Rookie of the Year - Left 4 Dead 2

Rookie of the Year: Blood Brothers

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The following is the latest in a series of journal entries chronicling the author’s descent into next-gen gaming degeneracy — from getting his first television in years to trying to figure out why the @$@”$)@ you need two goddamn directional pads just to walk down a fucking hallway.

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My first Team Unwinnable game night did not go as expected.

What did I expect? Well, for one, I expected to be teased mercilessly for my gaming inferiority. Instead, I held my own in a rousing game of Left 4 Dead 2 with Charles Moran, Ken Lucas and Don Becker – finishing in the middle of the pack in kills and often outlasting and even reviving my teammates.

But that was a mere footnote in an otherwise rather shocking evening of zombie-slaughtering insanity.

The real surprise?

There were two:

1. Despite our best, collective effort, we got absolutely shredded.

I mean, come on guys. I expected more out of all you. You write for a gaming site and strut around PAX East like you’re king shits, and yet I think we managed to reach one safe room, one time. The end.

To be fair, even in my limited experience with L4D2, I’ve never seen so many Boomers, Smokers, Hunters, Chargers, Tanks – and especially Witches – as we were inundated with in our two hours of online slashing. I suspect one of us – probably me, you’re all thinking – accidentally set the difficulty to Expert, or some Easter egg mode (Suicide? Nightmare?) that only kicks in when one member of your team has a gamer score under 500.

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Still, I expected to be wowed by my Unwinnable compatriots. I did not expect to hear a crestfallen Chuck or a defeated Don wave the virtual white flag over our Skype chat. Shame, shame… shame.

2. I thought playing a game online as a team would be more fun than playing as opponents. I was wrong.

By the end, all I wanted to do was shoot the fuck out of Ken Lucas. I mean turn my Uzi on him and pelt him with bullets until he fell to the floor, immobilized. I took Ken down at least three times, and each time was more satisfying than the last.

While I do thank Ken for choosing to revive me on one occasion when Chuck lay powerless just a few feet away, there was just a pure, simple joy in watching him crumple to the ground in a hail of my lead. It was also fun to watch Chuck’s arm explode into a bloody lake as I machine-gunned him from point-blank range.

Don? Don had signed off to play L.A. Noire by then.

But I’ll get him next time.


Matt Marrone was told he needs to buy a headset so he can chat with his fellow gamers without forcing everyone to sign on to Skype. But wearing one, he feels, would somehow make it even less likely he’ll ever have a girlfriend again. Follow The Rookie of the Year on Twitter @thebigm.


Games, Rookie of the Year