A scene from the finale of ‘Left 4 Dead 2’. — AFP pic

LOS ANGELES, Dec 13 — Co-op zombie survival franchise Left 4 Dead could be coming back as a virtual reality project — but there’s no assurance the game will see the light of day.

Left 4 Dead VR is real,” according to Tyler McVicker, whose Valve News Network has become an essential stop-off for many fans of the often-mysterious game development company and its multiple franchises.

Valve Corporation owns and operates the Steam store, a computer gaming network and digital retailer, and both develops one of the world’s biggest eSports titles, Dota 2, which distributes tens of millions of dollars per year in tournament winnings.

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Prior to Dota 2, however, Valve was best known for a number of ongoing franchises, each of which helped redefine what video games were and could become: Team Fortress 2, Portal, Half-Life, Counter-Strike and Left 4 Dead among them.

Now that the Half-Life franchise is making a comeback through 2020’s VR adventure Half-Life: Alyx, speculation has turned to some of Valve’s other dormant or semi-dormant franchises.

Portal is associated with the Half-Life universe, while Counter-Strike remains a feature of the eSports scene.

What about Left 4 Dead? The co-op action adventure, set during a zombie apocalypse, managed to transcend its genre boundaries by incentivizing teamwork and second-guessed players with an adaptive AI orchestrating events behind the scenes.

Its lineage can be traced through to the Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide games, co-op asteroid mining and alien repelling quest Deep Rock Galactic, the Call of Duty zombies mode,and this week’s squad-based survival horror GTFO.

Now it seems that Left 4 Dead could be heading in the same direction as Half-Life, with studio staff having considered a virtual reality adaptation of the franchise and pursuing that goal to one degree or another.

That’s according to McVicker, speaking through his Twitter account to emphasise that “Left 4 Dead is real, not releasing.”

“This is Valve, the word releasing isn’t being used for a reason,” he clarified.

Left 4 Dead was released in 2008 and Left 4 Dead 2 in 2009. Much like Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead received three further updates — The Passing, The Sacrifice, and community pack Cold Stream — without adopting the standalone nature of Half-Life 2’s Episode 1 and 2.

“Half-Life: Alyx” has made it through the prototyping stage and is targeting a March 2020 release for PC-based VR headsets; Valve is including it for free for owners of its own high-end Valve Index system.

Thanks to the franchise’s fan community, Left 4 Dead 2 can already be played through a compatible VR headset via modifications available through the Steam Workshop. — AFP-Relaxnews



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