SHOCKtober 2012 – Day 29: The Horde (2009)

My second favorite film of SHOCKtober, The Horde is a French zombie apocalypse tale. A group of police are going after a drug lord who is responsible for killing a colleague. They invade the condemned high-rise where the drug lord lives, screw up and get captured. But then zombies happen and they all need to team up to survive.

This movie is sooooo good. Unless you just cannot possibly tolerate subtitles, you must see this film if you like zombie movies. It takes the best elements of an action film and the best elements of a zombie film, and you get a high energy zombie survival action movie that is great from beginning to end.

The Horde is chock full of awesome moments. Bloody deaths, noble sacrifices, stupid people, less stupid people, actual smart people… there is this one moment, that looks a lot like this:

and that the movie reminds me at times of Dead Rising is a huge plus. But it also reminds me of Left 4 Dead as well. In fact, lots of the movie reminds me of a video game, but not in a dumb way like that terrible Doom movie.

It is a crime that I haven’t bought this on Blu-ray yet, but then again, it’s available on Netflix Instant Streaming, where I have watched it three or four times, so maybe I can be forgiven.

Be sure to keep an eye on Final Girl and the rest of SHOCKtober.

UPDATE: Check out other participants – Blog @ Rotten Cotton, Life Between Frames, nijomu

The Sacrifice

Left 4 Dead: The SacrificeThis shouldn’t be news to anyone who is a fan of Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, but yesterday the final chapter of The Sacrifice comic came out online.  Such a good story.  Go read it.  I’ll wait.

These sorts of things are why I love Valve Software.  Not only are their games well built and fun to play, but they understand story.  From Half-Life to Left 4 Dead to Portal to even Team Fortress 2, a game will little story of its own but surrounded by tons of great videos and other stuff.

Anyway, to get back on the Zombie Wednesdays bandwagon, yesterday also saw the release of The Sacrifice DLC for L4D and L4D2.  It’s great to fill in the gap of how our original survivors get down to New Orleans, and it’s also nice that they released it for the original game as well, just in case there are some purists out there still clinging to the L4D2 boycott and never bought the sequel.

Want to play?  On Live, I’m Jhaer.  Friend me, but also be sure to tell me who you are…

Left 4 Demo 2

If you are a Gold Member on Xbox Live (and seriously, if you are planning to play Left 4 Dead 2 as single player or local multi-player only, you are missing out on the best parts of the game), the Left 4 Dead 2 demo is out.

Personally, I’m not going to bother.  To me, a demo is something you play if you are not yet decided on purchasing in order to see if you enjoy the game.  For example, I played the demo of Mirror’s Edge because I wasn’t sure of the game, and I’m glad I did because it saved me money.  But from all accounts, Left 4 Dead 2 is going to be Left 4 Dead only with more awesome.  Considering how much I love the original, there isn’t a chance in hell I won’t love the sequel.  Valve just doesn’t make crappy sequels.

As a birthday gift this year, I was given a pre-order of Left 4 Dead 2.  So I will happily wait for it to show up and not spoil any of the game playing a mere demo.  But I won’t judge you if you do play the demo.  Have fun!

Left 4 Shaun of the Dead

Like Left 4 Dead?  Like Shaun of the Dead?  Want to play Left 4 Dead in the world of Shaun of the Dead?

Well, you might one day get the chance on the PC version of L4D thanks to the Left 4 Winchester project.  It almost makes me want to get a PC version of the game.

Left 4 Dead

I am a little late to the party.  Left 4 Dead released back on November 17th, 2008, and I remember, months before, vowing that I would buy it on that day.  Considering that that day marked one full month of being unemployed, I didn’t buy it.  Most people I know who own Xbox 360’s did, and I got to listen to a lot of talk about how cool the game was.

The Tuesday before Christmas, a friend of mine gifted me with Left 4 Dead.

Quite simply, this is probably the most fun game I own for the 360.  Playing alone is often tense and thrilling.  Playing with others is frantic and heart pounding.

I think one of the most innovative parts of this game is the scenario design.  Rather than try to build one whole coherent story encompassing the entire disc, each scenario, of which there are 4 included with the game, is a separate story of its own.  In the first scenario, your group of survivors start on a roof top and you can see the hospital in the distance… so your plan is to cross the city to the hospital, which has a helipad, and call for help.  The second scenario you start out on a road heading to one town you think might be safe, and since it sits on the water you might be able to find a boat and escape.  Scenario three, your band of intrepid zombie fighters are making for the airport, looking for a plane ride out of here.  And in scenario four, you are just trying to get the hell out, but wind up at a farm house with a radio that allows you to call in the Army to your location for a rescue.  Every level of every scenario has multiple paths to the end, and playing through is an organic experience.  While in many games repeating a level gets easier unless you force up the difficulty level, with random spawns and some randomization on supplies and the dynamic AI (The Director), even playing through the same level on the easiest level of difficulty is fun time and time again.

The reason I think this scenario design is so innovative is that is sets a precedent, it manages expectations, so that in the future Valve can release new scenarios, and it doesn’t need to be a continuation of the story, or just a pack of multi-player maps, but they can drop a new mini story of a handful of levels, creating another separate game experience, without changing any of the existing game but also not feeling it is outside of the existing game.

I look forward to the downloaded content for this game.