Left 4 Dead 2
Co-op gameplay and the intense buzz of firing into crowds
Left 4 Dead 2 is a co-operative first-person shooter set in a world that has been ravaged by a zombie apocalypse. In the main campaign you take control of one of four survivors - the rest are controlled either by online players or AI - as they battle through waves of zombies (or 'infected' as they're known) towards an evacuation point that may or may not still be there.
The combat is quite straightforward, you pick a melee weapon or a firearm (you've always got a backup pistol) and begin wading through hordes of zombies.
These zombies are very fast, and in combat you have to prioritise targets, avoid getting surrounded and also look after teammates. Things are complicated by 'special infected' who will use a variety of different abilities to slow you down and mess you up. This includes the dreaded Tank, which can destroy a party single-handedly.
The levels are very well designed and really convey the feeling of a plague-ravaged world. This is convincingly rendered using Valve's Source engine, with moody lighting, lots of decals and impressive character models. Even on a high setting the presence of hundreds of infected baddies doesn't slow me down at all. You'll find yourself relying on sound quite a lot to discern what lies beyond your current location, straining to hear the crying of a Witch or the roar of a Tank.
There are a variety of online game modes as well as the main campaign - from versus matches to survival mode, and there's enough here to keep you having fun for a long time. The only drawback is you need an internet connection to access all of this content.
Support for the game is still going strong and official maps and content are being released for free, along with weekly mutators that change the game slightly.
This game is great as a method of relaxation - after a long day a quick blast of zombie genocide makes me feel a lot better.
Chainsaws, shotguns and a whole bunch of zombies, these are all things you can look forward to when entering the world of Left 4 Dead 2 or L4D2 as it is more commonly known. If we were to compare the overall structure of Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 we would see a lot of similarities but then we would see a lot of differences. To get ahead in Left 4 Dead 2 there is one basic element that every person needs and that is good teamwork.
The Left 4 Dead series is unlike any other game out there. In other popular games such as Counter Strike or Call of Duty you can easily run off and do your own thing. You don't need to worry about what your team mates are doing as you could generally take care of the opposition by yourself but this isn't the case in Left 4 Dead 2. Here it is essential that you stick with your teammates which can be hard at times. With so many knooks and crannies waiting to be searched you can easily get caught up in trying to find much needed equipment only to realize your entire team has literally left you for dead. This is why you'll need to cooperate and communicate with your team mates and make sure that no one goes wandering off by themselves. To simplify things, don't loose your teammates! Well unless you want to become a walking talking T-bone to the zombies that is.
Health packs, defibrillators and pain pills are all a necessity in the world of Left 4 Dead. Always keep your eyes open to the little blue shadows that will highlight a piece of equipment. Remember, sharing is caring. If there is a team member who looks like they need to pills or health packs a lot more than you do, let them know about it. The worst thing to be in Left 4 Dead is the hoarder that will be as fresh as a daisy while his or her entire team is limping at a turtles pace. Just remember than when your compatriots die, your chances of surviving also drops so make sure your team is as healthy as your are, it might just pay off when you realize you need help, a good deed will often be rewarded with a good deed back.
There are three new infected zombies in Left 4 Dead 2 with the return of the classic special infected from Left 4 Dead 1. Remember, every zombie has their own little 5 second piece of music that will alert the survivors just what is lurking around the corner. While it would be impossible for me to tell you what those music pieces sound like, you will eventually learn what each piece indicates to after a while.
Firstly lets talk about Boomers. Boomers are the huge grotesque zombies that will puke all over you and your team, causing a horde of zombies to charge at you. Should you find yourself with Boomer puke all over yourself, there is a simple solution. Get your back to a wall and keep on hitting. The thing is that the zombies are coming no matter what but they are completely oblivious to any other team member that wasn't puked on. Just let them run at you and let your team mates tear them down as they try.
Smokers again can be pesky but under certain circumstances can prove to be completely useless. These fellows are the tall gentlemen that you will see jumping from building to building only to shoot out their tongue and look to pull one of your team mates away. Firstly you can stop the Smoker in multiple ways. You can hit your teammate to save them from his grasps, you can shoot at his tongue which will force him to release your friend or you can simply shoot the man himself.
