This week in I am, I get twitchy with Left 4 Dead‘s new survival mode, in which myself and three other players must hold out as long as possible against an endless horde of infected. Things get tricky as we’re assaulted by dozens of enemies at a time, often including multiple boss infected per wave. Hit the jump for a play by play of the action, multiple instances of gender confusion, and a few examples of what not to do during a zombie apocalypse.
Pregame - I am Zoe. It takes me a moment to gain my bearings and get comfortable (As it often does when dealing with women). Fortunatly, the other three survivors are picking up my slack, and are already strategically placing traps throughout the environment in preparation for the impending slaughter. They inform me that the round will not begin until we activate the lighthouse to signal our rescue. Our plan is to hunker down at the tower’s highest point, forcing the infected to climb their way up to us.
00:00 – In feat of epic failure, Bill slips off the edge of the lighthouse before the round is started. The team unanimously agrees not to help him, and instead laughs at his misfortune. We learn through his high-pitched whining that he is a prepubescent boy. Or girl. We are unsure.
00:03 – Someone activates the lighthouse, which serves as a dinner-bell to all infected within a 20 mile radius. The violent, screeching wails of the horde can be heard as they scramble toward us from all directions.
00:10 – A well thrown pipe bomb clears much of the initial wave.
00:27 – A small group of infected eliminate Bill. His squealing insults do little to distract us.
00:35 – The first tank arrives. We ignite our remaining defences in an effort to stall his advance to the top of the tower.
00:47 – Our efforts were in vain. The tank is upon us.
00:52 – The tank swings at Francis, knocking him from the roof of the lighthouse. I see his body disappear skyward. I later learn that his remains were identified orbiting one of Saturn’s moons. He will be missed.
01:10 – Louis and I manage to finish off the tank, which provides us with a temporary break. I hear a brief exchange between Francis and Bill as they spectate.
Bill (To Francis): Haha, you got owned newb!
Francis: Whatever, at least I got owned by the tank. You got owned by the lighthouse.
01:26 – Things are getting a bit chaotic. I throw three or four molotovs in random directions in an effort to slow the horde. Nearly the entire forest surrounding the lighthouse is aflame.
01:34- I am on fire. A smoker has pulled me from the rooftop into the flames of my own molotovs. I immediately regret having thrown them.
01:44 – Louis defeats the smoker, but a terrible combination of flames, infected, and friendly-fire have left me incapacitated. I pick off the various infected that sprint toward me through the flames.
01:50 – Louis attempts to revive me, and to my surprise, succeeds. Also surprising (And mildly disturbing), he comforts me by saying “I got ya babe.” I reply with “Uh… I’m a dude.” Francis and Bill begin laughing hysterically. Louis doesn’t speak for the remainder of the match.
02:00 – We awkwardly retreat to the top of the lighthouse just in time to hear the wail of another approaching wave. By this point we’ve exhausted nearly all of our resources. Things are looking grim.
02:10 – Louis is tackled by a hunter – I rescue him just moments before he is incapacitated. I whisper “I got ya babe.” as he gets to his feet. He does not laugh.
03:00 – A tank can be heard thundering toward the lighthouse. I am beginning to wonder if leaving Bill to die was the best course of action, considering the circumstances.
03:35 – Louis is pulled to the ground by a smoker. In my efforts to free him, I fail to notice the tank that has reached “completely obliterate you” range. I am slammed against a wall, and then again towards the edge of the roof.
3:39 – I am dangling helplessly from the roof of the lighthouse. I call for help, but receive no answer. My pleas form a chorus with those of my remaining comrade, who lays broken and defeated on the dirt below. The shrieks of nearby hunters join us in harmony and herald our approaching doom as the horde closes in.
The round ends. I am no longer Zoe.
As the post-round scores display, Francis sighs into his microphone.
“How are we supposed to ‘survive’ against that?”
I chuckle to myself.