Left 4 Dead Trailer And Delay


Having spent the weekend co-op gaming at a mini journo-LAN this weekend, I’ve got the taste for fighting alongside my chums. Left 4 Dead, which I’ve played a couple of times now, has had a similar effect each time I’ve experienced it, and the reason is that it’s a game which insists that you help each other. Finding games in which working with your friends is essential to victory is actually rather tricky – any number of co-op games are actually just you playing a single player game in which your friends happen to be. In Left 4 Dead you don’t just happen to be shooting the same targets, you’re pulling each other up from where you’ve fallen, rescuing injured members from where they are trapped in rubble or locked rooms, or blasting zombie swarms away from a stricken comrade. It’s thrilling, because you can really mess up and get someone else killed. The Leipzig trailer appears after the jump.

Left 4 Dead has suffered a small delay and will now be out on 29th of November 2008.

46 Comments

  1. SuperMatt says:

    I consider this two week delay acceptable. After all, it gives us more spore time.

  2. Real Horrorshow says:

    Game looks nice but this is definitely a when-I-get-around-to-it-probably-in-2009er for me.

  3. Meat Circus says:

    Hmmm. Spore’s inevitable shallowness means that there’s no way it’ll be able to expand to fill two more weeks.

    I WANT MY FAST ZOMBIES.

  4. McCool says:

    The thing that worries me about Left 4 Dead is that, aesthetically, it’s the polar oppesite to TF2. It’s so bloody dark, and everything looks the same. When the zombies and bullets are flying, it looks so hectic, I think I’d squeal and roll up into a ball if I tried to play that, having the responsibility to look after the team.

  5. Meat Circus says:

    @McCool:

    Valve I suspect are aware of this particular problem, that of crippling panic, hence the ‘director’ engine with its dynamic cinematic tension slider that the game adjusts to your particular level of incompetence.

  6. Nny says:

    Scared the crap out of me with “delay” in the title…. luckily it’s only 2 weeks :). I’ve been waiting for that game for ages now, hope Valve deliver a quality product as they always do :D.

  7. Feet says:

    Nice to see a trailer with proper gameplay footage in, sounds and all.

    I am looking forward to this so muchly.

  8. McCool says:

    back@ Meat Circus

    and hopefully, there will be graphic cues to help everyone out. I’m not particulary worried about my own performance to be honest, but if the game is as hectic and confusing as it seems in the released videos the director engine is going to be working overtime, all the time. Your average level is going to involve a single Zombie with one leg and no arms. He’s also blind.

  9. dartt says:

    Perhaps you have access to secret journo knowledge but l4d411 (the PREMIER L4D fansite) claim Doug Lombardi told them that the date for Europe has only been pushed back as far the 21st.

    link to left4dead411.com

  10. Freelancepolice says:

    that l4d site annoys me a bit. They’ve got that whole “what the hell are valve doing making this change that we have no knowledge about”

    It was a post about the decision to have respawns at the start of the level not the chapter.

  11. derFeef says:

    Me wants beta/demo, nauu! Thats my m-a game 2008.

  12. AndrewC says:

    Hmmm. Left4Dead’s inevitable adherence to tired FPS mecahnics means there’s no way it will be able to replace Spore’s scope for imaginative creation.

  13. liquidindian says:

    “tired FPS mecahnics”

    I don’t get this – it seems pretty innovative to me. Unless you mean the FPS standards of view and gun and moving around and shooting things, which is that way because it simulates how we see things and move around.

  14. gulag says:

    Horses for courses. Spore and L4D are so different that any comparison must flounder on the jagged rocks of absurdity.

    Regarding it’s dimly lit, grotty asthetic and the potential for confusion; isn’t that probably the point?

    Shouldn’t a mad scramble for survival be one filled with moments of misunderstanding and confusion? Moments where you accidentally blow a fist-sized chunk out of your fellow survivor, and then drag them backwards down a dank corridor, while they keep the undead hoarde at bay with twinned pistols, until you can find enough time to bandage them up and continue on your way. Isn’t that what good stories are made of?

    From what I’ve seen so far, they’ve got it bang on.

  15. aldo says:

    My only (and it is pretty much the only one) concern over left 4 dead is that the amount of fun may be proportional to how well you know the people you play with.

    EDIT; actually, I wish someone would make a World War Z themed / based game. World War Z is a sort of alt-history book written as a series of interviews / vignettes after a worldwide zombie apocalypse (hence the name), spanning from the initial outbreaks, to the near-collapse of civillisation, to the eventual counterattack. It’d be ideal for a variety of gameplay styles – as well as the obvious FPS stuff, you could have RTS missions defending civillians / chokepoints, resource management stuff for the enclaves of survivors, stealth (or parkour styled) missions escaping infested cities, etc. I mean, stuff that’d get repetitive across a whole game, but which would work well in refreshing isolation. It’d be perfect for episodic development, too.

    Oh well… we can dream.

  16. Psychopomp says:

    @AndrewC

    “Left4Dead’s inevitable adherence to tired FPS mecahnics means there’s no way it will be able to replace Spore’s scope for imaginative creation.”

