No, this isn’t me completely changing my long-held stance that zombies suck and the best movies still have both zombies and naked chicks. I’m also still actively preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse along with White Bread, his pops Big Mike and several other true believers. Even the nephews are getting into the full swing of things at a young age. Like I always say, no one ever plans to fail and be eaten by zombies, they just fail to plan; or something like that. Anyway, White Bread and I have been steadily training for the forthcoming return of the dead by getting in simulator training using the now award winning Left 4 Dead!
I’ve been playing FPS ever since they were created and I’ve even played them for money at north of $20 per kill a few times. I’ve always been pretty good at them, mostly because I tend to do unorthodox things that completely catch the opposition off-guard and I use lots of strategy. For example, I was once in a Quake match with a bunch of friends at our buddy Shawn’s house, REALLY low on health and the other guy started chasing me to end the match since we were the final combatants in a team death match. So, I start hauling balls down a long corridor strafing from side to side avoiding his rocket assault only barely. Then I come up to a ledge about 50 feet from the floor below and take a leap of faith, this was before falling damage. In mid-fall I get an idea and everything went in slow motion for me as I get into “the zone” with full force. I spin 180 degrees and slowly (miliseconds, remember I was in “the zone”) line up a shot at about 5 feet above the lip of the ledge and wait, wait; then I let a couple of rockets fly. Sure enough, just as the rocket crested the ledge they connect right to Shawn’s face and BOOM, BOOM, DEAD! Fuckin-A!!! We win and everyone in the house screamed at the amazing shot having watched the awesome action real-time through their chase cams.
While I’ve continued to play FPS through the years, I have been re-born with Left 4 Dead. Although, Rise of the Triad matches during college at Dave A.’s house with Oaky, Jeff, Justin, and whomever else was around that night, will always hold a warm place in my heart. L4D does what other shooters have not accomplished beyond being run and gun frag fests that leave the soul yearning for more. Plus, I’m apparently not alone in my love for the game because it has received Game of the Year status and they even have a billboard southbound on the 680! L4D FORCES you to play as a team, and if you don’t, then forget about it because you’re zombie vittles.
So, while this doesn’t seem exactly poker related, it really is in a couple of ways and that’s what draws us to it like crack head to a pipe.
- Strategy is Job 1 – L4D IS A STRATEGY GAME in disguise as a FPS, let there be no mistake. That makes it a skill game just like poker along with your own game play abilities. People that try and play by running off on their own end up dead in record time. They may be great at Call of Duty, but you can’t win L4D by yourself, one Survivor in the Safe Room is like coming in fourth with Bullets in a large multi-way pot. If you don’t have a microphone and communicate steadily with your teammates, then you’re dead. If you don’t work together on strategy and heal each other, then you’re dead. Just like in a real life zombie apocalypse. Like I always say while waiting in the lobby, No mic – No dice! If you can’t talk to your team, then you can’t play worth shit.
- The Goal is Survival not Points – Play smart. If you’re going for a higher score, then you’re a severe detriment to your team mates ability to survive. This is like trying to win lots of pots instead of trying to win lots of money. The only points that matter are team points, except when you’re just talking smack to your friends; like how White Bread is CHRONICALLY at the bottom of our infected individual points.
- Probability – Ya, you read that one correctly. While I don’t calculate odds on the fly like in Poker, I do use probability a lot in the game. Such as while you could stand on the other side of a counter and hope that a Smoker doesn’t pull you out of the shop in a horde, forcing your team mates to risk their lives to save you, the probability is greater than zero. While standing behind the counter gives you and your team a probability of exactly zero to be yanked into a death spiral. That’s why I also NEVER stand on top of building ledges, if you stand BEHIND them, then you can’t get pulled off to your death. I use that one a lot on people that don’t think these things through. It’s almost worse to end up hanging from the edge because then it ties up your team to help you up and leaves them wide open to attacks by Special Infected.
- Patience – I must admit that my regular team with White Bread has been guilty of not being patient in recent weeks while playing as Infected. What’s worse is that I’ve found my impatience bleeding over to my other regular teams and my game has suffered. Much like Poker, you have to be patient and wait for your team mates to spawn and then wait for the right time to attack, then do so with a coordinated effort. It’s that simple. Now we just need to get back to playing that way…
So, Left 4 Dead makes for great action entertainment along with satisfying my Poker jones as the same time. Get in the game and look me up on XBox Live, my handle is “The3Seat”, go figure. ;-)
Nicholas has left the 3 seat