Daily Blog #303: Don’t be so scared of the Tanks you underestimate the Chargers

Greetings and salutations, Blog Readers!

Today we are talking about something that applies to all of us, but true to me, I am using a old video games and zombies to make a point that should be easily applicable to many. 

Anyways, in the video game Left 4 Dead, there is a type of special infected, called a Charger. Now, it is important to note a few things about this special infected. One- It was not in the original game, but in the sequel, and when you play the downloaded versions of the first game, the special infected from the second are in it. This doesn’t matter to many people unless you play the game- but it matters. Two- Chargers, like many special infected in the Left 4 Dead franchise, can “pin” or incapacitate you, which means you will need a teammate to help free you. The Charger, like the Hunter, will pin you, and continue to attack you until you are totally dead, versus the Jockey, which releases when you are finally knocked down in health and incapicitaed, after having you “pinned”. 

(To clarify: Pinned, being needing a teammates help, to be freed, Incapacitate because they can take you below health and have you bleeding out on the ground, in need of a teammate to get you back up- but you will still be bleeding out without a health pack.) 

So basically, the Charger can do some damage to you as a person, but, also, the Charger, with how it “charges” you, can knock other teammates off their feet, which takes them a few seconds of animation to get back to able to help the person who is pinned. 

On levels with lots of cliffs and edges, high buildings and the such, you can have some instant kill opportunities for the Charger, and if the party doesn’t take the Charger seriously, because he can pummel until the player is dead, the Charger can take each member of the group out if they aren’t taken out. 

Screen grab of me dying from commons as two teammates are dead and another is pinned.

On top of this, remember, the Charger could easily knock into all four of you, knocking three of you off a cliff and pummeling the fourth to death, if not taking all four of you out in one fell Charge…which i have seen. I have also seen three people taken out and the fourth killed by common trash zombies…because the team underestimated Chargers. It was me. I underestimated Chargers, for one of my most recent game play videos, and it actually led to a pretty painful wipe. 

The way I kept playing, and kept being worried about Tanks, completely underestimating the impact of Chargers, and Chargers fucked with us a few times, whereas the Tanks all went down fairly easily, as they normally do. 

See, I was worried because I was playing Dead Air. I have just flown back from Georgia, and all that air travel had me wanting to play Dead Air. In that campaign (check out my review if you want) you spend a lot of time on rooftops. Remember, a few things here. One, that Chargers can instant kill on ledges, right? 

Well, on top of that, Tanks can. 

On top of that, Dead Air is a Left 4 Dead 1 game, not 2, and we didn’t deal with Chargers in Left 4 Dead 1, originally, only after the second one, and DLC (downloaded-able content) was the way to get the content, so, for many people, like myself, who played the original Left 4 Dead when it came out, we didn’t have to deal with Chargers instant killing us, just Tanks. 

So there I am, playing Dead Air, playing super cautiously, since I hadn’t played in a few weeks and didn’t wanna wipe from an instant killing Tank…

To simply be absolutely destroyed by Chargers on a few occasions, including one pretty painful wipe. 

Teammate is freed from Charger, but still incapacitated and then commons took me down too. Painful Wipe.

And it led me to think of another blog post idea for zombies in real life. 

As you may or may not know, I have been working on a “zombies in real life” series, comparing people and situations to zombies and zombie situations from popular games and movies/shows. 

This is one of those comparisons. 

So, a Tank is a big massive zombie, lots of hit points, powerful hits, can throw things at you, instantly incapacitate you by throwing cars or trees at you, knock you down for a few seconds with rocks he can pull from anywhere, and moves as fast as you do, so you better be swift if you want to outrun him. Normally it is advised to use the entire team’s efforts, and a bit of fire, to take the Tank down. Keep your distance, avoid ledges. 

Also, don’t spend so much time being worried about hitting these, that you overlook their creepy little brother the Charger, because the Charger, pound for pound, is very similar to the Tank, and just because it isn’t “as strong” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be worried about it. 

The Charger can incapacitate and instant kill, like the Tank. The Tank won’t pin and pummel you, sure, but the Charger will, and the Charger can also, will a well placed charge, knock the entire team off the edge, before the Tank finds a car to do so. 

The Tank has special music that lasts the duration of the encounter, the Charger has a music cue, and sure, he makes noise when he charges, but…The Charger is easy to miss, and easy to not worry about, and that makes him even more deadly. The Charger doesn’t LOOK as scary as the Tank, with one limp hanging arm and shit, but, alas, the Charger, with only one functioning arm, can knock a team out as fast, if not faster, than a Tank can, in the right circumstances, and, the Charger doesn’t have a Rage Meter, like the Tank does. 

This means if the Tank doesn’t attack after so long, he rages out and dies. The Charger can follow you for an entire level…Which is why it is great for the speed runners who don’t play the game as a team sport- Remember when i said the Charger can pummel until dead and move to the next one? The charge encourages team play as much, if not more, than the Tank, which, ultimately, you can always run from. 

Think about how many times in life you have been actively avoiding the “big boss” and got fucked by middle management. You were so worried about any big old problem, like your car’s thermostat…and then your AC breaks down. 

Don’t be so worried about Tanks that you underestimate Chargers, because they can wipe the whole party just as easily, if not easier. 

Sure, they can’t every time. Maybe you have money set aside for the broken AC. Maybe you are in middle management so they middle manager can’t actually hurt you, but sometimes you don’t have the edge, and sometimes the Charger can take you out, normally because you weren’t watching for every risk, merely the Tank. 

Don’t be so afraid of Tanks, you underestimate Chargers. 

Thanks for reading, 

Abbi

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