Burn The Witch

I’ve been having a blast playing Left 4 Dead – possibly the greatest co-op experience I’ve had this year, far beyond Gears 2 and Little Big Planet. I cannot recommend it enough. (I’m playing on the Steam version, in case you’re looking for teammates.)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a fantastic post up today about the one enemy that really unnerves me (and many others) – the witch.

This is an ode to a strange, huddled creature. A crying, singing, tangle of ragged limbs and ferocious eyes. Terrifyingly deadly, and yet so distressingly vulnerable. Left 4 Dead’s Witch is unparalleled for me amongst all of gaming’s enemies, more frightening and fascinating than any before. She is pure fear.

…She casts no spells. She possesses no apparent magic powers. She does not cackle, and she certainly does not wear a pointed hat. No cats surround her. She throws no runes. She shuffles no bones. But she is a Witch. The most terrifying form imaginable. For God’s sake, turn off your flashlight, stop firing toward those cars, and just walk past. And whatever you do, don’t turn around to look.

My first play-through of the L4D demo, we came upon a witch in a subway car. We weren’t quite sure how to proceed – all of our flashlights were off already, but having not dealt with one before, we weren’t sure how peripheral her vision could be.

I eyed my inventory – I had a pipe bomb. Surely, I thought, a squarely thrown pipe bomb could take her out.

I lobbed it at her, and watched it land right at her feet. I smiled as the beeps increased, and waited for the explosion.

Thirty seconds later, after my teammates had saved me from a severe witch-induced ass kicking (which coincided with another zombie swarm appearing), I had learned my lesson.

Friends don’t let friends pipebomb witches.