Today the Left 4 Dead demo goes live on Steam and Xbox Live for pre-order customers. Those who haven’t pre-ordered can get the demo on November 11th. Unlike most shooters, teamplay is essential in Left 4 Dead. So here’s a few quick tips to help your team get started:
Establish communication with your team: There’s no time to type messages back and forth, so make sure everyone on your team has a microphone and knows how to use it—a gray speaker icon appears next to their name in the lobby if they have a microphone connected. If playing with strangers online, say hi and establish a rapport with your new teammates. Breaking the ice in the lobby will pay off later as the game begins.
Get organized: Before beginning a game, discuss your individual roles. It’s usually a good idea to elect one teammate as the leader. This player will not only physically lead the team but make key pathfinding decisions at branches, determining which direction the team will go. Therefore the leader should have at least some experience with the layout of the maps you’re about to blitz through. But most importantly, the leader should possess good communication skills, constantly checking in with teammates and ensuring everyone stays together and healthy.
Diversify your firepower: When choosing weapons at the beginning of a level, mix it up, taking a couple of shotguns and two SMGs or assault rifles. This gives your team a good balance of firepower capable of engaging threats at close and long range. Never take more than one sniper rifle. Although powerful, sniper rifles have a low rate of fire and take a long time to reload. And since most engagements occur at close to intermediate range, the rifle’s scope isn’t very useful, and can even be a liability.
Stay together, stay alive: It may sound easy, but keeping four players together during a chaotic advance is a constant challenge. But it’s a challenge that must be overcome if you hope to make it to the safe house. Stay in constant voice communication with your teammates, calling out targets and issuing warnings. If you need to stop and heal, let everyone know so they don’t leave you behind. When stopping, make sure everyone gets the message. Anyone who continues advancing on their own won’t stand a chance.
Close doors: The infected can’t open doors. Instead, they must break them down with melee attacks. While a simple wooden door won’t last long when faced with such violent attacks, it will delay the infected, allowing your team to slip away or prepare to engage the attackers. Often the sound of the infected breaking down a door is just enough to get your team’s attention, preventing you from being attacked from behind.
Share the health supplies: If your character is healthy and someone else on your team is seriously injured, either heal them with a first aid kit or hand over a bottle of pills. Injured players slow down the whole team so it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep everyone healthy and moving at maximum speed. Each player can carry one first aid kit and one bottle of pills, so there’s usually enough supplies to go around if you all share.
Use the survivor’s names when communicating: It’s often easier to say Bill, Francis, Louis, or Zoey in the heat of battle than it is to decipher someone’s 15-character Gamertag. So take note of what survivor you’re playing as and respond to any questions or requests when addressed by this name.
Monitor your teammates: You can see your teammates at all times, even if they’re not in your current line of sight. They’ll appear as a blue glowing silhouette if blocked by an object such as a wall. These glowing silhouettes allow you to keep tabs on all your teammates. If the teammate’s silhouette turns orange, it indicates they’re in danger. This could mean a variety of things. They could be covered in a Boomer’s bile, dangling from a ledge, incapacitated, pinned by a Hunter, or ensnared by a Smoker’s tongue. In any case, get to them as quickly as possible to assist.