| Chapter 4|
|Death Toll Chapter Chronology|
- "Poor bastards barricaded themselves inside the city. All it musta took was one infected..."
- "If you ignore the crazy guy and the zombies, nice town."
- For the actual in-game town, see Riverside.
The Town is the fourth chapter of the third campaign, Death Toll. It begins inside of a safe house constructed within a church that draws a border between rural and suburban Riverside. Unfortunately, the Infection has hit this small town hard. The Survivors' goal for this chapter is to make their way to the river, where there's still a chance that they might be rescued.
Also see: Tactics
All campaign walkthroughs are done on Normal difficulty in single player, and are meant to give tips on what to do and generally point out things that might otherwise be missed.
There are, of course, a few key things to always remember:
- Stop, look, and listen.
- This cannot be stressed enough. Left 4 Dead is supposed to be a cooperative game. Communicate with your teammates, if you're playing with others, or if you're by yourself with the AI, point out things they might otherwise miss. In all cases, watch out for each other and take care of each other. You are not going to survive the zombie apocalypse by yourself.
- Be ready for anything.
- Don't panic.
As somebody is sure to point out, Riverside is a bust. The Infected have breached the perimeter the military had set up around the town—but everything is not lost. Rescue may still wait on the river, but first you have to get there in one piece.
When starting from this chapter, AI Survivor weapon selection will usually follow their normal habits:
- Bill will grab an Assault Rifle.
- Francis will grab an Auto Shotgun.
- Louis will grab an Assault Rifle.
- Zoey will grab a Hunting Rifle.
Otherwise, they will keep the weapons they had in the last chapter (see The Church for a list of weapons they will grab there).
That Church Guy, what a nut! But, by some miracle, you've made it. Regardless of how you started, whether you had to go through hordes of Infected to get here or you're just starting out, collect your bearings and stock up on supplies. If you got here from the last chapter, heal up if anyone got hurt, grab some ammo, and get ready to head out for a night on the town.
Before you leave, listen and see if you can find Tank grunting or Witch crying. Sometimes the AI director spawns the Tank or the Witch right in the beginning, especially in this level. The Witch is easy to take care of here because she doesn't move, but if you open up the door, if you are unlucky, the Tank will immediately notice you and charge to the safe room.
Before you hit the streets, take a look outside from the roof. Common Infected are more than likely running around. Now is a nice time to brush up on your sniping skills; grab a Hunting Rifle and fire away. This is a perfect opportunity to work toward the Brain Salad achievement. The great thing is that more weapons are just behind you. Whenever you're ready to go, take whatever other weapon you want to use, and jump (or climb, there are two ladders) down. Make sure to check to the far right, if you don't want to get ambushed. It's dark there and the Humvee and the rear of truck make great places for the Infected to hide. Check them out if you want to be safe, but ultimately, you can either go into a former store and a warehouse for supplies, or just take a shortcut through a space in the buses along the failed barricade. Go left down the street, turn the corner, and…
- Watch it! This is one of the more likely places for a Tank or Witch to spawn. If a Tank does show up here, make sure you stay away from the cars littering the parking lot. They'll knock you out instantly.
Head into the building. Occasionally, some pills may appear on the counter. Go through the door, and on the unfinished side to your right, sometimes some grenades of some sort might appear. Get outside, and keep going down the street. You may encounter significant numbers of Infected milling around in the street and in the parking areas. Keep an eye on your ammunition consumption and seriously consider making maximum use of your pistols. If necessary, do a fast ammunition run back to the convenience store.
- This is another likely place for a Tank or Witch to spawn. Again, if the Tank decides to waltz in here, avoid the cars!
Now, there's a van in the corner, and a sign pointing up. Just don't go up yet. Look inside of the darkened building next to it, as ammo and occasionally other useful things may spawn here. Once you've had your fill, jump up on the van and move into the abandoned office building. Check for more items as you go inside, especially in the bathrooms to the left of the door. There usually isn't much in the cubicles, nor in the next room. Go in there anyway for the safest way to jump down into the street below.
- Things love to spawn around here. Be very careful if a Tank spawns; it really hurts when it knocks you out of the window! If the Witch has spawned near the Minigun (read as: somewhere in front of), open fire at her, and she should go down fairly easy. They also might spawn on the other side of the wall of debris, so unless you're facing one before the fight starts, be ready for whatever might lie over yonder hill!
