    And man, i’m surprised at how upset people are over the characters being changed. Like others have said it was done to make it easier for you to not shoot your comrades, since the game has no Off switch for friendly fire.

  41. EyeMessiah says:

    BRING IT

    I hope the director works like a personal trainer. Not punishing you when things are going terribly but constantly pushing, pulling you apart and putting you back together as zombie killing machine.

    So many trailers…

    Nice to see some nice games coming out though. Makes me glad I maxed out my credit card buying a new PC at lunch though.

  42. Crispy says:

    I wonder if I’m the only one here who wants the game less and less the more I see of it.

    I’m losing interest the more they talk up the AI director and how it will have the “narrative and emotional impact of Half-Life”. It’s a multiplayer that will be played again and again. It cannot hope to have the narrative and emotional impact of a single-player game because a lot of people’s first experiences will not also be with virgin players, they will be subject to veterans who are dispatching enemies with ease and zombie players who are camping and doing various other unsportsmanlike and out-of-character techniques to ‘win’ the game. How do you instil horror and an appropriate emotional response in a player if another player is ramboing away up front and making sure you barely get within striking distance of a zombie? Personally from what I’ve seen, I don’t think the AI director will be advanced enough to deal with extreme discrepancies in player skill.

  43. Master Builder says:

    Left 4 Dead, starring Thierry Henry!

  44. Fat Zombie says:

    Thank you Master Builder, that’s just what I was thinking. He also reminds me of the Spy, slightly.

  45. yns88 says:

    Well, the black guy looks cooler for sure, but all the other characters just got way more generic. I really had my hopes going for that fucking awesome war veteran, but now he just looks like an NRA gun nut. Lame.

  46. Parasitic Elks says:

    I like the idea of having a difficulty control as well as the AI director. Sometimes I want to be challenged, sometimes I just want to murderise stuff, or play around with non-combat aspects of the game (find secrets or whatever). I imagine that even if there’s no control messing with config files would provide something similar. But, ultimately, there are plenty of games with a difficulty settings, so missing out on it this one time is no big deal.

  47. Don says:

    @Crispy: a lot of people’s first experiences will not also be with virgin players

    Is that not being taken care of by the player matching system? Already there in Xbox land (or so I’ve read, not a user) but also to be implemented on Steam so that you can play with/against players of roughly equal skill. Also records griefers whose first move in the game is to chuck a pipe bomb at the feet of the other players so you’ve got a good chance of playing in an asshole free zone.

  48. Erlend M says:

    However well the AI Director turns out to work, it’s a laudable experiment. I don’t know if I have any interest in this game, but I almost feel that I should buy it anyway, to vote more of this please with my wallet.

    I also like the concept of 2-player split-screen, unless it’s just for console. I have two gamepads lying around getting too little use. There are just too few split-screen FPSes on the PC.

  49. Alex says:

    Mman: Didn’t you watch the entire video? The ones playing well are the only ones to get the awesome cinematic physics gas station explosion. If that’s not a reward and a virtual medal is, I think you should take a long, hard look at your gaming style.

  50. Mman says:

    I’m not sure what the pretension is about, but there’s no confirmation that’s a reward for playing well, although if it is that would also be a cool way to do it.