Left 4 Dead: Preview of the Year Edition

Jerry Whorebach 7/4/2007 

In an effort to get the word out to the community about their upcoming Half-Life 2 zombie mod, Left for Dead, Turtle Rock Studios flew myself and Jsoh Cable (but not Jhoh Cable) to Valve's offices for a day of previewing. Here are some photos from our trip.

Here's Jsoh (left) with Turtle Rock CEO Mike Booth (center) and composer Tommy Tallarico (right). I ask Tommy if he's cooking up any extra-creepy tunes for Left for Dead. "Sorry man," he answers, "I'm just here to get a sneak peek at Team Fortress 2."

Jsoh asks if we can see that instead. "No," says Michael.

This is the plaque outside Valve's offices. We try to call Gabe: Pig in the City and ask where he wants his two dozen pizzas (besides his belly), but we somehow end up talking to Levelord instead. "Gabe's not here, man," he croaks. He's still giggling when we hang up the phone.

I ask Mike why he didn't fly us out to Turtle Rock's offices instead. He says it's complicated. Then Jsoh asks if they even have any offices. I tell him not to be stupid. "Of course they have offices, they're probably just really embarassing." Confirmation comes from Mike when he hangs his head in shame.

This is where they keep all the awards Half-Life won in the last month. The picture's crooked because Jhoh's tugging on my arm. "Gimme the camera, I wanna take a picture of the valve."

"I already took a picture of the valve."

"Yeah, so now it's my turn."

I offer to stand next to the valve, for scale, but Jsoh shoots that idea down. "I prefer to let the thing speak for itself."

"Why don't you take one of the crate, too," suggests Mike. "I think it's neat."

We shake our heads. Where do they even find these guys?

"Before you ask, no, this is not Gabe's office," laughs Mike, "but it might as well be!"

Later, we're joined by Eric Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek, formerly of Old Man Murray. "I see you like The Who," surmises Eric, wryly.

"I like pretty much anything associated with CSI," says Jsoh. "Are MOARGH a band too?"

"No," sighs Eric, "MOARGH is the noise I make when Chet rams his fist into my stomach."

"It's also his nickname around the office," says Chet. "Mine's Superstar."

Eventually we get to play some of the game. There's zombies, a shotgun, etc. Pretty much what you'd expect. "Are you sure this is Propel Fitness Water?" I ask Mike. "It tastes just like regular water. I think I'm going to put that on my comment card."

"Mine's awesome," says Jsoh. "You're probably just drinking it wrong."

"I guess," I say, and try another sip. This time I really do drink it wrong, sending the specially formulated workout water down my flabby, underdeveloped trachea and throwing me into a coughing fit. Jsoh uses it as an excuse to get us out of there.

"Don't forget to get a picture of the valve on the way out," I manage to sputter.

Jerry Whorebach