Down here, sometimes health items spawn on the table, usually two health kits, and weapons always show up. A Minigun sits behind some sandbags, and a forklift holds up a slab of concrete next to a huge wall of debris. Your sixth sense has probably been made razor sharp now, and they're not wrong; you're about to run into a Crescendo Event. Stock up, and once everyone is ready, hit the switch on the forklift. Normally, this would not go wrong and cause hordes of the ill to come running at you, but now, a bit of the concrete breaks away and smashes into the car which had previously appeared to have been off. An alarm sounds, and trouble ensues.
You really have two ways of dealing with this; stay and fight, or try to run for it. The former is more advisable than the latter, especially if you haven't met up with anything particularly nasty lately. You can try to use the minigun, as long as someone watches the gunner's back as Infected do climb over the walls and pour from the building above. It is easy for Common Infected to circle around the news van and attack the gunner, or the team in general, so watch out! Occasionally, one of the boarded-up buildings get broken open by the waves of the Infected. That is a very nice place to fight the horde from; they can only come in from one direction, and you can see it. Wait it out, no matter what you do (unless you're already running), and once the coast is clear, restock with ammunition and get moving! You're almost to that safe house. Get over the mound and run down the street, turn the corner around the bus (be careful to watch out for Special Infected!) and head into the dark alleyway.
- This alley is the last place a Tank or Witch will be likely to spawn, which is especially great since teams of the Survivors tend to be overwhelmed at this point. Be extra careful if you haven't faced one or either of them recently!
Sometimes, there isn't much, but going inside of the two buildings along the way might reward you somehow. The rooms under the stairs at the end rarely yield much, so they aren't really worth looking into unless you're desperate. Head up the stairs, cross the wood bridge, and make your way to the other side of the fence. Hurry up and get inside that safe house, before something else happens!
You've made it. Great job. Take a breather, look at how you did, and get ready for Boathouse Finale.
Left 4 Dead 2 Version Edit
The map uses the Versus version from Left 4 Dead even on co-op modes, though on this map the changes are largely cosmetic, and designed around optimisation for performance. In particular, the road near the gas station that was originally blocked by fences, leading to the end of the crescendo event road, is now blocked by a solid building (an optional abandoned shop that was also here is now gone). Additionally, the Poppy Field Florist building is now twice as high, and blocked off to Special Infected so they cannot climb on top and see both areas surrounding the building at once. Changes such as these mean even when exploring beyond what the Survivors can travel to as a Special Infected, less of the map is visually loaded at once. Gameplay-wise it does not affect the Survivors. Aside from the changes already present in the Versus version, the crescendo event in the street has changed into a gauntlet crescendo. The car alarm that triggers the event when the forklift is activated has been removed and a red siren light has been placed on top of the forklift. When the forklift is activated, its alarm goes off, triggering a never ending horde and forcing the Survivors to rush to the safe room. The Minigun that used to be in the street was removed in order to prevent confusion that the Survivors are supposed to hold out and a tooltip was added to inform players to keep moving to the safe room.
The Survivors Edit
Now that humans are controlling the Special Infected, things can only get harder. However, they can't spawn until you leave the safe room. That doesn't mean that you should let them have a good chance to find just the right spot, though! Hurry up and get your supplies, and get running!
A Tank spawning in this level can often be disastrous for the Survivors. The streets are littered with cars and dumpsters that the Tank can and more than likely will hurl at the Survivors. Remember, that instantly incapacitates you, so avoid it at all costs! Otherwise the Tank can easily corner you in the level's fairly closed in spaces. In total, this is a very bad place to encounter the Tank, so stay sharp!
The Crescendo Event will be a problem for the Survivors. There are not many places that the Special Infected cannot exploit in some way because the street is very open and wide. It is recommended that you fight from the tightest and most Infected-restricting corner you can find. However, there are no real corners. The best place to stave off the horde and Special Infected from is inside one of the boarded up shops. Unfortunately, the boards can only get broken open by the waves of the Infected. That is a very nice place to fight from; they can only come in from one direction, and you can see it. Wait it out, no matter what you do, and once the coast is clear, get moving! You don't want the Special Infected setting up ambushes! Otherwise, find somewhere you believe gives you an advantage over the Infected and bunker down for a fight. Do not expect the Special Infected to go easy on you; this is their opportune moment to attack.
