Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

'Code Veronica' my ass.

Folks who know me- and presumably a lot of you feel like you know me by now- are aware that there are certain topics I blog about rather frequently. One of them, as you no doubt realize, is boobs. That isn't the topic we're discussing today. No, the frequent topic I am referring to today is zombies. And, particularly, a zombie apocalypse. I have spent an unfortunately large amount of time considering a possible zombie apocalypse and have even purchased instructional materials to aid in surviving one.* What can I say? I like to be prepared.

You can therefore imagine my pleasure upon realizing that Valve, the company that brought us Half-Life and Half-Life 2 (about which I have written previously), has been working on a new game. A game that dwells on the experience of surviving a zombie apocalypse. This game, named Left4Dead, is now available in demo form on Valve's content delivery system Steam. And on a whim, I downloaded that demo yesterday and took it for a spin. So how was this experience?

Frickin awesome.

The basic premise is that you take the role of one of four "survivors" trapped in a city full of the undead. You then cooperatively- either with human teammates or computer-controlled bots- try to make your way to safety. As has become common in recent games, your ability to carry weapons is limited and restrictions on explosives and medical equipment are pretty extreme. Additionally, the undead are not the shambling sort we saw in Romero movies but, instead, are the fleet-footed type from the "28 ____ later" series of movies. So, more or less, when the zombies spot you, you'd best start shooting and keep shooting as fast as you can. The total result of this is an experience that is frenetic, unsettling, and terrifying. You feel a palpable sense of dread on seeing a horde of zombies sprinting your way as well as the excitement of realizing that you and your compadres have put the last one on the ground... for now. Word has it that there is a "versus" mode as well, in which a four-person human team will face off against a four-person zombie team. I admit, this sounds very interesting, even if it negates the main advantage humans have over zombies: our ability to think. In any case, take a look at the intro movie and see if you don't get at least a little bit psyched:

And believe it or not, the in-game graphics are more or less as good as the trailer would suggest- we are not looking at the usual Bullshot here.

So is this that rare game that I might actually purchase and allow myself to play? Well, yes and no. I definitely want to see more of this thing, and Christmas is coming up,** but it's also being released at the same time as Fallout 3, which also looks to be, in a word, awesome. Maybe if I can get enough papers out in the next few weeks, I can make the hard choice and allow myself some time to play.

Either way, it looks to be a fun winter break.

* Fun fact! The Zombie Survival Guide is kept in my office at work in the section of my bookshelf I devote to "methods."

** Helpful aside to my wife: Hint, hint honey!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. L4D looks AMAZING. Co-op play for zombie games? I can't wait for the shrieks over voice chat. I may have to intentionally abandon my friends just to hear their cries.

2. As much as I love Fallout, I'm not sure 3 is going to be all that great. Maybe it's just getting ripped up by the fanboys, but it sounds like it may have some rather serious flaws.

3. "Fun fact! The Zombie Survival Guide is kept in my office at work in the section of my bookshelf I devote to "methods." " That is profoundly excellent.

Friday, November 14, 2008 5:13:00 PM  
Blogger Marf said...

Fallout 3 is pretty good, I've been playing that.

Saturday, November 15, 2008 2:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great blog title--it's totally drek!

Sunday, November 16, 2008 10:47:00 PM  

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