Left4Dead: Xbox or PC?

Left4Dead, Valve’s latest title to utilize the Source engine, is already developing a following, especially within the Steam (Valve’s content delivery and online gaming system). While we still don’t know if the game will be good, great, or mediocre, a lot of people seem to agree: It won’t be bad.

When Valve announced it plans to release the title on both the Xbox360 and Steam, some of us found ourselves engaged in an age-old argument now directly specifically at Valve, and their Source-engine titles. Looking from a financial standpoint, there is no arguing what the company stands to gain from releasing Left4Dead on a console, however what does the gamer have to gain from it? So this is a big question for gaming community. There are several pros and cons with both the gaming platform which can not be ignored by anyone. To help you decide what is best for you according to you gameplay and budget, xe88 is the best option that is out there in the market.

Xbox: While it may be more relaxing to play the game while laying on a couch, and holding a controller rather than hunched over a computer desk, that lounge-like set up can be emulated by a clever gamer, with HD or S-video cords, a wireless mouse and keyboard. Consoles, to my experience, are also usually more reliable than computers, in terms of connection loss, and system errors. The last benefit I can think of is that some PC users may have to scale down the levels of detail to the run the game smoothly, but all of the console gamers are ensured the exact same experience as each other (although some may remember that the Orange Box’s Xbox360 version was about the same as a PC set to medium detail, Left4Dead will probably follow this example).

PC: The benefits of PC are a different story. The hordes of gamers used to Half-Life 2, Day of Defeat, CounterStrike, Portal and Valve’s other titles with heavy PC following will probably have an easier time mastering Left4Dead. Another one of the biggest advantages is the Steam content delivery system itself. Those who buy the game on Steam won’t have to be wait in any lines, or preorder the game to play it on it’s release date, and they will also have the benefit of never needing a disc, or worrying about losing or destroying their game. Steam automatically rebuilds the necessary files, if anything gets deleted (or is deleted because of corruption). The last pro-steam point would be that traditionally, games purchased over Steam are usually $5-$10 less expensive than their console counterparts (the Orange Box again provides an example of this).

The biggest selling point of the PC version, however, isn’t Steam’s benefits, it isn’t comfort, and it isn’t reliability. It’s the one thing Source games have become known for. Custom content. According to most recent announcements, the game will ship with four campaigns, and for the Xbox users, that is it for awhile. However, given the availability and number of people proficient with the Source Standard Development Kit and the map-editor, Hammer, the PC crowd can undoubtedly expect a plethora of user-made modifications, new maps, and possibly even models. Eventually, the core game scripting itself will be subject to user modification, for better or worse.

In closing, while both the PC and Xbox versions of the game will probably have their benefits, and using the Orange Box as the precedent, I would recommend the PC release, since it offers the one thing the Xbox will always have difficulty offering: the versitility and replayability a game achieves when it is subject to modification and custom content. Two weeks after Left4Dead is released, and all the people who bought it the day it came out have beaten the game, gotten most of the achievements, and figured out how their ‘revolutionary’ director-AI thinks, the PC-players will already have a handful of good new maps (and about a thousand made out of orange rectangles) to play.