The Complete Guide to the Left 4 Dead Franchise

The Complete Guide to the Left 4 Dead Franchise
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Lots of Zombies

Left 4 Dead managed to create a fairly unique and interesting game. While single player modes exist, the focus is on gathering up three of your friends to go on a zombie killing spree with. You can face off against an AI Director that spawns zombies and changes the game up to keep each run interesting.

There are also a few competitive modes, with options for the teams to take turns being the special infected that attack along with the horde. All-in-all, there’s something in this game for everyone, even if it is starting to get a bit old.

Left 4 Dead

The original game, simply called Left 4 Dead, focused on four survivors trying to escape from the Green Flu - a mysterious illness that causes infected people to turn into mindless zombies. The story isn’t exactly the selling point, of course. At its heart it’s nothing more than a simple “escape the infected” scenario that we’ve seen played out by about every zombie movie in existence.

The real key is the replayability, the challenge of the maps and the opportunities for fun teamwork. The game is certainly a bit old now, and a number of the maps have been officially exported or at least modded over to the Left 4 Dead 2 engine. There’s something to be said for nostalgia though, so if you want to look at the way that the old games played out, or feel like picking it up again yourself, then the guides below should be a big help.

Reviews and News

Due to the nature of the games, there have been a number of reviews and articles on the developments in the series. After the initial release of Left 4 Dead 2, Valve also put out additional DLC maps. These new campaigns, were called “The Passing” and “The Sacrifice,” which took you through some flooded streets of an overrun city as the survivors of Left 4 Dead 2 meet up with the old gang from Left 4 Dead and face the horde.

If you’d like to look at the old reactions to the game and its updates, then head on down history lane.

Left 4 Dead 2 - Gear and Tips

Survival Mode - Dark Carnival

These games are by no means easy. With the right setup, you can cut through the infected like a hot katana through zombies in a cheesy movie, but things can go south very quickly from just a minor misstep. There are a lot of tips and tricks to staying alive in the series. I suggest you read up on our guides and tips for the different game mods so that you know what to do when the time comes.

Left 4 Dead 2 - The Infected

A Witch

The real stars of the show in any horror movie are the monsters. That’s true in Left 4 Dead. Left 4 Dead 2 added several extra infected to the mix. From clown zombies to the all new spitter and jockey, there are certainly a few neat monsters on display. At some point, you’ll come into contact with all of them, and you’ll need to know how to successfully clear them out or at least avoid them as you race to the safe house.

If we’re going to talk about versus play, then things get very interesting. Understanding the strengths and limits of the enemy team of infected is vital for surviving their attacks and planning out your own in the next round. To see more of their special abilities, take a look at any of our guides on the unique monsters of L4D2.


Achievements mean a lot to many gamers. These little badges show your expertise in your favorite game, and they’re a very nice source of bragging rights. If nothing else, acquiring some of the tough ones will at least provide for some cool stories. They aren’t all that easy though. In fact, some will require tremendous coordination and a team of veteran players who are all helping each other get it. If you need some help pulling off this apparently monumental task, you can take a peek at our guides on the subject.

Error Fixes, Console Codes and Mods

These two things are ultimately different sides of the same coin. You may be experiencing some unfortunate crashes and errors, which will require a bit of tweaking and modification to make things right again. On the other side, if you’re getting a bit bored with the standard game, then you want to spice it up a bit. You can do this either through the creative use of the console in the game (when playing on your own server) or through some of the popular fan made modifications and maps that have become available.

Back to the Apocalypse

It’s time to get back to the end of the world now. Hopefully we had what you needed. Hopefully we were able to fix your error codes and point you in the right direction for using the console or installing a few modes. I also hope that you found our hints and tips helpful, and that you enjoyed a few of the older articles on the predecessor. It’s always good to remember the past.

If you have any remaining questions or you feel like we missed something, please feel free to leave a note in the comments section.


  • All screenshots from Left 4 Dead 2