Left 4 Dead is a multiplayer cooperative survival horror shooter in development by Valve Corporation based on the Source engine. There are two sides, the Survivors and Infected. Four players control the four Survivors, working their way through campaigns in rural and urban areas, fighting off dozens of the AI-controlled "infected" (fast, 28 Days Later style zombies). On top of the regular zombies, there are four player-controlled "boss zombies" all with unique powers for causing chaos. This mix of the dozens of AI-controlled infected zombies and the boss zombies makes for an entirely fresh co-op experience. Release is scheduled for the PC and Xbox 360 on November 20, 2008. - Left4Dead411
Left 4 Dead Demo Information and How to Get in Early (While feeling dirty)
Valve is saying that the early demo for all preorders will begin on Thursday November 6th, with a public demo appearing on November 11th. Both demos are timed to expired after November 18th 2008, which is the release date of L4D. RPS Source
Gamertag and Steam ID Collections
We will begin collecting Gamertags and SteamID's beginning on November 1st. On Nov. 1st or after send me a PM and I will add you to the respective group.
Official Steam Group
Join the Official Penny Arcade Left 4 Dead Steam Group: Armadeaddon (DEAD)
Preorder Left 4 Dead from the Steam Store for only $44.99!
You can also preorder Left 4 Dead at Gamestop and receive it for the price of $44.99 for PC, and $54.99 for Xbox 360.
October 22nd, 2008 - Back of the Box for Xbox 360
September 26th, 2008 - System Requirements Announced for PC
Supported OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64
Processor: Pentium 4 3.0GHz
Memory: 1 GB
Graphics: 128 MB, Shader model 2.0, ATI 9600, NVidia 6600 or better
Hard Drive: At least 7.5 GB of free space
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
Supported OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64
Processor: Intel core 2 duo 2.4GHz
Memory: 1 GB
Graphics: Shader model 3.0, NVidia 7600, ATI X1600 or better
September 14th, 2008 - Information Compendium (Dated, but useful)
Gameplay is divided into Survivor and Infected sides. Take your pick.SurvivorsTo start off...
- Left 4 Dead is a First Person Shooter Co-operative Multiplayer game in which you can play as one of up to four people (called â€œSurvivorsâ€), luckily immune to a virus thatâ€™s sent most of the population raving mad. You, as a survivor, are pitched against an endless horde of infected humans, turned into deranged psychopaths, as a result of the lost battle against the virus.
- There are no character classes, every player starts off on an even footing in terms of skills and weaponry, meaning success requires teamwork and quick thinking.
- At the start of each campaign of choice you and your comrades begin with a basic pistol. Next to you are tables from which you can grab your choice of SMG or shotgun, and an explosive. Then you get into the action.
- Friendly Fire is always on in all difficulty levels, and there is no way of turning it off.
- Your goal is simple...survive. Reach the rescue zone at the end of the campaign.
- Whilst players with 21st-century weapons pitted against weaponless psychopaths with no thought of tactics may seem like a no brainer, it wonâ€™t be. The infected have one very clear advantageâ€¦
...numbers. BIG numbers.
- The infected horde is gigantic, they pour out from everywhere. A lack of strength means nothing if there are a good fifty or so of them attacking at once.
- One thing that needs to be stressed is the speed of the Infected. These aren't half-dead shamblers, they are alive, mad, and their speed shows it. They are insanely fast.
- Usually you'll find infected wandering around the city aimlessly. But once they see you, they'll know you're not one of them, and their demeanour changes immediately. Their only thought is of stomping your face in and, unless you do something about it, that's exactly what they'll do.
- You cannot kill all of the infected. There is no set number of them. They attack you at the Director's discretion, and they will not stop coming. The goal is to escape, there is no way you can survive if you stay in one spot for too long.
- As the survivors, you have access to a variety of projectile weapons and happy little explosives. Shotguns, Uzis, Molotov Cocktails, and Pipe Bombs are all at your disposal from the get-go, with more weapons becoming available as the game progresses through the separate levels of the campaign (scroll down further for a more in-depth view of the weapons).
- Equipment-wise, you have a flashlight (unlimited battery) for seeing in the dark, can see the outlines of your teammates through walls and other objects so you don't get separated, and have one med-kit each for healing yourself or a teammate.
- There is a melee attack with your weapon that does some minimal damage, but its important aspect is that it pushes the infected back. Tactical uses of this become apparant with the knowledge that pushing one into another will cause both to fall down, and domino effects are quite in play. Also, the only way to effectively combat some of the Boss-Infected without hurting your teammates is to melee them away before using the more deadly aspects of your chosen weapon. Knocking teammates out of your way if they get in the road (with little to no damage done to them) is another handy feature of it.
