Valve finally released the Software Development Kit for LEFT 4 DEAD for the PC. Those who spend their time on consoles will not pop undead wood at such news, as an SDK is meaningless to them, but us PC’ers know the holy grail that is user mods.
For the uninitiated, the SDK is a kit provided by a developer, in this case Valve, that mirrors the same tools they use to create the game. Crafty and time happy nerds then use the SDK to do all kinds of wacky and ingenious things. For example, currently in the works by modder Darth Brush is DEAD BEFORE DAWN, a new campaign that recreates Zack Snyder’s DAWN OF THE DEAD to as near a digital T as possible.
I’ve included two videos for the DEAD BEFORE DAWN dawn mod below – an announcement trailer and a preview of some of the levels -which is by no means the only such mod in the works. I’ve read of a total conversion RESIDENT EVIL campaign in the works as well as a few others. I’ll do a big round up in a few weeks once the community at large has had their lusty ways with the SDK. Until then, if you splatter the horde with a mouse I’d keep an eye on L4Dmods.com.
Given my recent reviews and trailer impressions, it seems only fitting a zombie apocalypse game should come around that I get to review. Being a PC gamer, there is some bias in favor of Valve and everything they make. Ask any PC Gamer and they will agree that Valve makes games for gamers. They share their source code; they encourage the community of gamers to expand on their product and make it better (that’s how Counter-Strike was created.) So, I didn’t want to instantly love the game just because I am in love with the company and their philosophy. Although, it doesn’t matter who made Left 4 Dead because I fucking love it.
Left 4 Dead is a cinematic game with no cinematics. It is fun; plain and simple. It delivers some of the best first-person multiplayer I have been privy to. To be fair I have only played about four hours of Left 4 Dead, and only one scenario. I have not felt every bit of nuance that there is to be felt, but the No Mercy scenario (where the early gameplay videos came from) was a thrilling experience nonetheless.
There are four characters to choose from and there is NO difference on which person you choose. You can either be the old Vietnam vet, the systems engineer for his IT firm, the chick who is a horror movie enthusiast, or the tattooed biker. All characters are ripe for the zombie motion picture. If one of your teammates dies, they are brought back by finding rooms with a survivor ‘trapped’ inside.
Further adding to the cinematic value are the random stop points where your characters will say things that pertain to the situation. Such as the movie enthusiast said aloud, “Fast zombies? I call bullshit, that’s not fair. Where are the slow ones?” These conversations add to the atmosphere without getting old and tiresome. You can always hurt your team, you have been warned. How your characters talk to the people that shot them is humorous and it lets you know who just shot at you. It also is a good reminder for you to duck if you are at the head of the pack trying to get through the plethora of zombies. Your characters reactions to ammo, grenades, health, etc is unique and needed. You come across a pipe bomb in a room and your character shouts ‘Pipe Bombs here!’ to your other teammates. Valve decided to play a mean trick on the user’s this time around: the louder you are on voice chat, the higher the probability of in-game zombies hearing it and running to your position.
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