Monday, December 15, 2008

Left 4 Dead Rebuttal

In response to my own previous post regarding Left 4 Dead, I'd just briefly like to draw your attention to this post on Graffiti Gamer, which argues that it's the necessity of playing with digital sociopaths which makes Left 4 Dead so compelling.

"Half of the challenge playing Left 4 Dead is getting players to coordinate, understand each other’s playing style, and finding a groove that works. Left 4 Dead is, in fact, a social learning environment and its procedurally generated narrative structure is most exciting when the other players are unknown quantities before play, as opposed to friends whose play-style you’re already familiar with." (read the full post)
It makes an excellent point which in no way diminishes the frustration of listening to a 14-year-old kid giggling hysterically and refusing to use any weapon other than pistols while a Hunter rips out your intestines.


Daniel Purvis said...

Thanks for the props Greg! I noticed that you're playing on Xbox Live, actually, which might have something to do with it. I've noticed that the number of players on PC that have deliberately griefed whilst playing with me is ... none ... except myself. On the occasion you'll jump into a game, or someone who'll join, who plays correctly buy insists on swearing, insulting and demeaning anyone else in the game because they're "not as good as he is". In those situations, I make a point of calling for a vote-kick or shooting them in the back with my own shotgun in a sign of disapproval -- then leaving the game.

Lame, I know, but there isn't really a decent reporting system on Steam so this is the only option. At least on Xbox Live you can report the other player with at least some consequence.

L4D really is an awesome game.

Greg Tannahill said...

The PC community might be more mature but based on my experiences with CounterStrike I doubt it would significantly increase my fun quota.

I've pretty much stopped PC gaming altogether because I got sick of having to upgrade the hardware so frequently and worrying about game stability. When PC gaming can deliver a crash-free environment on 29 days out of 30 I'll come back.

Daniel Purvis said...

To be honest, I play Steam games on a MacBook Pro dual-booting via Boot Camp in Windows XP. Yes, the graphical quality vs. price doesn't match when comparing Windows based laptops to Apple products but then again, Windows has NEVER CRASHED nor BLUESCREENED whilst running on an Apple laptop.

Weird, I know but true.

Greg Tannahill said...

I don't get too many Windows crashes these days - it tends to be the games themselves. And it's obviously POSSIBLE to do it right because titles like World of Warcraft and The Sims 2 can run with perfect, unmarred stability for years while all those Games For Windows titles ported from the 360 can't seem to go half an hour without freezing up.