My favorite Left 4 Dead level is Blood Harvest with a close second being No Mercy: I am extremely biased. One level that I did not like when I was younger was Dead Air. In all honesty, I don’t remember why I disliked the level so much. But after replaying it I found it to be one of the best campaigns in the game.
This level review is part of the Left 4 Dead collection. You can view the whole collection here.
Amazing set design
Dead Air is a special campaign because of where it takes place. The survivors will be making their way to and through an airport. At the end of the level, they will have to help gas a plane so they can escape.
What makes Dead Air special is the way the campaign was put together. From the very beginning of the level, you can get a good sense of where the campaign is going. Although every campaign in Left 4 Dead has a distinct beginning and ending, Dead Air is one of the only campaigns to capture the theme of the campaign so well.
The Ambience is Superb
The set design by itself was never going to carry this campaign. The ambiance sets Dead Air up for success and puts its above other campaigns.
Going through the airport and eventually making it to the end of the level is when the ambiance hits. You can notice it throughout the whole level, but the ambiance will hit you at the end. If you look out to the city you can see just how bad the apocalypse actually is: The choice to include this was simply brilliant.
A couple of other things…
Going through this campaign I feel as though the game was extremely nice to me. I got more character banter, a better spread of the special infected, and more pipe bombs to use. All of these things made the campaign feel better in the long term.
The campaign filler did not leave much to be desired and it did not overstay its welcome. For example, moving the car out of the way so the survivors could access the hallway was a quick process. I never felt like Dead Air wanted to pad its runtime.
At the end of the campaign, you have to refuel a plane. Typically, I dread the endings to the campaigns because I find them boring unless you’re playing hard or expert. However, the ending to Dead Air does not leave me feeling bored. The open space provides a fun way to move about the level and the goal of the survivors makes sense. The ambiance of the final level is what ties Dead Air together in a fantastic way.
For all of these reasons, Dead Air is going to get three and a half stars. If you can only play one campaign you should consider Dead Air.