- As a Survivor, you can close and lock doors behind you. This effectively stalls any infected pursuing you, for a while. They can and will break through wooden doors, but it takes a while, and it is also possible to blow a hole in it yourself use it to shoot at them, though that only delays the inevitable. Of course, certain Boss-Infected don't find doors very hard to open. Or walls, for that matter.
'Til death do us part...
- Death is being handled differently in Left 4 Dead, but note you will not get Infected if you die.
- Instead of dying outright when your health reaches zero, a Survivor will fall to the earth and be unable to move, only having the energy to weakly fire their pistol.
- When you hit the dirt, a 'bleed out' timer commences. Pretty much your health is replaced by temporary health (300 points), which slowly depletes (at 3 health points per second), with any extra damage from Infected (or careless teammates) depleting it faster. When it is depleted, you die.
- Here, a mate can help. You can be 'revived' by your mates if they face you and press the appropriate key, causing them to pick you up and keep you going. Of course, this takes precious time and, when you're bearing the brunt of an infected horde, sometimes it's wiser to deal with them first.
- You can only be revived three times. When you've used up all three of your revives, your view will become black and white and your health temporary. If you die again, you will immediately die rather than simply being knocked down.
- When you die, you have to spectate until your teammates find another Survivor, either barricaded in a closet or at the next checkpoint, depending on where you died on the map. When you respawn after death, you start off again with basic equipment, wherever you are.
- The speed at which you move is affected by your health. 100% and you're beating Cathy Freeman, 1% and you're slower than a two-legged turtle with heamorrhoids. It's important for healthy survivors to keep an eye on their injured comrades, as it can be all too easy to leave them behind to be easy pickings for Infected. It is in every Survivor's best interest to keep everyone at full health, as the group can only move as fast as it's slowest member.
- Each survivor will be able to carry one medkit, which can be used to patch yourself or your mates up, it can only be replaced by finding one at the next checkpoint
- There are also pills, which give you a temporary health boost that depletes back to base health over time. You have to be cautious with these.
- You will not be wading through hordes of infected from start to finish. What Valve has implemented is an AI Director that places the infected on the map in real time using no flags or checkpoints at all. It is intelligent enough to place them on it's own, needing only a map to be able to work with.
- As a result every game is relatively unique to play through, as you will never know where and how many zombies are going to be hitting you at any certain time.
- The director also works on a system of highs and lows. There will be times you are fighting for your life, and there will be times where you don't encounter an infected for a minute.
- There are a few small mini-stands scattered throughout a campaign, as well as the finale while waiting for the rescue vehicle, but apart from that, the Director is not scripted.
- In a co-op game, especially one such as this, communication is vital. Implemented into Left 4 Dead is a call system that involves pressing one of three keys (z/x/c, which correspond to Orders/Questions and Answers/Alerts and Warnings) and moving your mouse in the direction of what you need to say.
- Also, there is an implemented auto-alert system in which your character automatically says something when a certain event happens (ie 'Help!' when knocked down, or 'Boomer!' when the crosshairs are centred on a Boomer).
- There is over 1000 lines of dialogue for each character so generally there is a good variety of voice-acting available.
- On top of this is the ever present in-game chat, allowing communication between players with microphones.
InfectedChoosing the other side
- You can, if you want, decide to forgoe the weak realm of sanity and become an Infected psychopath, hellbent on killing the four survivors.
- This is entirely different from playing as a Survivor. Your goal is to terrorise and kill, to do your absolute best to hamper and harass the Survivors until they are overwhelmed.
- If you choose to be one of the infected, youâ€™ll assume the role of a â€œBoss Infectedâ€.
It's all in your head
- As a Boss Infected, your goal is the same as that of the infected horde, kill the Survivors before they can escape.
- With hundreds of Infected at your side, it may seem an easy chore, but with the infected as weak as they are (they are only human, after all), you will not survive, let alone hurt anything, by mindlessly charging in there.
- Tactics is the game here, you know when, where, and how you are going to attack. They don't. This immediately gives you an advantage, and it is up to you to use that advantage to it's fullest potential.
- There are four playable types of Boss-Infected, known as the Boomer, the Hunter, the Smoker, and the Tank (scroll down for a more in-depth look at them). The first three are the most common, with the Director spawning you as them more often, while the latter is given out randomly at certain times due to it's power.
- There are limits as to how many Boss Infected there can be at once as well as limits on each Boss infected (One Boomer at any one time etc.). The Director has full control over what Boss Infected you will spawn as, though you can choose your preferred type.
