Left 4 Dead’s Original Prototype Has Leaked Online

Someone appears to have leaked a prototype of the game Left 4 Dead, allowing players to explore an early concept of this incredibly influential cooperative shooter. The source of the leak remains largely unknown, but speculation about the matter has been intensifying and rumors have naturally been running rampant.

The prototype is currently available on the popular platform known as GameBanana, taking the form of a mod for Counter-Strike: Source called Zombie City, something first noticed by the publication GamesRadar. According to the official description, “Zombie City is a map created by Valve (or possibly Turtle Rock Studios) that was a part of the map sources folder that was released today. It is likely the starting point of Left 4 Dead and for those of you who have heard the name Terror-Strike before, you will love to get the chance to play this prototype level.”

Zombie CIty is only the latest in a long line of recent leaks regarding Counter-Strike. The prototype seems to be the concept from Turtle Rock or possibly a later version created by Valve, as suggested by the modder who ultimately made Zombie City a fully playable experience, Wolfclock.

Turtle Rock which previously worked on Counter-Strike: Condition Zero had two game ideas in development that were presented to Valve back in 2005. The first was a wizard game that never wound up materializing and the other was a mod for Counter-Strike called Terror-Strike, a concept which involved enemies equipped with knives attacking in swarms. This went on to provide the basic idea behind Left 4 Dead. Turtle Rock would eventually be acquired by Valve before creating several other cooperative shooters including Evolve and Back 4 Blood.

“While we were developing bots for Counter-Strike: Source, we discovered that a few of us armed to the teeth with automatic weaponry against 30 knife wielding enemy bots was a lot of fun,” the founder of Turtle Rock Michael Booth explained in a recent documentary. “After shipping Counter-Strike: Source in late 2004, we started experimenting with new game prototypes. That basic kernel of 'small team of friends against hordes of clawing enemies' was something we kept coming back to and we soon realized that the 'co-op vs the horde game' had a ton of potential."

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