The Left 4 Dead series is largely considered the zombie game that started it all and few games have been able to eclipse the simplicity of gameplay, complexity of teamwork, and sheer fun these games bring. Whether you’re playing with friends against the A.I. in a Campaign Co-op or going head to head with other players in Versus, the games are fun and have aged well.
Apart from it’s fun and face paced gameplay, it’s also introduced a number of interesting zombie types that have resulted from viral mutation of the host. Left 4 Dead 2 has given a wide range of zombie types that have stalked players and while every one of them is a welcome addition to the ranks, some are better than others.
10 Common Infected
Anyone familiar with the movies 28 Days Later, World War Z, or Train To Busan are familiar with these enraged, fast running zombies. While there’s been a lot of debate between whether slow zombies or fast zombies are scarier, most will admit that even these basic zombies in Left 4 Dead 2 are scary if you’re not prepared for them.
Found wandering the ruins of society individually or charging the players in massive hordes, these zombies can quickly overwhelm even the most professional players if caught unprepared. One of the worst feelings in the game is accidentally triggering a car alarm and hearing the screeches and howls of a horde making its way towards the sound.
9 Uncommon Infected
Unique to Left 4 Dead 2 was the introduction of Uncommon Infected. These are zombies who possess unique abilities obtained after the manner in which they died as humans. For example, the CEDA Worker type are zombies stuck inside of hazmat suits that are resistant to fire from moltovs. Riot Infected wear bulletproof armor, Workers are immune to the siren call of pipebombs, Mud Men are sneaky and camouflaged, and the pants-wetting Clowns can draw other zombies with their squeaky shoes.
There are also more rare types like the Fallen Survivor which has lots of health, is immune to fire, and has a bulletproof helmet, but bringing him down yields very useful items for survival. The other rare zombie is Jimmy Gibbs Junior a race car driver turned zombie who has a very rare spawn rate, is fireproof, and blinds players with motor oil.
The Boomer is one of the grosser zombies on the list. Lore states that the virus has caused a massive production of bile and gasses inside the host's body causing it to bloat. The Boomer can projectile vomit this bile on survivors blinding them and drawing in hordes. When shot or falling from a large height the boomer will explode violently having the same effect as if it’d puked on someone.
It’s a vile zombie type and annoying in combat, it’s also one of the less popular zombie types to play in Versus given it’s so important to begin a coordinated attack on survivors that many players hate the pressure.
This maniacal special infected isn’t inherently dangerous on his own, he takes longer to kill a player than the other infected, but he is a nightmare if he stays in control too long. The Jockey will jump on a player’s back and force them to move to somewhere he sees fit such as fires, acid pools, off a cliff, near other zombies, and other hazards.
For players this can be particularly annoying as a clever Jockey can trigger Tank fights before the team is prepared, awaken witches, and even trigger car alarms. There’s nothing worse than carefully sidestepping a witch only to have a Jockey turn you around and take you back for a hug.
If anything convinces you to quit smoking it’ll be seeing what happens to smokers after they become infected with the virus in the Left 4 Dead series. Smokers are zombies with ridiculously long tongues they use to snag and drag their prey away from the group and upon death they emit a cloud of smoke that blinds survivors and causes damage on modified servers.
They’re a disgusting zombie type and some see them as a nod to the Lickers in the Resident Evil franchise. They’re also one of the more popular zombie types in Versus mode given how simple their attack is, yet also requires great skill and strategy to use effectively.
The Charger, or Tank-lite as some prefer to call it, can be an alarming zombie to face off against, especially if he can get the drop on survivors. This massive zombie will bulldoze through a group of survivors and send them flying. As he’s tromping through the group he’ll grab one and proceed to bash the poor survivor into dust.
The Charger is not a particularly original concept, its appearance is a little bizarre with one massive arm and the other atrophied to uselessness. But this behemoth is a game changer in the fight for survival and one of the more fun zombies to play as.
Perhaps the most popular zombie to play as, the Hunter is a special brand of infected whose former life as a parkour enthusiast have given it the ability to leap tremendous distances and quickly scale tall buildings. With a simple growl this zombie can cause an entire group of players to stop in their tracks and immediately find cover. From tall buildings he can pounce on survivors shredding up to 25 percent of a character’s health on impact.
Many of the more popular YouTube videos about the Left 4 Dead series demonstrate how to perform incredible leaps from vast heights and crazy locations that require immense skill and even more luck. On modified servers where the cap on height damage is removed some of these impressive leaps can insta-kill players.
While she isn’t the most deadly zombie on her own, she certainly is the most scary to look at. The most alien looking zombie of Left 4 Dead 2 this zombie type has mutated stomach juices that have warped the body and a gaping jaw that allow her to spit acid at enemies leaving behind pools of the corrosive substance.
Again, her attacks can be avoided, but for a group of players pinned down or someone under the effects of a Jockey her spit can be lethal. It’s also harder to find a worse sound than the hacking she makes when she projects a glob of corrosive spit at her enemies and even her standard growls are nightmare fuel.
The Tank is the awful realization of what would happen if the Hulk ever became infected with the zombie virus. This colossal zombie has the most health of any infected and packs a powerful wallop with his giant fists. Even fighting from a distance won’t help as he’s capable of hurling massive rocks at survivors with devastating effects. Its most devastating ability is being able to knock around large objects like cars or dumpsters that can drop groups of players instantly.
A well-coordinated team with enough ammo, distance, and supplies can take down a tank easily enough. But throw in a horde of commons, Boomer bile, Spitter acid, Smoker tongues, Hunter pounces, Charger rushes, and Jockey hijacking and it can wipe out a team with ease. While you can avoid random encounters, the game creates moments that require you to face off against waves of tanks before you can proceed, which makes the end game a horrible experience for those low on health and supplies.
Arguably the scariest zombie in the franchise, the Witch is a lithe zombie who will either lie passively on the ground or roam the map. Even the lore can’t decide if her crying is meant to be a lure or the remnants of the human she once was weeping over her monstrous new life.
The Witch will remain passive unless startled by a player due to proximity, gunfire, or explosions. After being activated she becomes a screeching juggernaut intent on killing the one who woke her, which she can easily do in a single hit on higher difficulties. There are few moments more horrific in the game than hearing her crying, the scream of her being activated, or perhaps worst of all, seeing that she’s blocking your path forward and has to be dealt with.