The Blood Harvest campaign is one of my all-time favorite campaigns. So revisiting it has felt like returning home to an old friend after many years apart. Although some of my opinions of the Blood Harvest campaign have changed, many of my thoughts and feelings haven’t changed a bit.
This article is part of the Left 4 Dead collection. You can check out the whole collection here.
Revisiting Blood Harvest
Going through the game to complete various articles for the Left 4 Dead project has me looking at different levels. Taking a look at each level again has made me realize I hated some levels that were awesome and loved some levels that have not been fun to replay. For this article I replayed Blood Harvest twice: Both times I found myself having a fantastic time.
It had me wondering: What makes the Blood Harvest campaign so good? Why don’t I mind replaying this campaign repeatedly?
When it comes down to thinking about my reasons for liking the Blood Harvest campaign it comes down to a couple of things. First, the campaign is fluid and the beginning and ending make sense. Second, you can tell the designers had a clear goal in mind when crafting the Blood Harvest campaign. Third, the last level of the campaign is fun.
A fluid campaign from start to finish.
As you travel through Blood Harvest you will venture through farm buildings, a corn field, and other dense areas. At the end of the campaign, you will defend a farm while waiting for a truck to pick you up.
Blood Harvest is not a vertical level: There are some moments when you can climb to a second floor of a building. However, it is not like No Mercy or Dead Air where you are constantly climbing things to get to where you need to go: This is a boon for the Blood Harvest campaign.
Blood Harvest feels like the designers had a solid concept and they were able to put it together with ease.
The ending of Blood Harvest
Some of the Left 4 Dead campaigns have endings that feel like they drag on. Blood Harvest does not have that feeling, it never felt like it was overstaying its welcome. A big reason for that is because of how the ending level is structured.
Waiting for the truck by the farmhouse was fun: Blood Harvest is yet another level with a fun defense point. Infected people coming from all around the house add to the challenge and the excitement of the campaign.
Although Blood Harvest is one of the similar campaigns in Left 4 Dead, it shines because of the ambiance and the well-put-together level concept. For those reasons, I am going to give Blood Harvest 3/5 stars.
Before diving into this article I have to cover a few things. First, this article is part of the Left 4 Dead collection. You can view the collection here. Inside the collection, you will find level dives, reviews, and more.
Second, this article contains various YouTube videos and links to the Left 4 Dead wiki. I do not know the people who made the videos personally but be sure to give them a like and subscribe. They did amazing work.
What is a Character Dive?
A character dive is where I go over a character, their backstory, what I think of them, and any other information I find to be important about them. For this article I am going to do character dives for all four main characters: This means that this article is going to be pretty meaty!
The first time I played Left 4 Dead and saw the character list, Zoey was an instant pick for me. At the time it was because she was the only woman on the roster and since I am a woman I tend to gravitate toward female characters.
Over time my reasons for considering Zoey my favorite have shifted. Now that I am older, I pay more attention to the voice lines. Instead of playing Zoey because she is the only woman on the roster, I now play her because she is a likable and relatable character. Her relationships with the other characters are notable. It’s her relationship with Bill that has me appreciating their characters more.
Who is Zoey?
Zoey is a college student who was studying film on a scholarship. Her official age is not stated but I am guessing she is at least 19 years old if not slightly older.
Her parents were divorced. Zoey had a closer relationship with her father who was a movie lover and a cop. Her relationship with her father makes her relationship with Bill make a lot of sense.
Zoey was light hearted and seemingly carefree with the other survivors until Bill died. In the Passage campaign you can hear the way her personality has shifted. She takes on the role of a leader within the group, and becomes more confident standing up for herself.
Now that we have covered who Zoey is we can properly discuss her character. I did not have the chance to read any of the comics for this project so I am using the wiki, game, and YouTube to form my opinions. It will be like this for all of the survivors.
Her likeability is her biggest strength.
Zoey is extremely likable: She often jokes with other survivors and the backstory you get through her voice lines makes her seem endearing. Her comments about being the last woman on earth are funny and I can understand where she is coming from, making the comment even better.
When she calls for the survivors to get inside the safe room you can hear the urgency in her voice. She clearly wants her friends to be safe and needs everyone to hurry up so she can relax for a second. Her voice actress nailed all of Zoey’s voice lines, I rarely ever find her annoying to listen to (aside from the almost there voice line.)
The way she speaks to the other survivors is interesting.
When speaking to Francis and talking about a first aid kit she will sometimes say “Francis, if you aren’t going to use that first aid kid, can I have it?”
When speaking to Bill about his first aid kit she will sometimes say, “come on man, use your first aid kit.”
When speaking to Louis she will sometimes say, “Louis, if you aren’t gonna use that first aid kit, can I have it, please?”
The choice to have Zoey and the rest of the survivors have voice lines like these makes them pop and come alive. One of my favorite voice lines that she has goes like this…
When reviving a survivor: “Alright tiger, up and at ‘em. Nobody’s leaving anyone behind, you’re going to be fine, but we gotta keep moving.”
