Left 4 Dead is not easy; viral armageddons so rarely are. But it makes for some great moments of stress, drama, triumph and overwhelming failure. The dash for the safe holes with a gang of infected athletes chasing you down is pure 28 Days Later, and the degree to which that feeling has been recreated in a game without any real script is incredible. It’s all thanks to an awareness and love of modern zombie movies. And having lots of enemies.
Take one moment, when a Boomer had vomited on our friend, and the regurgitated pheromones had turned him into a zombie magnet. He crouched, allowing us to pick off the zombies without puncturing his cheeks, and between us, we killed them. What we hadn’t noticed was that a queue of zombies had formed behind us, trying to get to our vomit-sodden chum. Our monitor was completely and suddenly full of zombie. Lunging, ash-grey zombies, as close as they could be to our face without the whole thing feeling erotic.