I hope you have friends. Not only is networking and social interaction a necessary component to a healthy life, but without it you’re much missing out on one of the best parts of games; so much so, that without friends and other people, you should just ignore certain games. The poster child for this type of game just so happens to be launching this week: Left 4 Dead, the zombie game that people can’t seem to stop talking about.
Zombies are awesome, and this game has a metric crapload of them. The premise, for those unfamiliar with the game, is that four people (which is why the title is Left 4 Dead, and not Left for Dead — Valve is just that clever!) are trying to escape a horde of zombies who want nothing more than to eat them. The key mechanic in the game is that it’s a co-op experience for up to four people; the key problem with the game is that without those friends, it’s just not that fun. This is one of those rare non-MMO titles that really should be avoided by those without friends. If you do have friends, though, make sure all four of you have time that you can set aside for it.
I’m not too sure how I feel about games made for multiplayer that happen to include single player aspects, and vice versa. I mean, if you really want to go through L4D’s campaign alone, you can; but the experience will be severely lacking when compared to what you’d encounter playing with three other warm bodies. I was going to argue against how “fair” that is towards the people who choose to go it alone, but then I realized what a retarded argument that would be. We’re dealing with an entertainment medium here; it’s all unneccessary. There’s no such thing as fair. So, if you want to enjoy L4D, get some damn friends and play. Except Morbid Coffee. Don’t play with him, that guy’s a jackass.
Now, short descriptions of the other games coming out this week, but as if they contained zombies. Let’s see if they sound better with the added twist.
Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Encore 2: In this karaoke title, players sing such classics as “The Flesheating Blues,” “Whisper Zombie,” and ABBA’s rotting classic, “Dancing Queen.” Sing well enough, and you advance to the next round. Sing poorly, and Randy Jackson eats you. (Because he’s a zombie, not because of his weight, you inconsiderate jerk.)
Tomb Raider: Underworld: While raiding tombs, Lara accidentally breaks the seal on a centuries old curse, and now everybody has been turned into the undead. It’s up to Lara to kick some decomposing ass and save the world!
Championship Foosball: What’s a brain-eater to do in his freetime? They can’t be shambling around forever. Instead, they partake in the only ALZ (American League of Zomibes) sanctioned sport, foosball. You can create your own custom characters, or use zombie foosball legends including Tony “Shamblin’ Man” Biter and Rottin’ Reed Reynolds.
Left 4 Dead: You and three other survivors have to kill zombies or else you’ll die. Boring!
Rayman Raving Rabbids 3: TV Party: Those zany rabbids are at it again, and this time, they’re playing with the undead. Use the Wii Balance Board in a variety of mini games, from runing away from zombies as they chase after you to stepping on zombie bugs before they crawl over you and eat away your eyeballs!
Sonic Unleashed: Eggman’s kidnapped Big the Cat and it’s up to Sonic to stop him; but this time, Sonic’s got a secret. Getting to close to the Chaos Emeralds changed something in him, and now, when the full moon hits, he becomes a super fast running zombie. Now it’s time to see if Eggman really tastes like eggs.