Andrew and I tackled the first level of Valve’s co-op survival horror shooter, Left 4 Dead, on PC. In case you don’t already know how cool this game is, let me first just say that (if you didn’t catch it on our final E3 podcast) it was definitely the best thing I got my hands on at the show.

Zombies! From whence do they hail? We don’t really care. Honestly, do you really have time to care when there are like five of them mauling your face as you fire off desperation shots from your incapacitated position on the floor? Andrew didn’t, I can tell you that.

See, the problem was that after the four of us (Andrew, two others, and I) descended some stairs and made our way through a deserted… apartment? (That room was certainly a kitchen at one time…) we came out in an area with abandoned cars in the street. Tutorial pop-up tips were turned on–reminding us to help our buddies, grab med packs, and, in this instance, instructing us to NOT set off the car alarm.

We will never know which of us noobs instigated the horrible incident, but, of course, you already realize what happened: Irate zombies. Honestly, I don’t even remember hearing the alarm go off, I just remember seeing TONS of undead flood into the area, and then a moment after that, fending them off with my automatic, or a fist.

Assisting your gang-beaten friends is a dangerous proposition, since you have to hold a button for more than just a second. My tactic was to spray the immediate offenders with bullets and then cast around for incomers–which there pretty much always were, never giving me quite the opening I needed for a rescue. My poor bleeding comrades! Sorry, Andrew.

In the end, only two of us made it to the safe room, where we had to be reminded by the tutorial tips to close the door. Maybe AFTER the game ships on November 4th, after I practice diligently everyday– maybe then I will become a true zombie survivalist, instead of a lucky bastard.