Left 4 Dead Demo Confirmed, But Not When

Brrr, that rope bridge is a scary place.

Valve boss Gabe Newell has confirmed that there will be a demo of Left 4 Dead. Speaking to Videogamer.com, he said,

“We will be releasing demos for both the Xbox and for the PC. I don’t know what the date is for release on that, though. I think it’s going to contain the first part of one of the campaigns. I think it’ll probably be Hospital but I’m not sure. That’s a decision that Doug Lombardi [Valve marketing guru] is making.”

They just want to be friends.

Of course, Newell doesn’t specify that the demo will appear before the game is released. Peculiarly Valve have tended to not release their demos until long after the game is out. The implication here is that there might be a section available before it’s in the shops/on Steam, but of course the ambiguity remains.

I was fortunate enough to play L4D in Valve HQ last week, and be assured you should be looking forward to this one hell of a lot. If that’s not convincing enough, the opening section of No Mercy should probably do it. Newell goes on to confirm that the demo level will be playable in single player (using bots), and online co-op, which should likely get you a fair amount of free fun.


  1. LQB says:

    Great to hear! Although I’ll hazard to guess it will be released after the game itself debuts.

  2. KindredPhantom says:

    You need another black line before “Related Stories” same as the previous/next article links.
    Also Click to edit, the yellow text is not nice on the eyes and it needs to be left aligned.

  3. Fumarole says:

    All the cool kids are already planning on buying it, natch.

  4. dog says:

    is it confirmed that the full version will be playable co-op on a LAN ?

    so maybe the demo is on-line co-op and the retail version LAN?

    lets damn well hope so….

    //polishes his ‘i love valve’ badge

  5. soviet_ says:

    Fucking hell, I cannot wait for this game. I’m been wanting to play it for so damn long, it’s just going to be amazing.

    Here’s hoping they do a beta for the PC is you pre-ordered, like they did with TF2

  6. cyrenic says:

    I don’t see why they’d announce this in advance of launch if they weren’t going to release the demo before launch. Valve has also said they think the game doesn’t get conveyed that well through videos. So here’s hoping for a pre-release demo.

  7. JonFitt says:

    I will be very surprised if the demo beats the Steam release.

  8. Henley says:

    hell yeah love me some zombie slayin!

  9. subedii says:

    The demo is largely moot for me, since I’m guessing that I’ll buy it with or without a pre-release demo.

    Now a beta for pre-orders like they did for TF2 on the other hand…

  10. Jacob W says:

    There’s one thing I’ve been wanting to know about L4D, and no one seems to mention it: Will we be able to make custom maps? Or even entire custom scenarios? Right now I’m only kind of interested in L4D, but if there’s the promise of serious custom map-making, like most of Valve’s games have, then I’d consider it a must-buy.

  11. Heliocentric says:

    its a source game. Yes you can make custom maps. I can’t wait to play the super mario level. Or play through the whole of half life 2 in coop vs the various zombies on garry’s mod. Or simply dropping the half life 2 jeep into a garry’s mod game of l4d and seeing if you can run the tank over. Oh, and the old romero mod where the zombies are super chilled out.

    Edit: mobile site edit button. I love you guys

  12. Taximan says:

    But, but… We want same-PC split-screen co-op. *whine*

    Worked marvelously on Kane & Lynch and Serious Sam 2, so why not on PC again.

  13. Bas says:

    It would be really cool if they made a custom map for just the demo, ala Half-Life 1.

  14. RichPowers says:

    I wonder if Valve plans on licensing the Director AI system like they do with the Source Engine.

    Anyway, I’m already looking forward to the (free) post-release content, especially community-created scenarios.

    @Helio: Don’t forget the Lego level!

  15. Heliocentric says:

    lego zombie’s that smash into physics props when you kill them?

  16. Optimaximal says:

    Aren’t those old screenshots?

  17. Turin Turambar says:

    Excellent, i was not totally sold in the fast zombies and in some thing i saw in the videos, so now i can decide for myself.

  18. Trousers says:

    The IGN story seems confident that the demo will arrive before launch: link to pc.ign.com

    Like others have said though, this here game needs no demo!

  19. Xagarath says:

    The main use of the demo, as with amny other games, will be to confirm that borderline systems can run the thing smoothly.
    For that reason alone this is good news from my point of view.

  20. fishmitten says:

    As Xagarath says, I’d be very interested in a demo for the same reason. If my long-in-the tooth PC struggles with it, I may have to *sigh* buy the 360 port.