As with every level, do not rush for the safe room once you see it. Hunters simply love to pounce lone wolves who charge into the safe room alone. You could easily be killed before your teammates can help you. Stick with your team and do not stray away.
The Infected Edit
Though they might be immune to the Infection, they aren't immune to death; no one is. Work together to make sure they're victims of this rampant virus, one way or another.
- Any survivors that choose to run ahead of or fall behind their teammates will be much easier to seriously damage and kill. The farther away they are from their teammates, the more likely they are to be incapacitated or die before their teammates can reach them.
- The Survivors all have outlines around them, showing their status and location. Green means they're healthy. Yellow means they're hurt. Red means they're low on health. Purple means they've been covered in Boomer bile. You can probably discern which to seek out first if possible.
- Think like a Survivor. When you play as one, when are the worst times that something could come at you? Exploit that knowledge.
- Teamwork, as aforementioned. Has a Boomer gotten their bile all over the Survivors? Jump one of them or a clean one. They can't see their teammates' aura until they're clean...and by then, it might be too late.
- As much as teamwork is a strength for you and your enemies, a lack of it will be their downfall. If you can focus all of your energy on killing one of the Survivors, the rest will be that much easier to take down. Not only will they have one less gun, but they will have three Survivors to your three incapacitating Infected.
Boomers: Your keyword is "hide". Hide from the Survivors and lie in wait, hide after you've vomited on them and hide them from their teammates by clouding their vision and generally ruining their day. This level is generally a mixed level for you. There are close quarters which is where you shine, and there are open spaces where you often find it impossible to succeed. Try to attack only when the Survivors are distracted or in fairly tight spaces. Fortunately for you, the open streets are often surrounded by high rooftops from which you can rain bile down on top of the Survivors. Vomit on them and create chaos for your team to exploit. Also, when a Survivor is low on health and you vomit on them, it can be highly beneficial to help by hitting them with your melee attack. You may find that you'll incapacitate them before they can retaliate.
Hunters: You are a deadly foe who attacks with deadly force and unrivalled tenacity. You strike harder and faster than any of your allies, though it's a general rule of thumb to see your prey before they see you. Hunters work best in ambush situations where you see your target long before they see you. Another rule is to not attack a group unless you're trying to distract them, or simply scare them. Try to hide in small spaces, though. Pounce people who wander off. Always remember that you have a strong melee attack, so if you can't quite pounce, feel entirely free to melee. Hiding around Witches and cars with active alarms is also quite devilish, and effective. Remember all of those times you were pounced by a Hunter and it couldn't have happened at a worse time? Well, exploit that knowledge. Think like a Survivor, and attack when they're vulnerable.
Smokers: The mostly outdoor locations are excellent for you to set up dangerous ambushes and catch the Survivors off-guard. Remember that if there are high locations you can reach, there is no point in moving down and attacking the Survivors up close. This is a suicide run. Instead, exploit these heights and attack from there. If you've angled your attack perfectly, you won't be seen properly by the Survivors and they won't be able to kill you. Although close quarters are not good for you, if you find yourself trapped by Survivors, don't just sit still and let them kill you. Lash out at them! Use your powerful secondary melee attack! If they are hurt enough, they may even be incapacitated, which can save your life!
Tanks: The Tank is an immense force in this level. He is a strong weapon that, if used properly, can be a game ending weapon. Luckily for you, the streets and the majority of the exteriors on this level are littered with cars and dumpsters. These can be hurled towards the Survivors and instantly incapacitate them. If you lack things to chuck at the Survivors, use your rock throw. Your rock throw is usually very underestimated. With practice it can be devastating and deal a lot of damage to the group of Survivors quickly. As a rule of thumb, aim your reticule above, and perhaps ahead of, the target while throwing. Attack with precision and force, don't let the Survivors get any further!
See also: Survival Mode
The Survivors tried to activate the forklift and clamber over the barricade to escape Riverside. They made it a little farther, only to find themselves blocked off and faced with endless Infected. How long can the Survivors hold out?
- Teamwork is essential to long-term survival.
- In this mode, most of the popular choke points, closets and easily defensible corners are removed. Even if you find one that has not been removed, it is not recommended that you fight from there as The Tank will quickly defeat you when he arrives.
- You have an infinite amount of time to prepare. Use this to your advantage. Take as much time as you can to set up gas cans, propane tanks, oxygen tanks and to find a good place to fight from.
