'Left 4 Dead' spreads its infection to 'Payday: The Heist' in 'No Mercy' crossover

Left 4 Dead meets Payday: The Heist in new crossover campaign.

Valve has lent one of Left 4 Dead's most iconic campaign maps, the climactic "No Mercy" hospital level, to Overkill Software's Payday: The Heist for a most curious crossover.

Payday: The Heist is the cooperative multiplayer shooter developed by Sweden-based Overkill Software and published by Sony Online Entertainment. The mission-based game sends up to four players on heists that typically involve grabbing cash or goods while managing hostages. In Payday's take on Mercy Hospital, players will face waves of heavily armed cops and SWAT officers, not zombies, in an attempt to recover a blood sample.

Interestingly, the collaboration between Valve and Payday developer Overkill is more than just an authorized use of a Left 4 Dead map, however, as the "No Mercy" mission delves into the lore surrounding the zombie infection.

"Have you ever wondered how the Left 4 Dead series began? It started with a heist!" read the description on a trailer posted to YouTube (which has since been pulled from its official channel).

In the Payday: No Mercy trailer, players are instructed "We need to draw some blood from a guy that they have in quarantine. Keep the civilians down and get me into the hospital patient database. We need to ID the right guy. This should be quick and clean."

While it may seem like Payday's developers are taking major responsibility for portions of the Left 4 Dead fiction, Valve's Chet Faliszek downplays some of the canonical importance of the crossover.

"It isn't the L4D infection story so much as them having fun in the general fiction we set down in the No Mercy campaign and L4D comic," Faliszek told Polygon in an email. Faliszek says that the "No Mercy" mission is "all Overkill" and that we can expect a "guest cameo" appearance and "a little Easter egg tie in."

"[We] obviously don't want to go in depth on that last bit," he said. Early teases for the Valve-Overkill crossover intimated that Left 4 Dead's Zoey might make an appearance in the add-on mission.

Since Overkill Software yanked the Payday: The Heist "No Mercy" trailer, it seems it may have been released to the public too early. Reps for Sony Online Entertainment say the publisher had "nothing to do" with Payday's upcoming mission and that Overkill was the driver.

Polygon has contacted Overkill for additional details on the collaboration.

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