Part of the reason some individuals get slightly hot-headed online is teamwork, or lack of it. In Left 4 Dead
, this primarily involves staying together and helping team mates that have been pounced by hunters or tongued by smokers. If you stray too far ahead or don’t keep up, you’ll usually end up dead and will be pretty unpopular with your team mates.
It could be argued that if you want to take the game this seriously, you should join a clan instead of endlessly calling people noobs and hurling other insults at strangers who are just on for a bit of zombie bashing fun. However, there has been quite a shift in gameplay following the release of the new survival mode update on 21st April which has, if anything, made working as a team even more rewarding and might just change things for the better.[break]
Survival mode initially seems complicated, especially given the significant amount of attention the team behind Left 4 Dead
has given the new mode which seems even more sadistic than the other modes. The survivors are situated in one of many finale-type locations, some of which you’ve probably encountered before. The first thing that’s obvious though is the need to work together and decide on a place to defend yourselves. This might sound overzealous but in survival mode, you’re not dealing with your average zombie horde.
In fact, you’ll be lucky to last more than five minutes in many of your first attempts such is the onslaught of not just regular infected, but of multiple hunters, smokers, boomers and even multiple tanks. Stray out on your own and you’ll be toast in a matter of seconds and your team mates may quite simply be too overwhelmed to help you. In this respect, staying alive becomes far more challenging than the finales in the campaign modes.
So what about weapons? Well, you get pistols and the up rated weapons along with numerous grenades, molotovs, jerry cans and gas canisters. The downside is these are normally positioned in indefensible areas, forcing you to return to replenish your ammo and grenade supplies. This is when most teams come unstuck as people leave the safety of the group when they run out of primary weapon ammo. In short they rarely make it back and even if you move as a group, the first ammo replenish is usually a team’s last move.
With all the crazed action, it’s easy to forget what the object of survival mode is, which is, funnily enough, to survive as long as possible. A stop watch is visible and starts when the horde is alerted in a similar fashion to a finale with one player activating a radio or something similar. It will stop when the last member of the team is incapacitated. The total time is key to achieving certain grades and achievements and also for comparing yourself to other users.
There’s also a new stats system which tracks, amongst other things, tracks your kills and accuracy with each weapon. This is pretty interesting to look at and can quickly identify if you’re a noob with the 'nades or a sissy with the shotgun.
The new style of gameplay, stats system, achievements and grades combined with the fact you can see the total time other players have survived on that particular level, all make for quite a gelling experience in survival mode and it’s likely you’ll make quite a few friends playing it as you all battle to the death side by side, covering each others backs. Maybe it’s the fact that death is inevitable that makes people a little easier to get along with now but one thing’s for sure, survival mode is an insane amount of fun!