Campaigns (or movies) are grouped sets of environments used for gameplay in Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. Campaigns are aesthetically presented as if they are individual zombie movies, complete with a poster on the loading screen for each one, and usually consist of several chapters (also referred to as "levels" or "maps"). Chapters are typically played in order, following a narrative in which the Survivors travel from a start point in the midst of the zombie apocalypse to an end point where a rescue vehicle to safety awaits, surviving the onslaught of the Infected as they go. The exact process of experiencing a campaign's content depends on the gameplay mode being played, with some modes utilising single chapters of a campaign for each game rather than progressing from one chapter to the next.
Left 4 Dead initially released with four campaigns, while Left 4 Dead 2 initially released with five campaigns, with both games receiving additional downloadable campaigns after release. On Steam, downloadable campaigns are added to the games as free updates and are playable simply by purchasing and installing the games. On Xbox 360, downloadable campaigns must be purchased (excluding "The Last Stand" for the first game, which is available for free) and manually downloaded from the Xbox Live Marketplace.
The majority of the official campaigns encompass a larger narrative when played in a particular order, but this is not enforced by the game. The Director-based gameplay of the Left 4 Dead games encourages players to enjoy any campaign multiple times.
On the PC version of the game, custom community-made campaigns are also supported, which may vary in their structure compared to official campaigns (for example, some may simply serve as "map packs" for modes that only use a single chapter of a campaign per game, like Survival).
Left 4 Dead
At least one additional campaign was planned and partially developed, but ultimately was cancelled and not officially released as content for the game ― see below in Cut Campaigns.
The game's campaigns are listed below, in chronological order:
- "No Mercy" ― In Fairfield, after a narrow escape from the Infected, the Survivors focus on moving towards a Hospital for evacuation by a passing News 5 helicopter. The Survivors move from an apartment building to a subway station, then a sewer, then Mercy Hospital, before arriving at the "Rooftop Finale".
- "Crash Course" ― See below in Downloadable Campaigns.
- "Death Toll" ― The Survivors have finally made it to Riverside. Due to the pathway blocked on the abandoned highway, the Survivors follow the drainage system of Riverside, go to a church, traverse the town of Riverside, and finally arrive at a boathouse on the riverbank. There, the Survivors wait for rescue from a civilian fishing boat.
- "Dead Air" ― With the Survivors stranded in a large greenhouse full of Infected, they witness a plane fly by overhead. Deciding the best way to escape the city is via the airport, they make their way through a metropolitan area, over rooftops, a construction site, an air station terminal, and finally, a last stand at a Runway Finale. There, the Survivors see a C-130 Hercules plane that has run out of fuel, and needs help refueling.
- "Blood Harvest" ― Lost in the middle of a thick forest, the Survivors follow the path to a trainyard, and through a repair warehouse. Following the railway lines, they move past a bridge, a train station, and finally to a "Farmhouse Finale". With nobody in sight, the Survivors call via a radio to the military, and from there, wait for an armored personnel carrier to pick them up. But in the meantime, the Infected have discovered their location...
- "The Sacrifice" ― See below in Downloadable Campaigns.
- "The Last Stand" ― See below in Downloadable Campaigns.
- "The Last Stand" ― A non-canon one map campaign only available for survival mode involving a lighthouse setting. It consists of a what-if scenario involving the survivor's reaching a dead end with no way back. An expanded remake of the campaign, no-longer exclusive to survival mode, was later released for Left 4 Dead 2.
- "Crash Course" ― After escaping Fairfield in "No Mercy", the helicopter crashes in an area close to the abandoned highway in "Death Toll". With the pilot having fallen to the Infection, Zoey is forced to kill him mid-flight. Having survived the crash landing intact, the Survivors make their way across alleys to a garage where they find an armored delivery truck on top of a vehicle elevator, just out of reach.
- "The Sacrifice" ― The aftermath of "Blood Harvest" and the comic are told in "The Sacrifice". The Survivors arrive in a shipyard by train and must battle their way through constant hordes, an imprisoned Tank, and some rather bothersome birds in hopes of finding a working sailboat. Unfortunately, the almost flawless plan to raise the bridge and escape the largest horde anyone has ever witnessed goes awry after one of the generators malfunctions. In order to save the others, one of the Survivors must sacrifice themselves so that the others may proceed. Canonically, this Survivor is Bill, but in the campaign, anyone may do so. The campaign was also released at the same time for Left 4 Dead 2.