- Everyone will get a chance to play as a Tank before someone gets a chance to play him for the second time.
- The Boss-Infected Respawn timer is still under constant tweaking to balance it without frustrating the players on either team. Currently Boss-Infected can respawn anything from 30-60 seconds after they die, but this is not final.
- All Boss Infected have a basic melee attack, it's not a primary weapon (exception the Tank), but it helps to dish out some pain before you lose your head. Apart from this, the Boss Infected rely heavily on their special abilities to kill the Survivors. All the bosses special abilities are geared towards different types of play, and can all be devestating if used correctly. Scroll further down for a more in-depth look at the Boss Infected themselves.
Stickin' it to 'em
- Playing as the Infected is very different from the Survivor side. Most obviously when you take your position behind a pair of bloodied hands, you can see the outline of survivors as a red, ghostly figure which can be used to see them through walls. The game also shows the likely route the survivors will take, if you are standing still, as red arrows on the floor, further enhancing the ability to stalk and strike at the most inopportune moment.
- There is an exception to this 'Survivorvision'. If a Survivor is standing completely still, without their flashlight on and aren't shooting, the red outline becomes nonexistant.
- So, Infected players can almost always see where the group of survivors are thus they always have the element of surprise, being able to position themselves on rooftops, behind doors or anywhere else that could give them a tactical advantage.
- Other advantages of being Infected is complete immunity to fall damage, night vision, and having the ability to climb parts of walls that aren't available to Survivors. Thus the infected have a great deal more of the map available to them, and are much more mobile, with the ability to attack from any angle.
- What you will first notice when the Director pops you into the map, is that you can choose exactly where you spawn, with the only limitation being that you can't spawn within a pre-determined distance of the Survivors. Generally, the director will drop you ahead of the Survivor's path.
- What essentially happens is that you are put into the map as a 'ghost', then you run around, look at the surroundings, and choose yourself a place to spawn. Then you go annoy the Survivors.
- The Director has full control over what Boss Infected you will spawn as. If you die, you are respawned after a short wait to continue toward your goal.
- By working with the Director (as in watching his deployment of the other infected) you can spin things to your advantage while attacking the Survivors, such as dropping into the middle of them from a rooftop as a Boomer when they are surrounded by infected. Or, if you are lucky enough to find the Witch before them, attack in a way as to herd them towards her.
- Apart from the Tank, playing as the infected tends to go towards ambushing. You want to attack when it's the worst time for the Survivors, and generally this involves you stalking, waiting around a certain corner, then WHAM! You've scared the poopers out of them and maybe even done some damage
- Generally, if you attack, don't be surprised if you die, especially if you charge head-on. Infected are weak, even the Boss', and attacking from a ambush will not guarantee you anything unless you do it right. The whole goal is not to outright kill the survivors yourself, but make enough mayhem in their ranks so they can get separated, overwhelmed, or just plain confused enough so the horde can rip them to shreds. Sure you can kill them, and you should, a skilled and lucky player can take all of the Survivors out in one go. But don't run in there expecting to notch a kill every time.
- As for the Tank, you must do the complete opposite. You can be heard for miles, and if you don't attack Survivors in a certain time, it's the worse off for you. So basically you find them, and try to kill them. Throwing cars at them is particularly effective.
- Playing Infected is for the most part very tactical, apart from the obvious (the Tank for those who can't see the obvious). You have to choose the right moment, the right place, and the right way to attack, otherwise you won't do anything worth noting.
OtherGameplay Modes and the Campaign
- There are two gameplay modes currently planned for Left 4 Dead. A Co-op Survival mode and another mode tentatively called 'Deathmatch'. 'Survival' is Co-op only, with no Human controlled Infected at all, while 'Deathmatch' is assumed to allow Infected players as well.
- Nevertheless, in both modes, the Survivor's must escape their predicament by getting to a point where an escape vehicle can pick them up. As the Infected (if the mode allows it), you have to stop them.
- There are four campaigns, consisting of 5 maps each (so 20 maps on release), which can be both played offline (with AI controlled friends and enemies) or online with up to 8 players (four Survivors and four Boss Infected). They are seperated by the aforementioned 'checkpoints' in which you restock on ammo and health, and dead teammates revive if they were killed towards the end of a map.
- At the moment it seems each campaign can take around an hour to finish (you can leave the game anytime you want, you'll just be replaced by a bot until someone else joins), meaning each particular map takes about 10-15 minutes to complete.
- At each checkpoint you'll recieve merit and demerit points depending on what you did that was meritible (kills and healing mates) or downright stupid (Team Kills, especially when detonating the Boomer).
