Last night Bill and I hooked up with two buddies (Billy Baroo and Dan) for our first foray into Left 4 Dead. Two words: It's good. In fact, it's good enough that after the first hour I got over the fact that we were playing a shooter on a console, which I normally hate with the white hot passion of a thousand suns. (I really like my mouse.)
The best moment of the night, and one of the best I've had in gaming came at the end. We were playing the (I think) No Mercy campaign. We had reached the final stage in which you end up on a hospital roof waiting for evac. After failing to survive three straight times we decided to give it one more shot. As fate would have it, this time we survived long enough for the helicopter to arrive on the scene. We were all holed up in a smallish supply room and the helipad was about a couple hundred feet straight out the ruined double doors. Bill, Dan and I are frantically trying to ward off the charging zombie horde while trying to make a semi-orderly withdrawal to the chopper. Over the voice chat the three of us are all shouting out some variation of, "Are we ready?" Then the question goes out, "Where's Bill (Baroo)?"
Dude was gone. We looked outside to see his silhouette already running flat out for the chopper. You kind of had to be there, but we just started cracking up. It was kind of like that scene in Top Gun where one of the pilots says, "I said to Hollywood where'd he go. Hollywood said, 'Where'd who gooo!?!?'"
So much for camaraderie, right? At that point it was pretty much every man for himself as we all bolted for the helicopter, laughing hysterically in the process. The irony? Billy made it to the helicopter first, but was overrun waiting for the rest of us to get there. We survived. He took the dirt nap. Poetic.
Anyway, as a single player game Left 4 Dead is no great shakes and I've got zero interest playing it with total strangers. But as a co-op game with three other people that you know? This is just a great, great game. There are three more movies (scenarios) that we haven't tried and I can't wait to get started on the next one.