- "Dam It" ― An unfinished campaign developed by Turtle Rock Studios that was originally made to bridge the gap between "Dead Air" and "Blood Harvest". It is playable in its unfinished form via an add-on.
|"It slimed me! God damn it! I'm covered in goo!" |
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Having just survived an encounter with the Infected, the Survivors prepare themselves on a rooftop in Fairfield, only to hear a helicopter flying overhead announcing evacuation at the city's Mercy Hospital. Already acquainted with one another, the Survivors proceed to the hospital, and, after fending off the Infected, are picked up by the helicopter's pilot.
Minutes after escaping in the helicopter, the pilot turns into an Infected. After Zoey shoots the newly turned pilot, the helicopter crashes in the outskirts of Riverside, and the Survivors head off in search of a rescue vehicle. Finally, they discover an armored truck in a garage and use it to escape.
The Survivors are once again stranded when they discover that the bridge is destroyed. They abandon the truck and head into the town of Riverside. Along the way they find a crazy guy in a church and then find a boat house at a lake. The Survivors use this to call for rescue from John and Amanda Slater, two people with a nearby boat.
The Survivors are left to die by the Slaters in the city of Newburg, where the team takes shelter in a rooftop greenhouse. A low flying C-130 plane gives them hope that the local airport might still be running evacuations. Upon reaching the airport, the Survivors must defend it while the pilot prepares the plane for flight before escaping.
When the Survivors reach Allegheny National Forest, they decide to head towards a military rescue outpost. Upon reaching a farm house, the Survivors use a radio to request rescue from the military. They then hold off the infected until an armored personnel carrier picks them up and transports them to Millhaven's military base.
The military locks up the Survivors and a doctor explains to them that they are carriers. When Lieutenant Mora sounds the base's alarm to command retreat, the infected attack. Louis saves the lives of soldiers Jeff and Anne, who in return allow them to carry weapons to fight the infected with. Meanwhile, Bill, Zoey, and the doctor head towards the armory as well. They all meet up there and head across the base courtyard, towards an old train. When they get there, Jeff and Anne leave to go with the rest of the soldiers, whereas the Survivors and the doctor head towards the train. However, when they reach it, a Hunter kills the doctor, and the Survivors continue south on the train.
The train comes to a halt in Rayford, Georgia where the tracks end, where the Survivors' new plan is to find a boat and travel somewhere free of the infected. However, on the first boat, Louis finds a dozen Witches on board who nearly rip his leg off. They find another sailboat boat, but when they try to raise the obstructing bridge, one of the generators breaks down and the bridge stops halfway up. The Survivors now face an enormous horde plus 3 Tanks. Seeing that there's only one way this can end, Bill jumps down and fights his way to the generator that stopped and turns it back on, making sure that the bridge raises with the other 3 Survivors on it, but committing the ultimate sacrifice as the Infected eventually kill him. A little while later, the remaining three Survivors encounter four other Survivors who arrive in a racing stock car on the other side. They help them cross the bridge and see them on their way. When the other Survivors have left, Louis, Zoey, and Francis take the sailboat to inhabit islands far away from all of their troubles, and rest out until the apocalypse is over.
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2 currently has fourteen campaigns playable in all gameplay modes, six of which are from the original Left 4 Dead and two of which are non-canon campaigns developed with assistance from the fan community ― see below in Downloadable Campaigns.
The game's campaigns are listed below, in chronological order:
- "Dead Center" ― In Savannah, Georgia, four complete strangers find themselves caught up in the chaos of a recent outbreak of the deadly Infection currently sweeping across the United States. Just missing the last evacuation helicopter, they are forced to band together and head to the next known evacuation center at the mall. The Survivors shoot their way down through a burning hotel and through the Infected-swarmed city streets to a nearby shopping mall, where they find it overridden with zombies. With no other alternatives, they hope to use a famous race car being exhibited there to make their escape.
