October 6, 2010

Valve Reviews: Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice

Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice
Writer(s): Various
Artist: Michael Oeming

“It’s Your Funeral”: Finally, the fourth chapter of the Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice web comic has been released, and after reading the story in its entirety (all 178 pages), I can safely say that it’s THAT damn good! I was a bit worried when the news first broke about part of the game being carried over to comics, but if all video game to comic translations were this good I wouldn’t have to worry! For those that don’t know or didn’t get a look at Andrew’s column (for shame!), the web comic version of The Sacrifice is the official story for the DLC (Downloadable Content) that Valve is putting out for PC, Mac, and the XBox 360 versions of the hit video game.

The story begins by showing one of the main characters in their last moments, as things then make the transition to flashback.  Zoey, Bill, Louis, and Francis have just fought their way through yet another horde of the undead, and have been picked up by a heavily armored military transport. They arrive at Millhaven, which is a heavily fortified installation where they are to be questioned. The soldiers at Millhaven haven’t had much contact with the outside, and when they hear reports from the survivors about the zombies that have further mutated, let’s just they’re a bit skeptical. Not to mention Command is having issues on how to treat the innocents located on the base that have come for safety or been herded to the base, and we have two men with varying opinions on what must be done.

The Lieutenant was part of the squad that rescued the four survivors, and he’s actually seen the new mutations out there, but the Major doesn’t believe his report either. So during the interrogation of Zoey and Bill, the Lieutenant does what he thinks is best and sounds the evacuation alarm, which the four survivors know will only call every type of zombie infected in the area to their location. Francis and Louis convince their guards to let them out, while Bill and Zoey fight their way to their friends with the help of the local Doctor. From then on it’s frantic running and shooting to stay alive and one step ahead of the infected that have plagued them for the past two weeks on their way from Philadelphia.

What makes this entire story great is that it takes what’s been established in the game and fleshes it out, but never loses the actual feel of the game. Which leads me to believe that the same people who helped make the character interaction in the video game so great also contributed to the comic as well. From Francis’s twisted sense of humor to Louis’s annoying optimism, the “voice” of the characters is carried over quite well. It was also great to see that Bill is like a surrogate father to Zoey, adding a lot more depth to both characters as we see certain interactions take place. The good people at Valve also took the time to explain certain things about the infection, as we learn more than origin stories about our four survivors as well.

Intestines, meet Hunter. Neck, meet Smoker.

Michael Oeming does a great job bringing his visual style to bear in all four chapters. The panel layout took some getting used to for me since I’m not really keen on the wide screen look for reading. Oeming did however mix it up a bit within the panels, which made for a better look altogether and kept it from getting static and boring. He captures the look and style of the game almost perfectly, and not just the explosive moments, but even when we just have a couple of characters sitting around and talking. Someone or something is in the panel that catches your eye so it’s not just a couple of heads going back and forth, unless it’s a close-up of course.

If you have never played Left 4 Dead, I’d still suggest you take a look and give it a try. Now, Andrew already told you the entire series is FREE to read on the Left 4 Dead site, so that’s more than enough incentive already, but it’s also just a great story that makes these characters that much more interesting and liked by the fans who play them in the games. Hopefully we can see something like this done just as well for the four survivors we met in Left 4 Dead 2 at some point in the future. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a few zombies to go and shoot in the face!

Infinite Speech



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gid Freeman, Gid Freeman. Gid Freeman said: Check out Valve and @Oeming 's Left 4 Dead webcomic review of The Sacrifice! #zombies […]

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  3. […] Valve Reviews: Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice Publisher: Valve Writer(s): Various Artist: Michael Oeming. “It’s Your Funeral”: Finally, the fourth chapter of the Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice web comic has been released, and after reading the story in its … Jan 01, 1970 12:00am […]

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