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The game that changed the way we played zombie games and rewarded cooperation

THERE IS a scene in an early episode of the AMC series, The Walking Dead, in which a bald racist is giving a bloody good talking to as he’s handcuffed to a piece of roof piping. The show’s nominal hero, Rick Grimes, explains to him in no uncertain terms that, in light of the fact the zombie apocalypse is upon the human race, that his racial prejudice had better become a thing of the past and right quick. “There’s only us and the dead,” he hisses. “We survive this by pulling together, not apart.” That line cuts right to the core of Left 4 Dead, the four-player co-op zombie shooter released back in 2008. Unlike a lot of multiplayer shooters of the time where griefing, tea-bagging and generally doing your own thing in the multiplayer was par for the course (unless you were really into the concept of teamwork), Left 4 Dead forced players to unlearn a lot of selfish behaviour. The central conceit of Left 4 Dead is neatly summed up in Rick Grimes’s schooling of the racist mentioned earlier (his name is Merle, in case you care). If players didn’t work together as a team, they wouldn’t survive.

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About Checkpoint Magazine

Welcome to Checkpoint and thank you for checking us out! We are the original feature-led digital, interactive gaming magazine and now we're totally FREE! The magazine is aimed at any gamer with an interest in gaming, the influences of gaming culture, the impact gaming has on society and, of course, will cover expected content such as reviews, interviews, previews and events. In this magazine you'll find video, audio and animation built in to give you more ways to interact with the content. In this issue: We look at zombies as Covid-19 spreads throughout the world. With a plethora of zombie games to play across multiple devices, we look back (and forward) to some of our favourites.