- "The Passing" ― See below in Downloadable Campaigns.
- "Dark Carnival" ― Upon finding the freeway out of Savannah blocked by abandoned cars, the Survivors were forced to leave their vehicle and make their way on foot to the nearby Whispering Oaks amusement park, still partially operational and crawling with Infected. As a patrolling rescue helicopter circles overhead, the Survivors must make their way down the park's midway, through the Tunnel of Love, over the tracks of a rollercoaster, and past the exhibition barns to reach the park's stadium, where the pyrotechnics display of a rock concert stage provides them with their only means of signaling the chopper pilot for help.
- "Swamp Fever" ― Unfortunately for the Survivors, the helicopter pilot that rescued them from Whispering Oaks succumbed to the Infection, and they are forced to kill him and crash-land the chopper in the Mississippi bayou. Finding evidence that rescue may be waiting deeper in the swamp, the Survivors must trek through an abandoned alligator farm, an airliner crash site, and a ramshackle shantytown where the local swampfolk made their last stand against the Infected. Eventually, they reach a giant plantation house, where they must hold off the relentless hordes of Infected until a kindly skipper named Virgil arrives with a rescue boat to take them to a rumored safe zone in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- "Hard Rain" ― As the evening sun begins to set, the Survivors learn that their rescue boat doesn't have enough fuel to reach New Orleans. Virgil drops them off in the derelict town of Ducatel, Mississippi to look for more fuel. Their situation is further complicated by forgetting to bring signal flares to indicate that they have retrieved the fuel, as well as the sudden onset of a torrential downpour, the first sign of an incoming hurricane. The Survivors must move through the suburban streets teeming with Infected and a half-demolished, Witch-infested sugar mill to reach a gas station. After obtaining the fuel, they must then make their way back through the sugar mill and the town, both now flooded by the storm, to return to the dock, signal Virgil with the illuminated sign from a nearby Burger Tank, and escape before the full force of the storm hits them.
- "The Parish" ― Virgil, who rescued the Survivors in "Swamp Fever" and "Hard Rain", leaves them in New Orleans as he goes in search of more Survivors. The Survivors find the city completely overrun by the Infected. They have to make their way through the streets of the French Quarter, the military's abandoned quarantine zone, and an aboveground cemetery until they finally arrive at a partially collapsed table bridge. On the other side is a military helicopter waiting to take the Survivors out of the city to a flotilla of military-commandeered cruise ships in the Gulf of Mexico, where the last remnants of humanity in the area have regrouped, safe in the knowledge that the Infected can't swim.
- "The Passing" ― After escaping the mall in "Dead Center", the Survivors are stopped by a raised bridge. They encounter the Left 4 Dead Survivors taking shelter on the bridge, who inform the new Survivors that they will lower the bridge if the generator is refilled with gasoline. The Survivors make their way through the streets and buildings, past an interrupted wedding ceremony, through some sewers, to the generator, where they discover that one of the Survivors at the bridge has passed away. With combined effort from everyone, the generator is filled, and the Survivors were able to lower the bridge to continue their adventure onwards in their stolen race car.
- "The Sacrifice" with "No Mercy" ― A port of said campaigns from the first game (see above for descriptions). "The Sacrifice" is the only campaign to be released for both Left 4 Dead and its sequel at the same time.
- "Cold Stream" with the original Left 4 Dead campaigns ― A DLC Pack which includes a non-canon campaign developed with assistance from the fan community, as well as ported versions of "Death Toll", "Dead Air", "Blood Harvest" and "Crash Course".
- "The Last Stand" ― A remake of the survival campaign from Left 4 Dead developed by the community, it features a what-if scenario where the Left 4 Dead survivors take a different path. The pack also comes with 26 new survival maps and 4 new scavenge maps.
The Survivors begin their trek on the top of a hotel, watching what was supposed to be their rescue helicopter fly away, leaving them stranded in Savannah, Georgia. They make their way down to ground level via elevator, and introduce themselves on the way down. They then decide to head to a local mall said to be an evacuation station for CEDA. Along the way, they aid a 60-year-old man by delivering bottles of cola in exchange for firearms and a clear path to the evacuation station. Once at the mall, they discover that it was overrun with Infected and the health stations destroyed. With nowhere else to go, they fuel up a racing stock car put up for a show and make their escape.