    As excited as I am about Spore, it’s no more than the mish-mashing of a bunch of things that have been done before…
    Like Daikatana.

  17. subedii says:

    *Sigh*

    It never fails, another Left 4 Dead posting and people are still so intent to jump on the game before it’s even released about how crap it’s going to be and how Valve clearly aren’t thinking about art direction and gameplay. It’s so obvious to some people that you’ll never be able to play this game because of how obscure everything is and how Valve have just regurgitated everything that’s come before.

    Well, other people have already attempted to address comments about the gameplay, which I believe is going to be innovative enough and downright awesome, so let’s take a look at what Valve are doing with the art style.

    Best place to look is the recent Gamefest conference where some artists gave a talk about “How Valve Connects Art Direction to Gameplay”. It’s really impressive, and I seriously suggest people take the time to read the writeup over at gamasutra:

    link to gamasutra.com

    In particular you’ll want to pay close attention to comments on character read hierarchy and navigation, and why they decided to change the character models to what they are now. This ought to give you a clear idea as to just how in-depth Valve’s thinking of art direction, and linking of it to gameplay, really is. It’s actually very interesting.

    There’s also a set of slides from the talk that Valve made available, which you can see here (PDF WARNNING):

    link to valvesoftware.com

    In particular pay close attention to slides 50 – 52, and 55 – 57.

    It’s also really good if you’ve got any interest in the design and thought processes behind TF2, and how they’ve filtered through to Left 4 Dead now. It’s really impressive to see the kind of in-depth decision making at work there, and you can clearly see what separates them from something like Battlefield 2142.

    My favourite quote from that writeup, and the one that gives me most hope for the game, it speaks volumes about the concept of having an AI director, and linking it to the art style:

    The AI Director’s omniscient knowledge of the game state allows the game’s visual tone to change even before events take place. Said Lundeen, “We take the local contrast and crank it up. Everything gets sharper, like there’s an adrenaline rush, and things start to feel more clear, like people get in near-death experiences. What the Director is subtly saying to you is, ‘I am going to spawn 100 zombies around the corner.'”

    The fact that the game director is capable of dynamically altering the art style in subtle ways in order to foreshadow upcoming events? Yeah, that’s really impressive to me.

  18. Rosti says:

    I have an urge to play this game whilst voice chatting in the style of a seventies cop drama: “Oi, Guv, he’s got a shooter!” “We’re the Sweeney, son, and we haven’t had any dinner…”. I’ll be wearing my zombie hunting shirt anyways.

    Also, Aldo’s World War Z idea sounds like the hell-fusion of Spore and L4D and I want it.

  19. Joinn says:

    I wish you’d stop linking to gamevideos.1up.com, I never see anything from on there :(

  20. Jim Rossignol says:

    Joinn: what browser are you using?

  21. Joinn says:

    It doesn’t matter which one I use, FF or IE, it’s a problem both at work and at home on both browsers

    I’m beginning to think that it’s something to do with my geographic location (Iceland) or something

  22. Jim Rossignol says:

    Hmm, it could be. Do you just get no download?

  23. Andrew Doull says:

    Joinn: I think the issue is that you need to upgrade the version of Flash you’re running. I had the same problem in Firefox, whereas IE at least told me I had to upgrade. Did it for both platforms to the latest version and didn’t have any problems afterwards. Hit Adobe for the latest version and see if this resolves the problem for you.

  24. Andrew Doull says:

    Of course, I’ve had this error persist for weeks, and it took a game I’m actually interested in to bother trying to fix the problem. This is a technical support issue known as eating ones own dogfood.

  25. suchchoices says:

    The other day I updated my flash to some beta version of flash 10 that adobe are offering, and yet the video still asserts that I have to upgrade.

    It plays merrily enough after I click ‘cancel’ though.

  26. Tom says:

    Oh good gravy this game looks stupidly awesome.
    I’ll never understand why so many people become so hell bent on bashing a game before it’s even released – picking up on the tiniest things and doing their best to make them out to be a potential show stopping pitfall.
    Ah well. While they casting their critical eyes I’ll be blowing the ever living snot out of Zombies heads, and hopefully taking said head out of the picture at the same time. I’ll probably be either drunk or stoned. And I’ll probably be laughing my ass off the whole time. That or wiping it.
    Can’t wait to tackle that level in the forest.
    Valve… you just keep getting it right!

  27. Octopus says:

    Zombies, co-op and loads of panic and terror. This game sounds perfect. I’ll be getting the Xbox version.

  28. Joinn says:

    @jim:
    It looks like a problem with Cogent. It takes avg. of 41ms to get over to their net, and there it bounces internally in the low-to-mid triple digits until it reaches 1up-dot-com.demarc.cogentco.com. After that it just times out.

    http://www.1up.com only loads occasionally for me after much waiting and refreshing of the site

    @Andrew Doull:
    No, it’s not my version of Flash, I had that updated before. It’s just that content from 1up.com doesn’t get downloaded :(

  29. AlexW says:

    Aw, dammit. After reading those art style links I want to just say “Sod it” and play TF2 to the exclusion of all else again.
    /me loads Steam

    Curse you, Valve, for being so brilliant!