There are numerous examples of Zoey being a likable character. She is eager to help her fellow survivors and is not in a rush to leave anyone behind. It is because of these qualities that I think she stands out from the rest of the Left 4 Dead survivors.
Bill is a 60+-year-old combat veteran who I used to hate when I was younger. I could not stand his attitude or any of his voice lines, and I did not understand his character. Hearing him speak would make me cringe or roll my eyes. In truth, Bill was my second most hated character in the whole game.
However, while working on this project my thoughts and feelings about Bill changed significantly. I no longer see him as an annoyance, but as the group’s unofficial leader who is holding the group together. Bill is an important character who serves a greater purpose.
I misjudged Bill and this time during my playthrough it hurt to sacrifice him. Especially when hearing the voice lines from the other characters.
Who is Bill?
Bill is a 60+ year old combat veteran. He fought in the Vietnam war: This experience has proven to be extremely valuable.
Bill is an absolute badass who fought his way out of a veterans hospital after a nurse became infected.
Although his relationship with Zoey is the one relationship he seems to treasure the most, Bill does everything in his power to keep the other survivors alive.
Now that I don’t hate Bill’s character, thinking about him always seems to send me down a mental rabbit hole. I find his character to be extremely important to the group and Bill sets up for Zoey having a personality shift: I believe this would lead to more character growth if Left 4 Dead 3 was ever made (I can dream.)
Bill and the War
Bill served two duties during the Vietnam war. His time serving has made him uniquely equipped to handle the infected: Bill is very adamant that fighting the infected is not the same as fighting humans. I believe his experience is why he became the group’s unofficial leader.
Bill has an extremely close relationship with Zoey and he goes out of his way to make sure she is safe. Their relationship comes through in a variety of voice lines. If I had to guess, Bill had a daughter or something and Zoey has filled the role of being his surrogate daughter. I do not think Bill is attached to Zoey just because she is the only woman in the group. I believe this relationship is important not only for the game but also for the player. Characters having connections, especially in team based games with a limited roster, help the player become closer to the characters as a whole.
Bill is interesting because I think his combat experience might have been his biggest boon but also a hindrance to his character development. Bill would do anything to keep his group alive even going as far as to leave other survivors behind to die. I think Bill being sacrificed completes his character’s ultimate goal of making sure his group is safe, no matter the cost.
Francis is one of those characters I just don’t care about. I am indifferent to his existence and find his character to be flat. When I was younger I was drawn to his “cool personality” and how he treated the infected through each campaign.
For me, Francis does not get more interesting until he interacts with the Left 4 Dead 2 cast. I will not be covering those interactions in this article.
Who is Francis?
Francis is a cocky biker with a horribly flat backstory. I am not going to dive into it but you can read it on the wiki.
Why won’t I dive into Francis?
I view Francis as being a “filler” character. He has some funny voice lines but overall I could do without him in the game completely. Unlike Bill and Zoey, Francis appears to be lacking a personality to dissect. Since I don’t find any aspects of his personality interesting I will send you to the wiki and to this YouTube video.
It is hard for me to attempt to discuss Francis. I understand his character type, his motivations before the apocalypse and I even find him funny sometimes: This is where everything I have to say about Francis ends.
I have to get this out of the way before we dive into Louis. I hate him. Every time Louis speaks he makes me cringe.
Louis is too positive. Almost every reaction he has is positive and despite hating this positivity I find Louis to be somewhat interesting.
Who is Louis?
Louis was a Junior Systems Analyst for his company’s IT department. He is a positive and upbeat character who always seems to know how to twist any situation to make it more positive.
Despite my hatred for Louis I do find him to be an interesting character. I believe his positivity is not a shield or coping mechanism. I think Louis is truly happy about the apocalypse. Of course he could just be a happy man, and all the power to him if that’s the case.
I find his lack of any real attachment to any of the other characters to be extremely interesting as well. Overall, I feel as though Louis was given the least amount of character out of the four survivors. It is a shame because I do think he could have been further developed through voice lines.
The character images came from the Left 4 Dead wiki.
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.
As a way of taking a step back from my Left 4 Dead project, I wanted to dive into my Steam 2022 recap. This article will contain the complete recap as well as some things I would like to accomplish in 2022.
Right off the bat, I am hit with Bloons Adventure Time TD: I have not gotten to talk about this game yet but it is one of my favorites of last year. Tower Defense is my favorite genre so it was quite a surprise to find one that I like so much.
Another pleasant surprise was Bloons TD 6. Like the Adventure Time game, Bloons TD 6 has stolen a place in my heart and is now a permanent download on my computer.
How I Compare
These stats surprise me because, for a lot of 2022, I did not have my ethernet cable hooked up to my computer. I thought I got to play way less and it turns out I am above average for these stats.
Other Interesting Stats
What do I spend my time Playing?
Tower Defense is by far my favorite genre when it is done correctly. I do not talk enough about the genre on this blog but I will get around to it. It is not surprising to me how much Tower Defense I played in 2022.