The Survivors now meet another group of people near a bridge, which needs to be lowered to continue; however, a generator which is on the other side of the bridge must be filled first to activate it. The Survivors then walk by a park and into an apartment complex, which leads them to a wedding gazebo, where they encounter The Bride Witch. After a long walk in the once-busy streets, they are forced to move underground and through the sewers. After reaching the surface, the Survivors once again meet the second group, which tells them to collect gas canisters to fill up the generator to lower the bridge, while they are swarmed by the Infected. When full, the bridge was lowered and the Survivors ran back to the car and escaped once again.
The sun set and the Survivors were forced to abandon the car and travel on foot, due to the highway being clogged with abandoned vehicles. In the distance, they see search lights, so they make their way towards them in hopes that there will be someone around who can help. They discover the source of the lights to be a carnival which they traverse, finding nothing but Survivor-hating Infected. Overhead, a helicopter was heard, so they followed it until they reached the stadium, where they use lighting equipment and loud rock-and-roll music to inform the pilot of their presence. The plan works, and the Survivors were rescued by the pilot. However, this was only true until he began turning pale and attempted an attack.
In self-defense, and perhaps protecting of his comrades, Nick killed the now-infected pilot, sending the helicopter crashing near some boxcars and a shantytown located in the heart of the Mississippi swamps. The Survivors go through an abandoned swamp city, go across a river in a mechanical ferry, head through the swamps and bayou swarming with Infected, and reach the swamp town. Unfortunately, the Survivors find out that the town did not last and was overrun by the Infection. Through the advice of previous Survivors' graffiti, the quartet make their way to a Plantation house, where they were able to contact a boat captain to come and pick them up. They make it out alive, and continue down the Mississippi River, on their way to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Unfortunately, their ship was running low on fuel, and was incapable of reaching New Orleans. The Survivors were dropped off on the coast of a small suburban town named Ducatel with the task to find fuel for the boat engine. Unfortunately, the gas station across the street was out of diesel and a sign told them that the next available gas is two miles away on the other side of a Witch-infested sugar mill. Along the way, the clouds started to roll in and rain starts to fall a little. Once they've gotten the gas needed to fuel their ship, a downpour starts up, and the roads begin to flood, forcing the Survivors to find other paths among the higher ground to make it back to the docks. Left without a method of signaling the success of their mission, they use the lights of a fast food restaurant, called the Burger Tank, to alert their vessel instead. Their plan works, and they were able to make it safely back onto the boat with enough fuel to reach their destination.
After a night's rest on their floating vessel, the Survivors reach New Orleans midday and set off to a supposed military evacuation set up on Veterans Memorial Bridge. After traveling through the city that the Infected took over, they soon become victims of their own saviors as the military began dropping bombs in the city. After ducking and dodging bombs, they reach the bridge, where they are able to contact soldiers via a radio clutched in the hand of a dead man. They were provided clearance to cross the bridge to the evacuation helicopter on the other side of the bay. They finally find themselves flying away from their troubles, and making it out to safety as the bridge they were just on is bombed, and collapses into the bay.
Once each level in a campaign is completed, players are presented with several awards. These awards are purely cosmetic and do not affect gameplay. Only the most relevant will be shown. If the level was restarted, the stats only show the numbers for the final, successful run.
- General Defense ― Killed the most Infected.
- Tank Slayer ― Did the most damage to the Tank.
- Least Damage Taken ― Took the least amount of damage.
- Protector ― Protected the most teammates.
- Witch Hunter ― Did the most damage to the Witch.
- Headhunter ― Got the most headshots.
- Special Killer ― Killed the most Special Infected. In Left 4 Dead, this is only shown if there were no Tanks or Witches in the chapter.
- Most Careful Teammate ― Lowest friendly fire incidents.
Note: The following are only given in Versus Mode.
- Total Damage ― Did the most damage to the Survivors.
- Boomer Damage ― Did the most damage as a Boomer.
- Hunter Damage ― Did the most damage as a Hunter.
- Smoker Damage ― Did the most damage as a Smoker.
