By Jeriaska . July 15, 2008 . 10:48am
Gabe Newell, the managing director of game development at Valve, introduced Left 4 Dead at the Electronic Arts E3 press event in downtown Los Angeles. While relying on an arsenal of weaponry to escape an infestation of zombies is a conventional enough premise for a first-person cooperative horror title, the game's dynamic AI promises to take gameplay in new directions.
According to Newell, sizable amounts of code have been dedicated to making Left 4 Dead a flexible gameplay experience based on the player's behavior and the skills of the team. How well the team performs will alter in-game elements such as animations, lighting and challenge level. You will be faced with more sizable challenges and rewarded with cinematic payoffs of varying intensity depending on players' skill level.
To demonstrate this feature, two quick sequences from the game were shown, highlighting the responsiveness of the game's AI. In the first sequence, the players were low on ammo and health. Approaching a wherehouse in an abandoned city, a handful of zombies ran out of the building and attacked. Once the enemies had been shot, they anticlimactically fell to the ground. By contrast, in the second sequence, a team with good health, ammo, and statistics approached the same wherehouse and were met by a horde of rampaging zombies. As this swarm of enemies was mowed down, the building behind them exploded into a fireballs and flying shrapnel. Just how deeply the game will incorporate these dynamic elements should become more apparent as the November 4 PC and Xbox 360 release date approaches.