I was never designed to be a gamer. I have the coordination skills of a donkey in ice skates, I over-think things and I jump at everything. Before I discovered PC Gaming, I used to play platformers and Worms Armageddon on the Play Station 2. First Person Shooters never really appealed to me, especially since it’s damn hard aiming with a console controller unless you have some sort of aim assist. Not that I ever really played one. Siphon Philter was probably the closest thing I played to a FPS and in that, I just set everyone on fire with the taser.
I picked up Left 4 Dead because I’d seen my brother playing it. At the time, I had a very basic laptop. It had a weak integrated graphics card and not very much RAM. The bare minimum to run Left 4 Dead, as I later found out. Bought the game in a shop and took it home, all excited.
After letting the CD run, I created a Steam account and realised I needed to download more stuff. I wasn’t too sure why, but oh well. It took bloody forever to get the game started and by the time it was running, I was already confused.
My first step into the world of FPS was in the options menu. The main menu alone was slightly laggy, so I assumed I may need to turn some settings down. I guessed and put everything on the lowest settings possible. I left the game in Full Screen mode, because I didn’t know what windowed mode was and didn’t particularly care. The game was running in 800×600 resolution. Despite the low graphics, I was pleased.
Because I had no idea what I was doing, I decided to start at, well, the start. No Mercy, first level, on my own with a bunch of bots. I picked Francis because, well, why not? The cutscene opened and played surprisingly smoothly. Suddenly I find myself on a rooftop with a bunch of people and some guns. Of course, I’d been smart enough to set the difficulty to easy. That’s where the problems started.
To a PC gamer, the idea of using a mouse to aim and a keyboard is rather simple, but to me, I was clueless. My first steps were spent trying to get to grips with doing more than one thing at once. I staggered over to the table and picked up one of the guns at random. It looked like an SMG of sorts.
And so it began. I inched my way through the first level of No Mercy. I completely failed to jump across that hole in the floor in the apartments and slowly edged my way along to the next level, letting the bots do most of the work. On this first part, nothing exciting happened, apart from saving Zoey from a Hunter.
So I made it to the safe house and limped my way down into the subway. I decided to switch weapons and pick up, I dunno. I looked shotgunny so I took it. Everything was going pretty well, as we’d managed to keep the infected (I learned early on not to call them zombies) bottle-necked within the wrecked train carriages. That’s when I heard crying. I’d seen the witch in the intro video. Not sure how to approach, I decided to skirt around her and leave her be.
But no, Zoey decided to startle the witch, who for some reason went after me.
Then my game crashed.