Left 4 Dead…

Originally Published:

… and then saved by Laura. Or Libi. Or Barry.

Just never, ever, ask what Tiq was doing to me.

Not so long ago, I took Left 4 Dead online for the first time. I’d dabbled on the single player a few times and enjoyed the fact that, as Kat pointed out, the AI is crap and that if there’s a witch to be scared they’ll scare it. Apart from the one time I set it on fire, and the other time when I tried for the one-shot kill achievement. They did not end well.

Anyway, I played online with a bunch of Ready-Uppers. I haven’t been asked back since. I think I know the reason. I was actually worse than the single player AI. No kidding. Much, much worse. Worse squared. The only way I could have been any more useless, and levelled up to worse cubed, is if I’d constantly tried to give away pain pills.

Luckily I wasn’t alive long enough to do that!

While playing I made a mental list of everything I did well, and could be proud of. This is it:-

I healed Libi.

Yup, that was it. Two or three hours of play and the best thing I did was heal Libi. And, to be fair, she had to tell me to do that in a really quite stern voice which, I suspect, was her in “mother mode”.

What I did badly is too numerous to list. Basically, everything else, is the answer. I remember someone, I think it was Barry, saying “Geo, no, there’s a witch. Geo, there’s a witch, Geo… oh”. Which is the second-best thing I’ve heard on Xbox Live – only topped by the time I entered a Splinter Cell game and everyone was French and they went “Geofortean, ou est vous?” and I could only remember the French for train station and swimming pool, neither of which were on the map I was playing.

So, I suck at Left 4 Dead. Apparently, I’m not too bad as the infected – I dealt most damage, don’t you know. But it took me three rounds to work out how to get my Hunter to work, so one can only imagine that to be a fluke.

Having said that, it was one of the most fun nights I have had in ages. Xbox Live is great for drawing people together and letting them have a great time, playing a great game.

On the Monday following the World Record (we’ve mentioned that, haven’t we?) I had the day off due to extreme tiredness (train lag) and decided to banish those sleepyhead feelings with a dabble on Burnout. I joined Tony, Mark and Libi online and we cracked off a few challenges. On the way to one challenge, I changed my indestructo-toy car from something nippy and orange to a indestructo-toy monster truck.

I arrived at the challenge, only to find that it required each of us to jump over the team. And I was in the tallest car I could find. I could not hide my shame as, one by one, my team mates slammed into the lights on top of my truck and the challenge was failed. When we redid the challenge, I returned in a toy F1 racer – the flattest car I could find.

Recounting these tales, I worry that maybe I’m a liability. That maybe I shouldn’t be allowed on Live because I’m, you know, crap. But then that’s what it’s all about. Incidents like these let you get a group of friends together to have a laugh, and enjoy the game in a way that you haven’t experienced on your own.

And it rocks.