There’s a new ‘Left 4 Dead’ and it’s in VR

A scene from the finale of ‘Left 4 Dead 2’. — AFP pic
A scene from the finale of ‘Left 4 Dead 2’. — AFP pic

LOS ANGELES, Dec 13 — Co-op zombie survival franchise Left 4 Dead could be coming back as a virtual reality project — but there’s no assurance the game will see the light of day.

Left 4 Dead VR is real,” according to Tyler McVicker, whose Valve News Network has become an essential stop-off for many fans of the often-mysterious game development company and its multiple franchises.

Valve Corporation owns and operates the Steam store, a computer gaming network and digital retailer, and both develops one of the world’s biggest eSports titles, Dota 2, which distributes tens of millions of dollars per year in tournament winnings.

Prior to Dota 2, however, Valve was best known for a number of ongoing franchises, each of which helped redefine what video games were and could become: Team Fortress 2, Portal, Half-Life, Counter-Strike and Left 4 Dead among them.

Now that the Half-Life franchise is making a comeback through 2020’s VR adventure Half-Life: Alyx, speculation has turned to some of Valve’s other dormant or semi-dormant franchises.

Portal is associated with the Half-Life universe, while Counter-Strike remains a feature of the eSports scene.

What about Left 4 Dead? The co-op action adventure, set during a zombie apocalypse, managed to transcend its genre boundaries by incentivizing teamwork and second-guessed players with an adaptive AI orchestrating events behind the scenes.

Its lineage can be traced through to the Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide games, co-op asteroid mining and alien repelling quest Deep Rock Galactic, the Call of Duty zombies mode,and this week’s squad-based survival horror GTFO.

Now it seems that Left 4 Dead could be heading in the same direction as Half-Life, with studio staff having considered a virtual reality adaptation of the franchise and pursuing that goal to one degree or another.

That’s according to McVicker, speaking through his Twitter account to emphasise that “Left 4 Dead is real, not releasing.”

“This is Valve, the word releasing isn’t being used for a reason,” he clarified.

Left 4 Dead was released in 2008 and Left 4 Dead 2 in 2009. Much like Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead received three further updates — The Passing, The Sacrifice, and community pack Cold Stream — without adopting the standalone nature of Half-Life 2’s Episode 1 and 2.

“Half-Life: Alyx” has made it through the prototyping stage and is targeting a March 2020 release for PC-based VR headsets; Valve is including it for free for owners of its own high-end Valve Index system.

Thanks to the franchise’s fan community, Left 4 Dead 2 can already be played through a compatible VR headset via modifications available through the Steam Workshop. — AFP-Relaxnews

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