I am a huge fan of zombie films and culture. Never have I longed for a zombie shooter like Left 4 Dead. Now don’t get me wrong the game is amazing and even won Maximum PC’s 2008 Game of the Year award. For all its awesomeness is there a fan base devoted enough to stick with it?

In the last two weeks I have seen a dramatic decline in the number of servers available to play L4D on. Last night I attempted to find a game around the evening when it’s most busy. I could not find a single game to join or player to bring in to my own game.

Left 4 Dead is one of the best co-op games I’ve ever played. The game itself is simply amazing with the way the AI is used by the Director. The boss zombies all make for a hard but not impossible game. Versus was lacking a bit at the beginning and Valve has since added a patch to fix a few things. Some would argue the Versus fix really messed up the game, I think it was necessary.

The game itself doesn’t seem to be the problem. So what exactly is the problem then? I believe the problem is the players themselves. A good majority of online gamers, not all, get bored very fast of killing computer enemies over and over again. Then you have people that don’t want to complete the objective and just grief others.

All of this added to the fact that playing Versus doesn’t offer the same ability to “own” as other competitive FPS. As survivors you have to fight off the computer and other players. This can be annoying when you have to deal with two types of enemies. As the infected you don’t get to choose what you want to play and your life span is much shorter then that of the survivor.

While many of us enjoy this aspect of the game, most new comers don’t. They want something fast paced that is repetitive. Point, click, kill, and score. This is the attitude of a lot of gamers. They don’t want to have to think strategy in order to complete a mission.

All is not lost though. Valve has released that it will be updating the game with a lot more stuff come this spring. Players will be able to make custom maps (no more of the same maps over and over again) as well as a new mode called Survivor. Here’s the press release information:

“Valve has just issued a press release saying that a new game mode called “Survival” will be released this Spring along with Dead Air and Death Toll for Versus mode and the SDK.
Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced a series of content and development releases for its latest title, 2008’s best-selling new game property for the PC and Xbox 360, Left 4 Dead (L4D).

The first L4D DLC – dubbed the L4D Survival Pack — is due for release this spring and introduces a new multiplayer game mode entitled, Survival, plus two complete campaigns for Versus Mode . A Critic’s Choice Edition of the game is also heading to retail stores this spring, and will include access to all the content introduced in the L4D: Survival Pack.

In addition, for PC gamers and aspiring developers, the first Left 4 Dead release for the Source Software Development Kit (Source SDK) will allow the creation of custom Left 4 Dead campaigns that will be discoverable via L4D’s matchmaking system. The SDK update is also due for release this spring, and is free of charge to all owners of L4D on the PC.

“Since Half-Life launched in 1998, Valve has made continuous efforts to expand the offering of its products beyond what’s included on the day of launch,” said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. “With Half-Life and Counter-Strike, and more recently Team Fortress 2, we’ve learned that we’re no longer making stand-alone games but creating entertainment services. With Left 4 Dead we’re extending that tradition by creating additional gameplay and releasing our internal tools to aspiring developers so they may also create and distribute new Left 4 Dead experiences.”

Left 4 Dead is a survival action game from Valve that blends the social entertainment experience of multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress with the dramatic, narrative experience made popular in single player action game classics such as the Half-Life series of games. Released in November of 2008, L4D has earned over 25 industry awards from outlets around the world.

No details yet on Survival mode.”

Source = http://left4dead411.com/