- When searching for a place to fight from, remember that you need a location that not only limits where the horde attacks from, but also gives you a fair chance against the Tank. You either need to be able to fall back and deal with the Tank easily, or have a good enough vantage point to kill him before he can get too close.
- Ammunition is a problem. Unless you are being overrun with Infected or fighting a Tank, try to use your pistols as much as possible. Conserving ammunition should be a priority, as trying to get more during a horde attack can often be fatal. When you do head out for ammunition, remember to take at least one teammate with you.
Far Street Method
- By staying on the same side of the barricade, and moving as far away from it as possible by heading to the metal riot-wall at the end of the street, the Survivors can hold out for a fairly long time. From here, many elements of Survival Mode are dealt with effectively.
- The Common Infected are very easy to deal with as they can only rush at you from two directions; the barricade end of the street, and over the riot-wall. Adding to that is the fact that they almost never charge at you from both of those directions at once.
- The Smokers and Hunters are easily dealt with due to all of the open space. The Hunters will attempt to pounce you and seeing as you have a lot of room to dodge them, they will more than likely miss. Smokers will be spotted at great distances and can be killed quickly before they can get in range to attack you. If Hunters attack from behind the riot-wall, they can be killed with fairly little retaliation. If Smokers attack from behind the riot-wall, they have a strange habit of climbing over the wall before attacking. Boomers, attacking from all directions, can swiftly and easily be defeated without difficulty. They will not be able to get near a somewhat vigilant team.
- The Tank is even dealt with using this method. If the Tank spawns at the barricade side, he will be seen and shot at long before he can reach you. Spawning there, he will more than likely die before he can do any damage. If he spawns behind the riot-wall, the Tank will take a short while to climb over, leaving him vulnerable to attack. However, he will more than likely make it over. If that is the case, you have a lot of room to move around and dodge the Tank's attacks until he is slain.
Easter Eggs Edit
- There is a rotting corpse of what appears to be a hospital patient inside the safe house at the beginning of the section despite the fact that hospital patients are only found in the No Mercy campaign. This may hint how the infection initially spread to Riverside, as one of the Infected hospital patients escaped and made it all the way to the town.
- In this chapter, there are vans with the logo Eyewitness Channel 10 News, a news broadcast team that Rochelle used to work for before the outbreak.
- Evidence of the Church Guy's insanity exists in the form of both his repetitive uttering of the the words "Better Safe than Sorry" and his inscribing them on the wall of the safe room. This may be a hat-tip to similar behaviour displayed by Jack Nicholson's character Jack Torrance in the movie "The Shining".
- This place has a very likely chance of having two Witches, and one, for some reason, always spawn near the safe room area. The other Witch is found randomly in the level.
- If the Director is feeling particularly sadistic, it is possible for up to 2 Witches to spawn very close together, especially around the Crescendo Event. It has been noted having a Witch early on, then after the Crescendo it is possible to have a Witch behind the Bus and in the adjacent area in the alley.
- The car causing the Crescendo Event is the only alarmed car to use a special game model that is unresponsive to being shot or touched and has no inside flashing light.
- There is a strange glitch in the beginning of the safe room whereby one of the AI Bots will not pick up a health kit. This glitch only arises if a human player does not play the entire campaign and starts in this chapter.
- A noticeable AI pathing error exists in this map. If one were to set sb_all_bot_game to 1, the Survivor bots will usually move towards the buses found early in the level and literally remain passive there. They will not shoot any Infected on sight and will totally ignore any Infected attacking them. Note that not all the bots will do this. Warping them elsewhere using console commands will cause the bots to stand still at wherever they are and remain passive. This can be very problematic if a player uses console commands to play singleplayer Versus as the Survivors became easy pickings.
- Evidently Zoey is familiar with Riverside since she will sometimes comment to the effect that she always liked Riverside's main street.
- On the center-left side of the street in Riverside there is a small brown Sedan crashed into a cement barricade. This is a program-bug killer-car because attempting to jump the barricade close to the front of the car will instantly kill the player.
- Riverside markets itself to tourists as "Historic Riverside" (cf. road side sign) and this is evidently based at least in part on the 19th Century architecture featured in its main street buildings and hilltop school house church.
- In Left 4 Dead 2, if the player struggles to pass through the gauntlet crescendo, the Director may decide to spawn a Tank behind the Survivors. Fortunately, the hordes will stop rushing until the Tank is killed.