- At the end of each campaign, there will be an elaborate â€œlast standâ€ in which you and your mates must hold off wave upon wave of Infected waiting for the rescue vehicle to come and uh...rescue you. The infected will temporarily stop attacking you so you can set up your defence (manning the .50 cal, setting up gas bottles). Then you radio the rescue vehicle, a timer pops up, and all goes to hell. This is especially hard and you will be facing many more opponents than you did on foot to the point. Two Tanks as well. Lovely. -From http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=535896
August 25th, 2008 - Release Date Delay
New release date of November 18th, 2008. Damn. Damn. Damn.
June 25th, 2008 - Original Release Date Announcement
Reported release date of November 4th, 2008.
Lemming has contributed this very important information to the thread:
Before June 25th, 2008
Welcome to the Left 4 Dead Thread! In this OP we are going to look at what some of the top industry insiders are saying about Left 4 Dead.
(Disclaimer: I searched for previous threads, and found one but it was pretty weak.)
Professor Wikipedia will now explain some of the basics:
Left 4 Dead
is an upcoming multiplayer co-operative survival horror
game by Turtle Rock Studios
and Valve Corporation
(a collaboration that has previously produced Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
, as well as maps and the official bot for Valve's Counter-Strike: Source
). The expected release date for Left 4 Dead
is early 2008.
The game has been built using Valve's Source engine
The game was first revealed in the Christmas 2006 publication of PC Gamer UK
with a six-page article describing a playthrough at Valve's headquarters.
The game was first playable at the Showdown 2007 LAN in San Jose
. It was also playable from August 2
to August 5
at QuakeCon 2007
. A Valve booth allowed a team of 4 survivors to play against AI controlled bots as well as 2 guest developers from Turtle Rock Studios
. However, the general public was only allowed to play as the four survivors.
The basic idea is that a team of four humans (the survivors) attempts to go from point A to point B. Along this linear path they will encounter the infected (not the survivors) and will be slaughtered mercilessly. Both sides can be controlled by players, however if any side is down a man (or four) it will be controlled by the AI.
The AI is quite advanced (according to top research press releases) and works like this:
The AI also features a dynamic system for game drama, pacing and difficulty called the "director". Instead of fixed spawn points
for enemies, the AI director places enemies in different positions, creating a new experience each time. It will also balance action and moments of tense calm. 
When the AI Director feels that players have been facing a particularly intense battle it will slow down the tide of enemies. After a sufficient lull of action the director will send more enemies to increase the drama again.
Sounds pretty exciting I'd say. The game will have a few different locales, but primarily we have seen Urban areas. It is also worth noting that while playing as the infected, you will have a choice of quite a few different types of "Boss" monsters that will wreck the survivors shit quite expertly.
UPDATE: It appears that the Xbox 360 version will also feature split screen play. To the extent featurewise I think is still unknown, but it should be safe to assume for co-op at least.
So you get the general idea of Left 4 Dead, but no OP is complete without improperly sized vague screenshots. Let's Watch:
(Warning, The camera feels the need to randomly look at the players and not the game, I will never understand that. Also 2 commercials play before the video).
TURTLEROCK AQUIRED BY VALVE
Here is the short synopsis from Kotaku
"We have been seeing very strong growth with Steam and Source, our content distribution and development platforms, up over 150% over the last 12 months. Given our expectations for Left 4 Dead and our long-standing relationships with members of the Turtle Rock team, this was an easy decision. It also gives us a base from which to expand our development activities in the Los Angeles area," said Gabe Newell, president of Valve.
"Left 4 Dead fills a long-standing demand gamers have had for a coop first-person action experience, and it will also help Valve's expansion into the console market," added Doug Lombardi, Valve's VP of marketing.
"Valve has had great success bringing in projects and teams such as Team Fortress and Portal. As I spent time working and talking with the creators of those products over the past several years, it became clear that this was the right next step for myself, my colleagues at Turtle Rock, our customers, and our products," said Michael Booth, founder and CEO of Turtle Rock Studios. "We are excited to be a part of such a visionary and forward-thinking company."
So, I'd say we're all up to speed for the most part. The release date is being reported everywhere as November 4th. The game will be available on Steam (PC) and for the Xbox 360 playable over LIVE.
PA Steam Group Armadeaddon
Check out the group
Xbox Live Gamertag Group - PA L4D
Send a friend invite to PA L4D to be entered into this group. We'll use this gamertag as a central hub for the 360, just like the steam group. I doubt we'll exceed 100, but if we do we'll figure that out when we get there.
Now, Discuss how much you want those demo codes!