  21. Y3k-Bug says:


    I got to play the 360 version at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle last week, its really surprisingly good.

    Oddly its even more suspenseful on that system, although for not so great reasons. Since the control on the 360 is *slightly* spotty, it makes the gameplay that much more fun, as you have to try much harder to avoid being overtaken by the zombies.

    Speaking of, the zombies are great at taking advantage of you separating from the pack. A guy I met on line while waiting teamed up with me, and we were decimating the zombies, while the other 2 players wandered off somewhere. The AI was smart enough to send a licker (super zombie with a long tongue that can choke you to death), a ton of regular zombs, and one of those fat explodey zombies at just he and I.

    The regular zombies attack both of us, distracting us from the fat zombie, which spits its fluid on me, attracting even MORE zombies.

    As my buddy killed the fat zombie and was helping me with the regular ones, the licker comes up from behind all of us and gets my buddy. So I get killed by the regulars, and the licker gets the other guy. The other 2 who wandered off weren’t as good and were easily killed by the regular zombies.

    The game is very good, and the AI is excellent. Highly looking forward to it.

  22. spoon safari says:

    Taximan – agreed, it would be awesome, and would let me play with my friends who use ancient laptops. But, no-one does it.

    BTW Serious Sam 2 didn’t have split screen, only 1/Second Enc.

  23. No Picnic says:

    I want to try the demo to see if it’s the kind of thing I might get long-term play value out of it. I’m in China, so it’s doubtful I’ll find many other players in these parts with decent ping, so the AI director will need to hold its own.

    The up side to being in China is that you will never, ever be unable to find servers hosting Counter-Strike 1.6. If you’re into that sort of thing.

  24. sigma83 says:

    No Picnic: Hong Kong servers? I’m Malaysian and the TF2 servers I play on are in Singapore/Malaysia and Hong Kong.

  25. spoon safari says:

    I thought there were CS1.6 servers in Antartica and on the ISS too. Hell, you can probably get decent ping in Narnia.

  26. Devin says:

    Every time I see L4D screenshots I can’t help but think “You know, I don’t really think Walon, from the Wire, would last that long in a zombie apocalypse.” I’m gonna be really disappointed if they don’t get Steve Earle to voice the bearded biker dude.

  27. roryok says:

    it does look gorgeous for a source based game doesnt it? Something about the colours and lighting on those characters is just perfect. Can’t quite put my finger on it. They almost look prerendered.

  28. sigma83 says:

    ‘it does look gorgeous for a source based game doesnt it?’

    I dunno that I’m surprised, Episode 2 was pretty damn gorgeous too. =P

  29. Katsumoto (jvgp100) says:

    The main reason i’m considering going to the PC Gamer showdown is to give this a go!

  30. Mike says:

    Ah, that’s interesting. I didn’t know the game had bot support.

  31. Jim Rossignol says:

    It’s kind of built on bot support. The previous game by the same team was Condition Zero.

  32. sigma83 says:

    Bot support makes me a happy panda.

  33. Weylund says:

    Indeed. As soon as I learned you could play this thing single-player, I set aside one of my children as a sacrifice to the dark gods, that they might ensure that I get a copy on release day.

    Or… or I just stuck $60 in a jar. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

  34. Mr. Brand says:

    Is that Alannah Myles on the left in the first picture?

  35. Flackon says:


    I thought the same thing (re: Walon) when I saw that screenshot!

  36. Erlam says:

    I’m kinda surprised at the ‘it doesn’t even need a demo!’ replies. Everything needs a demo. Ever. Games that should be often can just as easily suck as anything else.

    I really hope a demo comes out before the game, but if not, we can wait ;)

  37. sigma83 says:

    More important is the ‘how well will this run on my system crowd’

    and the ‘close friend who is not utterly convinced of its awesomeness’ demographic

  38. Chris R says:

    If you can’t wait to kill zombies (like me), check out http://www.zombiemaster.org

    It’s a pretty decent mod for the Source engine, and if you can find a decent server, it’s lots of fun. Try it out, it’ll grow on you. I was ready to quit after 15-20 min of play, but I kept at it, and it’s starting to become lots of fun. After surviving a few rounds, be sure to type MENU into the chat field, hit enter, and then hit escape to see the upgrade menu. You can spend points on getting more health, running faster, etc, etc. I would suggest the running faster perk and the ammo regen perk. :)

  39. Ixtab says:

    The importance of this demo lies not in persuading me to buy it but in the fact that it might be something to tide me over untill the release; if it releases before hand that is.