My very first first person experience was a very long time ago, when I played Left 4 Dead back in 2009. I crawled through the map of No Mercy, and although I never made it to the hospital in my first attempt, the feeling of terror and thrills that the game gave me stuck around for a very long time. I never ended up playing much Left 4 Dead in general, due to it being a game where you want decent people to play with, but later play-throughs cemented that feeling. No Mercy will always be my favourite Left 4 Dead campaign.
It actually look me a long time to discover that Mercy Hospital featured elsewhere. Part of me wanted to believe that the hospital seen in the Meet the Medic teasers was in fact Mercy Hopsital, but that clearly was not the case. The hospital does apparently appear in Organ Trail as an Easter egg, or am I thinking of a different game? But the biggest, most impressive appearance of Mercy Hospital was in PAYDAY, the original game. As one of the official missions.
I suppose it makes sense, really. PAYDAY actually plays a bit like Left 4 Dead. Just four people, trying to do shit. aabicus first described PAYDAY to me as Left 4 Dead with zombies that shoot back at you. There’s a bit more to it than that, but the basics were all there. Quiet moments, loud moments, crescendo events, running for your life, knowing when to run and when to take cover… and so on.
Sadly, because I’m an easily distracted person, I didn’t actually play PAYDAY for a long time. Someone got it for me for my birthday and aabicus, after explaining the vague basics and throwing me in at the deep end, played Panic Room with me. But still, I didn’t play No Mercy.
In fact, my first experience of No Mercy was watching aabicus play it with three maxed out other players, playing the hard core Overkill mode. They did something wrong and all died after a swarm of Dozers and Shields burst in as they tried to drill something.
Eventually, I got to play. I had a small idea of what I had to do, remembering from the video, but really, I was trying on aabicus, Wicket and a random person called Lolita. All of them over level 150. And there I was, at level 6, having gained that from the Diamond Heist and the Counterfeit Heist prior (because for some reason, my stats had reset and I was back at level 0 again).
The plan was simple. Take out the security cameras in under 7 seconds. Get everyone on the floor and take hostages. Get information on the patient. Get a disguise so you can pretend to be doctors. Find the ill guy and get blood samples. Validate the blood samples. Escape. Sounds easy, right?
Okay, to be fair, the first part of the mission was kinda easy. We all took a spot, counted down then shot all the cameras. Then there was a TON of shouting “GET DOWN EVERYONE!” at people. Sometimes the civilians would try and get up but the constant shouting kept them down. After a small wait, we got the information we needed, then went and got some scrubs to disguise ourselves.
Amazingly, when we enter the next area, no one has any clue what happened even though they’re only like a corridor away.
We start listening to a doctor, who describes three patients to us. We have to work out which one is the right one, based on her descriptions. None of us are sure (and the hints aren’t great) but thankfully we pick the right one. I’m told not to shoot anyone for six seconds, then we grab some blood samples and put them in random blood validator things scattered around, while police start to pour in.
While everyone else is running around with the blood samples, I stand by a wall and provide some cover fire. The power goes off, everyone rushes to get it back on. Then the power goes off again and everyone rushes to get it back on. Finally, we get the blood samples we need, only to find that we need to wait for the elevator, which stops and starts on every floor.
With the elevator ready, we discover that cops are evacuating civilians. I run to the wrong elevator, nearly die but just make it to the right one. I accidentally killed a hostage but there were like 20 FBI agents shooting at me and the hostage got up and ran in front of them.
Turns out, the army has come in, and they’re BOMBING THE DAMN HOSPITAL. I MEAN WHAT THE FUCK I KNOW WE’RE DANGEROUS BUT YOU’RE GOING TO GET EVERYONE KILLED.
The elevator we are in falls a long way and we hit the ground. Wicket and aabicus use crowbars to pry open an escape hatch and we jump down into the darkness below, hoping that I don’t die from the fall damage. Luckily, I don’t.
After that, it’s a terrifying sprint to the exit, and we rush off to safety, our heist a success.
I leveled up three times during the mission, got a ton of loot and managed to have an accuracy rate of 25%, not bad for someone who can’t aim and is using a super inaccurate gun. Oh and I got some achievements too, which were what aabicus and Wicket were aiming for.
Mission accomplished. Why the hell did I not play this heist sooner?