Left 4 Dead 'Dawn of the Dead'-Inspired Custom Campaign Released

By Alice O'Connor, Nov 02, 2009 1:10pm PST Dead Before Dawn, the much-anticipated Left 4 Dead fan-made campaign based on the Crossroads Mall of Zack Snyder's zombie remake Dawn of the Dead, was released this Halloween weekend and can be found in a 1.1GB download over on FileShack.

This first public beta contains five maps--the finale arrives in a future release--of zombie mall fun for co-op or versus, complete with new props, sounds, music, voice-overs and even a new line from Francis, on show in the following pre-release teaser trailer.

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  • Well, they put a LOT of work into this map; more custom textures and scenery than any other campaign I've seen as well as plenty of custom voice work. Very pretty and aside from the relative lack of cues for actions you need to take to, you know, actually progress through each level, the design is pretty darned good.

    There are some serious bugs, like when we died while closing the doors to the mall and it respawned us in the END safe room with a tank literally staring us in the face. Made me jump out of my chair.

    But yeah, there either needs to be a LOT more direction on what to do (or just more CLEAR directions) or they need to cut out some of the more complicated events.

    I mean really, what is the purpose behind making you flip two switches in two server rooms far away from each other AT THE SAME TIME besides just making it impossible to play on single player? What possible rationale could have been behind that? Make one of the switches turn the lights on and spawn a horde and be done with it, for God's sake. And then there's the air conditioning repair sequence... I half expected them to make us load a dishwasher next.

    Bu seriously, I have no doubt that it's going to be a great campaign sometime in the future; maybe even the best custom campaign so far. Bugs I can handle and I even expect from a beta, but they NEED to re-think some of the major design choices they made in forcing team mates to jump through hoops to trigger panic events, especially when they seem to hide the hoops just to make it that more frustrating.

    There's a difference between creating frustration and creating apprehension. They need to cut out the former and Keep It Simple, Stupid.

    I will say that it's better than I expected at this point, though. I hate to see a LOT of really, really, really hard work spoiled by a few bad decisions. But this just isn't really playable in its current form. I'd wait 'til the next release, at the very least.