A a zombie horde are about to be gunned down in Left 4 Dead 2.
Left 4 Dead 3 has now been officially announced as in development from Valve. Valve have put on hold development work on Half Life 3 in order to develop and launch Left 4 Dead 3 in 2017. This is great news for fans that haven't seen a game in the series since 2009!
Other news also claims that the four characters to pick from have been assigned names, with the only female character to be called Katherine.
6 Seperate Campaigns
6 individual campaigns are coming to Left 4 Dead 3. These include the well liked No Mercy, Cliff-Hanger, Early Destination, Crashland, Impasse and Inquisitor Land.
Available on: Xbox One, PS4, Windows, PC Download
Discussing Left 4 Dead 3
The Left 4 Dead series is composed of several basic elements that many players are now quite familiar with: a small team of 4 characters fighting against zombies (hence the title), plenty of ranged and melee weapons to choose from, and the need to be able to communicate with your fellow players in order to successfully get through the toughest of challenges. It would not be so hard to come up with a third game featuring a new cast of characters and all new stages, update it visually to match up with modern HD graphics and textures, but still keep the original gameplay mechanics. But as we all know, Valve and Turtle Rock's developers can do so much more.
The Evolution of Zombie Gameplay
What can the next L4D game be like? We have already seen the team versus team setup of the sequel where the one team uses the standard human protagonist while their opponents are in control of the more powerful zombies. In Evolve, Turtle Rock spins the whole concept on its' head and gives one "antagonist player" the role of a super powered baddie that all four players on the human team must defeat.
It would be quite likely that some form of "players controlling monsters" will be part of the game as the devs are pretty fond of it. The question is what new innovative direction will they push L4D3 towards? A comeback to the original 4 on 4 match setup would most certainly be ideal (and familiar for players), and this time, there may be ways for the zombie team to gain access to new mutations during matches. What would be most fun is if the game can add in a third party composed of a single player that is in control of an extra-powerful witch type zombie.
This does seem like the human players are being put at a severe disadvantage. To even things out, gameplay modes should allow players using regular human characters to achieve victory states under easier requirements -such as getting at least one player into a specific goal area or simply surviving for a certain period of time.
A Larger Scope
Since Left 4 Dead's gameplay setup is based on 4-person teams, there is a certain limit to how much the players are expected to fight in every given stage. It would be more exciting to see dynamic events unfolding onscreen in real time as players navigate across the game's stages; bridges can collapse, buildings can crumble, and the weather can go from sunny to stormy -all the developers need to do is to write the story around it.
Much of L4D's narrative has been chewed out in favor of gameplay (though there is a bit of a story to be found in the first two games), putting more emphasis on this for the third game will make playing through the campaigns more engaging. Events and dialogue should still mostly occur during real time gameplay instead of forcing players to hang around and wait for NPC conversations to finish; because delays in the stages would make subsequent playthroughs less enticing.
Keeping It Real
One of the things that separate Left 4 Dead from other zombie games is the deliberate lack of scavenging -missions revolve around getting your survivors from point A to point B instead of finding a base to secure and fortify. This means that weapons are picked up as they are and resources like food and water are not going to be important. The third game should also do the same.
It would not be fun dealing with zombies if you are constantly worried about making sure that everyone in the group gets to eat enough rations. The line between survival-horror and action-horror is not hard to distinguish, and L4D is a action game more than it is a survival game.
That said, the new game should provide players with plenty of unique and new methods to deal with zombies -environmental hazards in games has gone a long way from "all red barrels explode". After all, with the player characters not exactly being well trained soldiers, the way they should deal with zombies should range from standard to a little bit creative. It also allows players to defeat the undead without feeling like they are overpowered.
Keep it Coming
The Director system in the first two games has shown that just by creating a good system for spawning enemies, the developers of the Left 4 Dead games have been freed from the shackles of predictable enemy spawns. This is very important especially when it comes to satisfying the needs of returning players -if a game gets too easy or predictable, it loses a certain appeal; worst of all, it makes success in the game a lot less satisfying.
Adding even more creatures to the diversity of zombies players encounter is expected; especially when it comes to altering or adding new facets to existing ones. The Witch is, without a doubt, one of the most well known monster of Left 4 Dead -the game needs more of that (memorable and frighteningly fun monsters, not more witches).
The sad thing is that the folks at Valve tend to their sweet time with sequels. The time in between L4D and L4D2 was only a span of a year -but mostly, Valve takes a while before their bigger titles get follow ups. A good example of this would be the Half-Life series; so let us hope that Left 4 Dead 3 does not suffer the same way.
Release Date: Sometime in 2017.