Left 4 Dead brought the co-op zombie survival genre to mainstream gamers, and ever since its release in 2008 the series has remained popular among most FPS gamers. Despite losing developer Turtle Rock Studios due to creative differences (they’re now developing Evolve), Valve is aiming to keep fans of the series content with fresh updates. In Japan, this means a completely new arcade game titled Left 4 Dead: Survivors.
Survivors is a collaborative effort between Valve and Square Enix, the latter who are publishing the game with their popular arcade-based subsidiary company, Taito Corporation. Left 4 Dead: Survivors was planned for launch in 2014, but has reportedly been pushed back to an early 2015 release. The game itself looks very similar to the original Left 4 Dead, though the cast of characters has been given a unique Japanese spin.
From left to right, the four new survivors include Kudo Yusuke, a Japanese University student who was visiting the United States when the outbreak occurred. The same goes for highschool student Haruka Hirose, who dons the traditional Japanese schoolgirl outfit. The two students team up with Blake Jordan (who we will declare Dean Winchester henceforth, from Supernatural), a bartender who just happens to be a former US Navy Seal. Rounding out the group is Kirishima Sara, who was also on a school trip with other Japanese students before the outbreak.
Valve is no rookie when it comes to teaming up with Taito Corporation – the company released a similar Half-Life collaboration to Japanese Arcades back in 2006, which featured both a campaign mode and a battle mode. The game would go on to a positive reception, which Valve will be trying to recreate with their zombie-based intellectual property.
Fans in America hoping to see an English edition of Left 4 Dead: Survivors will likely be disappointed, as Valve hasn’t indicated they have any desire to bring the game over to a culture less active in the arcade cabinet scene.
Left 4 Dead: Survivors is slated for a March 31, 2015 launch exclusively in Japan.
Follow John Jacques on Twitter @Makelevi.