This past Friday, a few Counter-Strike maps were leaked, but the Left 4 Dead prototype was the most interesting piece of information taken from the breach. It wasn’t just information that was leaked, but also a fully functional and playable prototype for the game.
This early version of the game, named Zombie City, is a modification for the popular first-person shooter video game Counter-Strike: Source. The prototype can be found on GameBanana if you are interested in trying it out. The mod description reads:
Zombie City is a map created by Valve (or possibly Turtle Rock Studios) that was part of the map sources folder that was released today. This is probably the starting point for Left 4 Dead, and those of you who have already heard the name Terror-Strike will love to play this prototype level.”
For context, Turtle Rock Studios, fresh off their contract on Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (for Valve), was already planning their next project and had a couple of ideas they wanted to pitch to the company. The first was a canceled first-person wizard game, while the second was a mod for Counter-Strike that made the counter-terrorists into robotic armies who attacked in waves using only knives. This was named as Terror-Strike, which served as the prototype for Left 4 Dead.
Initially, the mode wasn’t playable, but there were a few tweaks made by modder Wolfcl0ck to turn it into something that is playable. He said:
My upload fixes a texture by adding a new material for it. I have also created an overview texture, generated a nav mesh, and added a level description, all of which are conveniently packed into the bsp itself for maximum convenience.”
The first Left 4 Dead was created by Turtle Rock Studios (formerly known as Valve South) and released in 2008 and received positive reviews, prompting a sequel. Left 4 Dead 2 was released in 2009, however since then, there hasn’t been much heard from the developers about this particular series.
Even if this leak included a game that has been forgotten by most people, it is still fascinating to watch how the concept developed. Leave your opinions on the game too in the comments, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted as more information becomes available.