I finally cracked - I preordered Left 4 Dead (scratch it off my Christmas list), but I did it for you guys. Nevermind that I got early access to the demo (which is now publicly available) and $5 off (which I can now assert that it was well worth it), I wanted to provide you all with a look at what you have in store come next week! Let's dig in, shall we?
First of all, if you haven't seen the intro movie, you NEED to do that. The standard def is embedded, but I highly, highly recommend downloading the HD version - it's just simply amazing. The best part is, if the intro movie tickles your fancy, you'll be happy to know that, in my opinion, the game play is pretty similar to the intro.
I've played through the demo a couple times and it hasn't played the same yet. I anticipate turning a corner and finding a particular boss zombie, but the engine was created for a pretty random placement of baddies, weapons and items. This boosts the replay value tremendously, which will come in handy quite a bit when you want to run through the game with some friends.
The multiplayer was a little buggy for me. There was quite a bit of lag the couple of times I actually got in to a game, and a few times I had a crash to desktop. However, the lobby system that they've created is excellent. For the first time (that I've seen), a developer has instituted a party system that works on the PC (the new CoD: WaW system was heavily lacking in the beta). You can join a game already in progress or search based on your settings. What's more is you can also create a party with your Steam friends. None of my Steam friends were on (since I only have 2 active), so I had to just roll with other games. Through all of the problems, nothing says victory like surviving a rush of zombies with some fellow gamers by your side!
That's all I want to spill with you today. Next week I'll give you a full-on review of the game after I get my severed hands on it. Hopefully I'll have decided if the assault rifle or autoshotty is better for zombie dispersal!