- Hunter Pounces ― Pounced the most Survivors.
- Tank Punches ― Punched the most Survivors.
- Most Vomit — Vomited on the most Survivors.
- Survivor Drags ― Dragged the most Survivors.
Left 4 Dead 2 Only
These awards can only be found in Left 4 Dead 2. All the Left 4 Dead awards may still be shown based on relevance.
- Melee Fighter — Most kills with a Melee weapon
Note: The following are only given in Versus Mode.
- Spitter Damage — Did the most damage as a Spitter.
- Charger Damage — Did the most damage as a Charger.
- Longest Jockey Ride — The longest amount of time a Jockey rode a single survivor.
- Longest Tongue Pull — The longest amount of time a Smoker pulled a single survivor.
- Note: This replaces the previous "Smoker Damage" award.
Left 4 Dead
|Survive any campaign on Expert.|
|WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO PROVE?||(35G)|
|Survive all campaigns on Expert.|
|NO-ONE LEFT BEHIND||(20G)|
|Beat a campaign with all 4 Survivors.|
|Survive an entire campaign using only pistols.|
|Survive a campaign with no Survivors taking damage from Special Infected.|
|Finish a campaign without being healed by a first aid kit.|
|Survive a campaign without being incapacitated.|
|DO NOT DISTURB||(20G)|
|Sneak past all Witches in a campaign without disturbing one.|
|Play an entire campaign with no Survivors taking friendly fire damage.|
|All Survivors complete a campaign without being vomited on.|
Left 4 Dead 2
|THE REAL DEAL||(35G)|
|Survive a campaign on Expert skill with Realism mode enabled.|
|STILL SOMETHING TO PROVE||(35G)|
|Survive all campaigns on Expert.|
|CONFEDERACY OF CRUNCHES||(30G)|
|Finish a campaign using only melee weapons.|
- If at least one Survivor makes it out of the campaign alive, credits will roll. If all of the Survivors escape, text stating "The Survivors have escaped!" will appear (see image above). However, if any of the Survivors do not make it to the escape vehicle, this text will be replaced with: "In memory of:". This will then be followed by the name(s) of the deceased Survivor(s). Following either of those scenarios, the credits will continue with information such as:
- Total time played
- Number of times the game restarted (when all of the 4 Survivors are "dead")
- Difficulty (when game ends)
- Which Survivor is played by which player. If the Survivor did not reach the rescue vehicle, the text (Deceased) will appear after the Survivor's name.
- How many times each Survivor died as well as incapacitated (failing to enter the rescue vehicle counts as one death, but being revived by a Defibrillator doesn't)
- Who took the least damage
- Who revived, protected, or healed the most teammates
- How many grenades (Pipe Bomb, Molotov, Bile jar) were used by each Survivor
- How many healing items used by each player (First aid kits used on other Survivors do not count)
- How many of each Special Infected each Survivor killed (except for Witches and Tanks in Left 4 Dead and the Xbox 360 version of Left 4 Dead 2)
- How many Witches each Survivor startled
- Who has the least friendly fire incidents
- The number of Common Infected each Survivor killed
- Each Survivor's accuracy by percentage of shots that hit Infected.
- Each Survivor's head-shot percentage of all shots that hit.
- Note that the statistics shown in the end credits include those from attempts where survivors perished and the level was restarted. This is in contrast to the awards shown on the end of levels before the finale (General Defense etc), which only include numbers from the successful attempt.
- As a humorous reference to normal movie credits, the total amount of Infected killed is mentioned at the end as "[#] zombies were harmed in the making of this film". This counts every Infected that died in game, no matter what caused their death. An example is shown below:
- On the Left 4 Dead 2 campaign posters, if you read carefully at the bottom, you can find humorous Easter eggs. "Dead Center" states that stunts were coordinated by Jimmy Gibbs Jr., "Dark Carnival" thanks the Midnight Riders for composing original music, "Swamp Fever" thanks a band called "Plantation House" for original music, "The Passing" and "Hard Rain" state that they are based on novels by "Edmund Ducatel" and "The Parish" states that it was produced by "Tharmy Burns-Bridges". Each name is a subtle reference to the campaigns aforementioned.