Today, I shall write about zombies.

‘Why zombies, Seb?’

Why not zombies? is perhaps a better question to ask. A recent ZeroPunctuation review said that geeks only care about 4 things: ninjas, pirates, monkeys… and zombies. Now, I never really did care for zombies. Sure, I used to watch the occasional hammer horror horror film on Channel 4, back in the day. But zombies never really had the same kind of allure that other denizens of the after life possessed. You know where you are with vampires, or werewolves; with zombies, you just have that incessant groaning. Not to say that the lurching-and-grovelling-for-braaaains doesn’t have its place in society, I just never ranked it quite as highly as… say… community out-reach services.

And then along came Left 4 Dead. Revitalising… er… wait, CREATING and exemplifying (in one fell swoop) the  ‘zombie survival co-op’ genre. Think Resident Evil 1 or 2, both fairly damn scary, and now put human players in control of the zombies, trying their best to hunt you down, claw your face off, and feed your gooey remnants to their little zombie offspring. There is a 4-human-versus-computer mode (or even single-player), but to be honest, I haven’t even played more than an hour of those two modes combined. 4v4 is the game mode of choice, each team taking it in turns to play the zombies, and then the survivors of some kind of zombie apocalypse, running from safe house to safe house, hunting for sparse supplies of ammo and Molotovs.

Gamers have been asking for truly cooperative games for some time now. Until now there’s only really been a few god-awful co-op games where your side-kick leans over your shoulder and shoots stuff (or shoots you…), and generally gets in the way. Gears of War was perhaps the best example of good cooperative play until this masterpiece was released. Left 4 Dead really requires you to play very, very well together. Voice communication is required (and I can only begin to imagine how awesome this game must be when played in a LAN environment… something I intend to find out in April!), and when the going gets tough and you have hordes of zombies, and the shit hits the fan, you better be damn fast to help your friend up, or there’s going to be no one to help you up in a moment.

Anyway, now that I’ve fully extolled the virtues of perhaps the best game ever made (a title I do not bestow lightly, considering how awesome Portal and Super Mario Galaxy were), you should go and look at the media available on Youtube: Survivor Gameplay (i.e. trying to get from safe room to safe room), Infected Gameplay (i.e. trying your best to disable the survivors before they can escape), and finally — Left4Bed (this is included purely for the gamers out there that will appreciate this awesome vocal mash-up… and yes, it’s safe for work).

Moving on from computerised zombiefests, we have this awesome claymation video (which seemingly is over a year old, but I’ve never seen it). Quite the most gory thing I’ve ever seen in clay. I should ask my friend Glenn to see if he could produce such a thing, but with better lightning, and a bit more atmosphere.

I think that’s all, for now, on the zombie front.

No, really... more about me.
A wild trek through the undergrowth...

Sebastian

I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.

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