Open World Survival Craft is another one that is not much of a surprise. On Xbox, I like to spend my time playing Ark and Conan so it was no surprise to see I tend to do the same on Steam. Management is yet another genre I am not surprised to see, some of my favorite games of 2022 were Management games.
I can ignore Zombies and Creature Collecting for the time being. Most of the Creature Collector games I got to play were extremely underwhelming. The Zombie games likely came from Left 4 Dead since I am doing a project on those games.
As for FPS, I want to get better at shooting with a mouse overall, and I am happy to see I was working towards that goal in the first place. Overall I am happy to see these stats even though they confirm what I already know.
I would like to broaden my horizons for 2023 and expand to some genres I do not typically play or outright ignore.
Diving into March I got to play a lot of games. Some of them I liked and some of them I regretted buying.
As I said at the start of this article, Bloons Adventure Time TD is one of my favorite games of 2022. I would wager that it is one of my favorite tower defense games ever. I will eventually cover it on this blog this year. Go Home Dinosaurs was another pleasant surprise! You can check out the full review and the mini-review right now!
I am not going to get into Automachef here although I think it is a great game. Left 4 Dead started in March and I believe that is when I started my Left 4 Dead project.
Toadled is such a stupid game: With that being said it is a lot of fun and a great way to kill time when you don’t know what you want to play. Ion Fury is another game that is really fun and I have to finish it.
Glyph is one of my favorite indie games of 2022. I will admit that I suck at it but the art style and simplistic gameplay have drawn me in. If you like to build dioramas you might enjoy Diorama Builder.
ToeJam and Earl turned me off the moment I started playing. I want to dive in and give it some more time before tossing it in the trash pile. Fun with Ragdolls is one of the worst bundle games I got during 2022.
As I was cleaning out my backlog I got to play classics like; Super Duper Party Pooper and Luke SideWalker. None of these games are exceptional, and I likely won’t cover a single one on the blog anytime soon, but they are a great way to kill time.
Unfortunately, I did not get to play Fling to the Finish because it did not have matchmaking when I fired it up for the first time.
Finally, to close out the month of March I got to play Monsters’ Den Godfall: A game that I remember nothing about and will have to revisit. RollerCoaster Tycoon Deluxe: A game that I could not get to run on my computer. Bloons TD5: A fun game that I mostly play on the Xbox since I have the sixth game on Steam.
I have already spoken about Bloons Adventure Time TD so I won’t dive into it more. TinkerTown was a bundle game I was looking forward to and honestly it let me down.
Chromagun was such a pleasant surprise. It is a fun puzzle game that I would love to cover on the blog.
Coromon is a fun game, I mostly play it on the Nintendo Switch. Popup Dungeon did not sit well with me, no matter how long I tried to play it.
The Rest of the Year and Moving Forward
For the rest of the year, I got to try other games, most of them were indie games. As for 2022, I had a lot of fun with gaming in general. Although there were some major disappointments, as an overall experience I can say I learned a lot.
Going through this recap has made me realize there is a lot I want to do with this blog and not an unlimited amount of time to do it. At the start of this year, I was considering covering more AAA games but I now realize I am happy trying what looks interesting. Finally, I look forward to experimenting with article types and growing this blog to what I know it can be.
Left 4 Dead has a variety of levels and they could be better. So far I have reviewed two levels and I have been having a good time with the game. As time goes on I am starting to notice my nostalgia fading away.
The more I analyze this game the more I realize two things: Left 4 Dead is still a fun game and it has an amazing versus mode. Second, the level design of Left 4 Dead leaves much to be desired.
Before diving into Death Toll I suggest playing it on a harder difficulty. Portions of the level feel like they are empty if you are not playing on at least normal.
This level is part of the Left 4 Dead collection. You can view the collection here.
Why I loved Death Toll
When I was younger Death Toll and Blood Harvest were two of my favorite levels in Left 4 Dead. No Mercy has since taken over as my favorite level in the game.
Traveling through the various levels and especially the church was my favorite part of going through Death Toll. The church defense is still a fun part of the level and something I was looking forward to doing when I fired the game up!
The Flatness of the level
Death Toll is flat: Meaning that the level itself is bland to look at and play through. It became clear to me the moment the game started that I was not going to have fun the same way I used to.
The colors the level does have are alright. Left 4 Dead is not a colorful game and I am okay with that, it is something that drew me into the game in the first place. But something about the lack of “pop” is killing me for this level.
It is hard for me to explain but something about how the Death Toll level is not fun to navigate. Not only is it predictable but it is also bland to look at.
The final stage
Waiting for the boat at the end of the level sucks. For some reason, I have no problem with the ending-level defense for the other games but this boat was so boring.
Although the level feels empty throughout, the final stage is particularly irritating. For these articles, I am playing on normal and everything feels empty. The ending stage was no different. The few zombies that did spawn were easily killed with a single pipe bomb.
Everything about waiting for the boat was boring. Leading up to getting on the boat was boring. Death Toll went from one of my favorite levels to one of my least favorite levels during one playthrough.
Death Toll is probably better with friends, but as a solo experience, it did not stand the test of time for me. I do look forward to playing the rest of the levels, but I will not be replaying this one.