Left 4 Dead is a first-person shooter in which you assume the role of a "Survivor" in a zombie-like, post-apocalyptic world.
There are four playable characters available in the game, dubbed the "Survivors". These characters are:
From left to right: Zoey, Louis, Francis, and Bill
Each character begins the game with an M1911 Pistol, which has unlimited ammo, and when a second pistol is found, can be dual-wielded. The Survivor can also pick up an Uzi submachine gun or a pump-action shotgun at the beginning of each Campaign level. Throughout the game, more advanced weapons are made available, such as the M16 assault rifle, a Benelli M4 Super 90 semi-automatic shotgun, and a scoped Ruger Mini-14 hunting rifle. Also available are three inventory "items": The Molotov cocktail or improvised pipe bomb; a first-aid kit; and pain pills, which temporarily heal the user. Now, the Survivors themselves:
Also known as "the war veteran" or "the old guy", Bill is a Vietnam veteran and former Green Beret. In a zombie survival situation, he is typically classified as the "survival expert", because he knows how to use every weapon available, can survive days in the wilderness with no real food, and can Macgyver a weapon out of a damn toothpick, some duct tape, and whatever you have in your pockets. As a computer-controlled "Survivor", Bill is one of the smartest ones around, always able to find pills(as learned from his well known phrase "PILLS HERE!"), and usually does not die very easily.
Notable in-game quote: "Speak up Francis. Your voice is all muffled from your head being so damn far up your ass"
Also known as "the biker dude" or "the douchebag with the vest". Francis is covered in tattoo's, and sports a leather vest, making him look like a serious douche. Francis is actually a decently sized man, probably capable of weilding multiple guns and becoming a human battle fortress. Unfortunately, the only thing he manages to do is bitch and moan throughout the entire game, insulting other characters and generally pissing people off. As a computer-controlled "Survivor", Francis is a decent battle-buddy, but a poor friend.
Notable in-game quote: "What if your beard turns, can I shoot that?"(to Bill)
Also known as "the black guy" or..."the black guy". Despite looking like a laidback(and black) Agent 47, Louis represents the average male in the U.S.. He's average everything(except for the "you know what" in his trousers...yeah, you do. Don't lie). His description actually says "a junior systems analyst in his company's IT department.". And instead of being a pussy on the battlefield, he is typically the guy who gets the most "Special Infected" kills or the most "Headshots". And he never bitches, and instead provides words of inspiration. In fact, in one level, when a guy refuses to let him into the safe room, he shouts "Let me in or I'm gonna shoot my way through and beat you to death with my gun!".
Notable in-game quote: "Wow, this is just like Counter-Strike!"
Also known as "the hot chick" or "the chick with the nudey mod's". She's the youngest of the group, and is easily the worst. Although she can shoot a handgun faster than an automatic weapon, as a computer-controlled "Survivor" she is horrible. She is the character who falls off of every ledge and building in the game, always gets attacked by the "Special Infected", and generally sucks all around. If you heal her, she will run to the safe house and steal the last first-aid kit, basically saying "fuck you" right to your face.
Notable in-game quote: "Hey Francis, your latest issue of 'Hating Everything' magazine is here."
A typical horde, depicted running through the cornfields of Indiana
The "Infected" are the basic enemies of them game. Although many players assume that they are zombies, and despite some of the greatest achievements having the label "zombie" in them, the "Infected" are actually just infected humans. They are infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act and look like zombies. The "Infected" are very easy to kill, no head-shots being required to take them down, which is why they appear in very large numbers. They are known as "Dawn of the Dead" zombies, because of their tendency to sprint fullspeed at their targets, and because they learn to adapt to the "Survivors" very quickly.
Our camera man was unable to get a shot. That, or he forgot about us while playing.
There are five "Special" Infected, or "Boss" Infected in the game, each with their own attributes, cue music, and annoying abilities. Each character may appear at random, and in the most inconvenient time possible. They are:
This "Special Infected" is the most common, and easiest boss to kill. The Boomer has the ability to vomit all over a "Survivor", which can be released at will and upon death, which attracts the Horde and simultaneously blinds the "Survivor". While they are very easy to kill, shooting them at too clost of a range will cause you to get "tagged", and will attract the Horde. This boss can appear anywhere, and likes to appear when you are close to death or do not want to attract the Horde.
The "Special Infected" known as the Hunter is a huge pain in the ass. They have the special ability of "parkour", allowing them to climb walls, jump great distances, and run really fast. While hiding on the ledge of a building, the Hunter can jump a span of two city blocks and succesfully "pounce" a "Survivor". Once "pounced", the "Survivor" can do nothing except watch as the Hunter rips them apart. The only way to escape is to have a fellow "Survivor" knock the Hunter off or kill it. They have a tendency to appear while you are surrounded by the Horde, and they are known for more team gankings then any other Boss.
This "Special Infected" is one of the most annoying boss' in the entire game. The Smoker has the ability to ensnare "Survivors" with their long tongue, and drag them to their death. Their tongue can reach extraordinarily long distances, and is exceptionally strong(unless you "melee" the ensnared "Survivor", breaking the Smoker's grip). Upon death, the Smoker releases a cloud of smoke that severely obscures vision. Although they have no real special ability, once ensnared by it's tongue, a "Survivor" can be beaten to death by it and other "Infected". The Smoker likes to attack people who stay in the back of the group, and will drag you across the level or off of a building while the Horde is charging.
The Tank is the second worse boss "Infected" in the game. It's ability: super strength and a ridiculous health bar. One punch from the Tank will send a "Survivor" flying a great distance, usually killing them or incapacitating them. It can also rip clumps of debris from the ground, and throw them at "Survivors" who are at a distance. In close quarters, the Tank can ram a vehicle or large object and smash any "Survivor" in it's path. A Tank rarely appears in a level, and when it does, it appears once the "Survivors" are in small, enclosed areas where there is no escape, or on top of buildings, where it can punch them off.
The worst of the "Special Infected", the Witch is the strongest boss in the game. Capable of incapacitating and/or killing a "Survivor" upon contact, the Witch is a strongly feared boss. Athough the Witch is a supremely dangerous boss, it can be avoided simply by sneaking around it. Once startled, however, the "Survivor" who pissed her off will pay the consequences. The Witch likes to appear along the only path or entrance to the next area, and is rarely avoided, because if a "Survivor" even thinks "Oh shit, please don't hear me", the Witch instinctively knows to fuck up their day.
Have you ever seen those movies where some robot or computer gains A.I.(Artificial Intelligence) and goes batshit? Well, in Left 4 Dead, the entire game is controlled by an A.I. known as "the Director". The Director is an evil prick who's only purpose it to make your gameplay experience "dynamic", which basically means if you are doing good in the game, he is gonna take away item spawn-points and send more bad guys your way. His sole mission is to change gameplay everytime the console is turned on based on multiple factors, including: your difficulty with the game, your emotional response to the game, location in the game, how many hours of sleep you have had, when your next projected bathroom break is going to be, and many more.
"You think you're scared now, you little bastards? You just wait."
We can practically hear him taunting us, and ruining the lives of children everywhere. Seriously though, "Director"/Prick aside, this game kicks ass in every way. Go buy it, if you can handle getting your shit ruined.