Who says video games are useless?
With rumours of a 3rd instalment of the Left 4 Dead franchise coming up, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane with this beloved FPS co-op, and note all the things it has taught us about life and our fragile existence on this earth.
For the record, we think there’s a vast amount of sagely knowledge to be gleaned from the intricacies of zombie-slaying – it’s just a matter of perspective.
TEAMWORK IS INVALUABLE
No man is an island, and the mantra is reinforced tenfold in L4D. In this game, the zombies are designed specifically to isolate and incapacitate. Like in the real world, your enemies know that the best way to destroy you is by separating you from the safety of the pack. As such, special infected monsters include Smokers with long tongues to drag you far away, Chargers who come out of nowhere to punch you into oblivion, Jockeys that hop onto your back and ride you off a cliff – even their rotting brains know that without backup, you’re easy pickings.
Sticking together in L4D makes you almost invincible, but once you stray away, shit hits the fan real quick. And it doesn’t just make things bad for you; not being a team player also screws things up for everyone else. If you decide to solo it for a bit, you’re going to get pinned down by a Hunter, and then your friends will have to come rescue you, and then a Boomer will vomit on them, and then the horde will come, and then suddenly oh god there’s a Tank and why is this happening – and the next thing you know, you’re all super dead.
Life lesson: sometimes, being a team player is the only way to make it out alive – whether you’re dealing with the undead or a tough situation in life.
It’s important to manage your resources
You’ve managed to get through a horde, two Tanks and a barrage of special infected, all whilst running low on ammo and more so on good humour. Everyone’s injured and tired when you finally come across a run-down shack and scramble inside for supplies. Alas, because the AI director in the game is a gleeful sadist, you’ll usually find only two health packs for your group of four.
Lesser beings would turn savage and start shooting each other because it’s every man for himself right? Unfortunately in L4D, it doesn’t matter if you’re fully healed, you’ll still get killed within minutes if you step outside without a team. Good thing you have that bottle of pills, or one of your teammates saved a health pack. Or miracle of miracles, someone actually carried along a defibrillator. Just kidding, no one ever bothers with the defib.
Life lesson: The point is, if you manage what you have and use your supplies carefully, you’ll always be able to work your way out of a tight spot.
Don’t go looking for trouble
You’re happily exploring an abandoned hospital looking for some Molotovs when suddenly the music stops; you hear creepy sobbing, and everyone in the group starts pissing themselves – there’s a Witch nearby. The Witch has problems, but that’s none of your concern. Don’t make it your concern because she doesn’t want your help; she wants to tear your face off. Unless you have a sniper rifle – then feel free to help from afar.
Life lesson: Just like in real life, there are times when it’s better to mind your own business unless you’re explicitly asked to get involved. Because if you’re not careful, you might end up engulfed (ripped to shreds) in someone else’s drama.