Ten years ago on, November 17, 2008, Valve released Left 4 Dead!
For Chris and me, it was an instant classic. We were way into zombie movies and Left 4 Dead gave you the opportunity to not only kill the living dead but also be part of a movie!
The original game was split into four separate stories who themselves were split into four of five levels of their own. Each story could take up to an hour and a half to complete (about the length of a feature film) and even though the levels were limited you never experienced the same game play, no matter how many times you played them.
Our story is about four survivors; Zoey (the college girl) Louis (the business man),Bill (the grizzled old vet), and Francis (the biker), who are thrust together to survive the zombie apocalypse by making their way from safe house to safe house, to escape.
Beyond your run of the mill zombies who stand in your way for survival are ‘special infected’ that consist of a hoodie clad Hunter, rooftop strangler Smoker, bloated gerd stricken Boomer, roid raged Tank and the most frightening of all; a small sad girl called the Witch. All of that and eventual hordes, if you dilly-dally for too long.
Despite already having the structure of a feature film, FOUR feature films, no studio propelled this amazing story onto the silver screen. Of course, they would want to make changes… maybe Zoey and Bill are married, or Francis is a girl… or Louis is white. Hollywood… Even though I would love to see a Left 4 Dead movie, I am perfectly fine seeing it though my gameplay alone.
Left 4 Dead went on to make a sequel (inferior in my opinion) and has spawned fan films, countless pieces of art, cosplay, it’s very own porn parody (Left 4 Head) and TWO podcasts from Reservoir Geeks. That’s a pretty great legacy if you ask me.