  30. cyrenic says:

    Shacknews is saying this will be released November 18th in America, and the 21st in Europe.

    link to shacknews.com

    I’m wondering if there will be an “open beta” for pre-orders like there was for TF2.

  31. subedii says:

    I hope so, the constant delays are really not fun.

    It’s like waiting for a bus that’s past schedule. You WANT to leave and catch a different one, but there’s always the promise of it being just around the corner that keeps you standing there like a muggins until it arrives.

  32. Kestrel says:

    Incidentally, World War Z is awesome.

    It would make an interesting MMO if you stripped out all the conventions of RPG except maybe weak class differentiation (a la COD4) and made hardness of fights a simple matter of just how *many* zeds you and your little group were fighting. Oo, and made it all persistent, so that someone would always have to be manning the door…

    I like instanced grind-levelling as much as the next guy, but there’s nothing scary about it.

  33. JonFitt says:

    It’s also frustrating that they’ve been letting people play the game on and off for a year and it seemed pretty much finished.
    Come ooooon, I waannt iiit!

  34. Zonderic says:

    The fact that the game director is capable of dynamically altering the art style in subtle ways in order to foreshadow upcoming events? Yeah, that’s really impressive to me.

    This is really impressive to me also. Only, it seems like a rather binary transition. I can’t wait for a game where each separate mob might impact the art style almost like an emotional aura.

  35. CheshireP says:

    So, are they going with the character models shown in this trailer or with the other ones they announced a couple months back? Or can you choose which ones you use?

    I’m moderately confused on that point.

  36. subedii says:

    @CheshireP:

    I’m pretty certain the models shown in this trailer are the new ones that they announced a couple of months back.

  37. Martin says:

    I agree with gulag – without the terror, confusion and mistakes it won’t be as fun.

    I’m getting this for the 360 as well since A) I can’t afford to upgrade my PC and B) easy to pick up and play on the console.

    How about the rest of you lot? PC or console? Why?

  38. subedii says:

    PC. Easy to pick up and play on the computer. :P

    Of course I’m also looking forward to things like custom maps, and probably also custom models and skins coming out for the game if it really hits popularity.

    Aside from that though, my main issue with choosing the PC version instead is this:

    Multiplayer games always require patches and updates as time goes on. The problem is, the constant stream of iteration and update that Valve runs on the PC simply isn’t possible on the 360. Team Fortress 2 has been seeing constant patches and updates since release on the PC, maybe every other week if not more frequently.

    On the 360, because it’s a controlled and locked down environment things become a lot more complicated and slower. Every update HAS to be run past Microsoft QA, and having MS run through this process costs additional money with each update. To a large extent, the console manufacturers still treat patches as a mistake being corrected, as opposed to the kind of constant tweaking that is fundamentally necessary for a multiplayer game. The way things are run at the moment, it is neither practical nor even financially viable to try and release updates every week.

    The end result of this is that right now the consoles are getting their first really significant TF2 fixes and update in months (IIRC they’ve only had one or two patches since release, and those were early on), and Microsoft is requiring an additional $10 charge for the privilege. Pricing an update like this is only going to lead to community fragmentation, which is NEVER a good thing with multiplayer games like this, no developer wants fragmentation of the multiplayer community like that.

    If we break it down now, that’s $10 for the first three class updates, and potentially another $10 each for another two sets of three. Now, on top of paying $30 more for the complete class collection, the community is fragmented to pieces.

    Now Left 4 Dead is a different style of game, but many of the same balancing and update issues will apply. I don’t expect it to require as much updating as a game like TF2, but I do believe it will face a lot of tweaking, balancing, and updating from soon after it’s release and for a long time after that. So yeah, PC version here.

  39. Martin says:

    @subedii: Excellent reasons, thanks for yor reply.

  40. Azradesh says:

    PC, see above lol

    I can’t think of anything to add to subedii’s comment

  41. Eschatos says:

    I actually am happy to see this. They’ll be using the time to make it even more awesome, and I get more time to play Warhammer Online and Spore.

  42. Nimic says:

    I’ve been exited about this game ever since it was announced. I mean, Zombies and co-op! I love it! I’ve even spent quite a few hours playing with friends on the various zombie mods of Sven-Coop. Brilliant!

    I just hope Valve doesn’t make it too good, or Yahtzee will have to stick forks in his eyes.

  43. Cibbuano says:

    Is it me, or does this look like a updated version of Gauntlet, with zombies and guns?

    Can someone make a top-down Gauntlet-like port of Left 4 Dead? Then, my inferior laptop might be able to play it.

  44. Paul Moloney says:

    How about the rest of you lot? PC or console? Why?

    PC, because (a) the only console I have is a Wii and (b) attempting to play FPSs on consoles(*) is like trying to that thing where you rub your belly and pat your head at the same time.

    (*) Even with a Wiimote, it’s pretty unsatisfying.

    P.

  45. realcals says:

    @Cibbuano: take a look at Alien Swarm, if you have a copy of UT2004…

  46. jason says:

    Spore was one of the gheyest games i’ve ever played. It was uninstalled off my pc in 2 days. It sucked monster ballz.