Left 4 Dead Survival Mode and new stats system

Posted on 11th May 2009 at 11:15 by Antony Leather with 8 comments

Antony Leather
Part of the reason some individuals get slightly hot-headed online is teamwork, or lack of it. In Left 4 Dead, this primarily involves staying together and helping team mates that have been pounced by hunters or tongued by smokers. If you stray too far ahead or don’t keep up, you’ll usually end up dead and will be pretty unpopular with your team mates.

It could be argued that if you want to take the game this seriously, you should join a clan instead of endlessly calling people noobs and hurling other insults at strangers who are just on for a bit of zombie bashing fun. However, there has been quite a shift in gameplay following the release of the new survival mode update on 21st April which has, if anything, made working as a team even more rewarding and might just change things for the better.

Survival mode initially seems complicated, especially given the significant amount of attention the team behind Left 4 Dead has given the new mode which seems even more sadistic than the other modes. The survivors are situated in one of many finale-type locations, some of which you’ve probably encountered before. The first thing that’s obvious though is the need to work together and decide on a place to defend yourselves. This might sound overzealous but in survival mode, you’re not dealing with your average zombie horde.

Left 4 Dead Survival Mode and new stats system

In fact, you’ll be lucky to last more than five minutes in many of your first attempts such is the onslaught of not just regular infected, but of multiple hunters, smokers, boomers and even multiple tanks. Stray out on your own and you’ll be toast in a matter of seconds and your team mates may quite simply be too overwhelmed to help you. In this respect, staying alive becomes far more challenging than the finales in the campaign modes.

Left 4 Dead Survival Mode and new stats system

So what about weapons? Well, you get pistols and the up rated weapons along with numerous grenades, molotovs, jerry cans and gas canisters. The downside is these are normally positioned in indefensible areas, forcing you to return to replenish your ammo and grenade supplies. This is when most teams come unstuck as people leave the safety of the group when they run out of primary weapon ammo. In short they rarely make it back and even if you move as a group, the first ammo replenish is usually a team’s last move.

With all the crazed action, it’s easy to forget what the object of survival mode is, which is, funnily enough, to survive as long as possible. A stop watch is visible and starts when the horde is alerted in a similar fashion to a finale with one player activating a radio or something similar. It will stop when the last member of the team is incapacitated. The total time is key to achieving certain grades and achievements and also for comparing yourself to other users.

There’s also a new stats system which tracks, amongst other things, tracks your kills and accuracy with each weapon. This is pretty interesting to look at and can quickly identify if you’re a noob with the 'nades or a sissy with the shotgun.

Left 4 Dead Survival Mode and new stats system

The new style of gameplay, stats system, achievements and grades combined with the fact you can see the total time other players have survived on that particular level, all make for quite a gelling experience in survival mode and it’s likely you’ll make quite a few friends playing it as you all battle to the death side by side, covering each others backs. Maybe it’s the fact that death is inevitable that makes people a little easier to get along with now but one thing’s for sure, survival mode is an insane amount of fun!


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Bauul 11th May 2009, 11:25 Quote
There's definitely a welcome amount of nice-ness in Survival mode. In the other game types, especially Versus, it's getting to the stage where people are being vote-kicked simply for not being as good as the rest of the team.

Kicking people because they're nobs is fine, but because they're simply bad at the game? That's so elitist Hitler would approve. It's really because the team's are so small. A crap player is covered up in a 10 man game of CSS or TF2, but in a team of 4 where absolutely everyone matters it can become very apparent very quickly who's good and who's not.

I was once vote-kicked because I missed a hunter pounce and landed on the survivor being smokered instead of the survivor trying to free him. Yes it was a dumb thing to do, but it made no difference to the outcome of the game, and it's not kick worthy at any rate. It's for this reason I don't really play versus any more, it's Expert Campaign or Survival only.
DraigUK 11th May 2009, 11:41 Quote
Unless the guy is AFK or so dumb he shouldn't be breathing I just auto-no to every votekick.

Was funny the other night to be on a server and one guy was just trying to kick people every 30 seconds.

He got kicked and auto banned himself after trying it too many times. Was hilarious.

I like all modes in L4D, depending on my mood. Survival sure is fun, but you need a real good team to get gold.
Jamie 11th May 2009, 12:33 Quote
I got kicked once for being slow out of the lift.
Combatus 11th May 2009, 13:33 Quote
Originally Posted by Jamie
I got kicked once for being slow out of the lift.

Has happened to me on occasions. Makes me wander if some servers are groups of friends who just kick any strangers. I've voted no quite a few times when other team mates have voted to kick a less able player. I mean give the guy a chance! Still, it's happened a lot less in survival mode thankfully, probably because every one only has a few minutes to live anyway!
pizan 11th May 2009, 13:43 Quote
I'm usually pretty good with ammo and accuracy, but that comes from devoting so much of my life to Source engine shooters, but not one where accuracy doesn't matter and you only spray and pray (TF2).
Skiddywinks 11th May 2009, 16:58 Quote
God damn love L4D's survival mode. Such a great addition. Shame it didn't ship with it :/

Either way, I didn't know about the new stats etc. Thanks for the heads up, may have to go and prove to my friends that I am far from useless on the top of the lighthouse with a hunting rifle, as they all seem to think I just doss and hide!
DbD 12th May 2009, 17:59 Quote
In survival no one kicks, they just leave. Where as in campaign mode you can carry weaker players even on expert - in fact it made it more of a challenge and therefore was fun - on survival only the best team will do.

A good team can comfortably do a gold time in nearly every attempt, a bad team (standing in exactly the same place) won't manage 5 minutes.

Hence after 1 round if you don't get a good time you know it's basically futile. This makes survival with random teams a lottery - looking for that rare random team capable of posting a decent time. Unfortunately like the real lottery most of the time you loose :(
Slyr7.62 17th May 2009, 22:16 Quote
Originally Posted by DraigUK
Unless the guy is AFK or so dumb he shouldn't be breathing I just auto-no to every votekick.
Was funny the other night to be on a server and one guy was just trying to kick people every 30 seconds.
He got kicked and auto banned himself after trying it too many times. Was hilarious.
Call of Duty 2 needs that to when someone constantly calls votes on people the voter will get kicked or temp banned. That might also help against the hackers who use a non-stop vote thing to try to not get kick-voted.
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