Hunting zombies in the city…

There are many video games that show similarities with movies.  Some try to imitate cinema more than others.  Recently a game has come out for the PC and X-box 360 called Left 4 dead.  Each level, or “movie” as they call them, follows a basic horror movie storyline:  The survivors of a zombie infestation take a journey across the landscape going from safe point to safe point trying to be rescued all the while fighting hordes of ravenous zombies.  One of the more interesting things about the game is how it tries to be like a movie.  The game is seperated into 4 “movies” that consist of four “scenes.”  The action and challenge is directed by an AI program that the developers call the “director” which controls periods of tension and action to enhance the experience the experience of the game.  The sound is also controlled by a seperate AI called the “sound director” that controls the music according to the events in the game.  Each movie is set up with a cutscene before you are set on a linear path with the goal of escape.  The interesting thing about this game is that although it is a first person shooter and has virtually no cutscenes after the first, it feels much more like a movie than other games.  This could be because horror is a simple genre, it could be because of the unpredictability of the AI because of the director, it could be the fact that the game itself compares itself to a movie, or it could be the cheesy dialogue and eerie music that occurs throughout the movie.

This is how they start you off in the game

this is more of an observer mode rather than first person, but it shows how the game moves along.


2 Responses to “Hunting zombies in the city…”

  1. It kinda makes me sad that each game and movie so far based off a “Zombie” case…is always the same.
    But I do agree that this is a simple Horror genre, and can be used diversely in multiple ways to create a story for the game or movie.
    Never tried this game though, wished they made a PS3 version as the playline actually looks interesting in that you have a team of 4, instead of the “I go solo all the zombies” thing like Re4, Dead Space, etc.

  2. Perhaps many zombies games are often the same because it’s rather hard to alter the storyline or plot too much, because then it wouldn’t be classified as “zombie.” I mean, zombies are really big and kids just can’t wait to shoot em up. When you start adding alien backgrounds into them, they become aliens. I guess you could change the way you go about killing the zombies or gathering together, or a way to get to a certain goal at the end which would eliminate zombie danger or not. I don’t know. But I think this game tried to stick to man vs. zombie movie roots, especially by making each stage into a “movie.” It’s pretty fun though, but seems to get repetitive after a while.

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