Hunters are less easy to deal with. These zombies are the one your'll hear screeching all the way across the map and leaping from building to building. They are fast and they are powerful but are not impervious to a smack in the face. That's right, should you see one coming at you, use your melee attack towards him. If your fast enough you will hit him away leaving him dazed and confused, at which point you shoot him to pieces!
Witches are by far the easiest zombies in the entire Left 4 Dead universe. These are the women that you will see with red eyes just roaming around the map, doing a whole lot of nothing. The best way to fight them is to not fight them at all. Simply avoid them because should you decide to get to close to them or even shoot them, they will knock you down with one hit and they will continue to slash into you until either you are dead or she is.
Jockeys are by far one of the biggest annoyances in the game. These little critters will run about between hordes of normal zombies so you won't even know they are there. Once close enough they will jump on top of you and start to take you into places you don't really want to be going. There is much you can do once one is on top of you, you just have to hope your teammates will shoot him off.
Spitters are again, more of an annoyance than a real threat. These will be the women with their boobs and butts hanging out running around with a green goo dripping from their lips. They can turn a great hiding spot into a death trap by shooting their toxic goo at you, turning the area into a acidic burning zone of pain. Be careful when shooting these ladies, they will leave one last goo patch on their departure.
Chargers are by far the teddy bears of the group. Their bark is much more fierce than their bite. You will hear them screaming and shouting and before you know it you'll see this huge mass of gray literally charging right for you. Good thing is that these guys are pretty easy to kill so a couple of well placed shoot will put him down for good.
Finally we have the Tank. The Tank is by far the hardest zombie in the entire game to deal with and to kill. He will hit you for miles and he can take all the damage in the world. To get around a tank the best you'll have to use teamwork. If everyone runs away he's just going to keep going until everyone is dead. You'll need to be evasive but not forget to unload your weapon into him!
And that's it for now, go gives them zombies what for!
And more zombies...
This is the basic recipe for L4D and its squeal L4D2. And it ROCKS!
I mean, running though a apocalyptic world with your friends trying to survive the zombie outbreak is hard to beat... L4D held my attention for a year before L4D2 came out.
I thought L4D could not be more fun... I was wrong. L4D2 improves the original formula completely.
In this new addition we get 4 new survivors, some new game modes, weapons, new Special infected and of course: Melee weapons!
Although a large amount of people felt cheated when L4D2 was announced, I must say that I am happy with the content provided. The new game adds much need Special infected to help take down the survivors. Nor more closet camping for them human scum :D.
With Verses mode the game can become even more competitive, with a race to the safe room as the survivors, then it will switch and you become zombies and have to kill them as fast as you can.
Overall L4D2 improves the original formula by a mile, but keeping the core things that made it a gem. I would recommend this game to anyone and everyone.
And Lets face it, the zombie apocalypse will come...
... those whoo have L4D2 will be ready!
l4d2 is an exciting and absorbing shooter with a very good and sophisticated gameplay. The story is about a spreading infection in the south-east of the USA, an area crowded with zombies and 4 survivors who are trying to maintain that term.
The graphics are not the newest but this takes the game nothing. (and i do not enjoy playing games with bad graphics). the animations are very good and realistic. the shotgun really blows them away and if you fire aimed shots they will lose arms, legs and their heads.
i strongly recommend to not buy any cut versions to not lose the atmosphere.
There are various game-mods (Scavenge, Survival, Realism, Versus, Campaign). Except the Singleplayer mod, which i have not tested so far you can play each one of them in coop-mode, what makes this game even more interesting.
First i wanna provide some information about my favorite mod, the Scavenge mod. The goal is to collect cans which are positioned all over the map to fill them somewhere in the survivor-spawn-location. Of course the also by humans played infected are trying everything to stop them. This mod allows to develop tactics for survival and success on both sides and is very exciting. Therefor in the Versus and Campaign mod the terrain is changing all the time, it makes the improvements of tactics much harder.
The infected in the Survival mod are only controlled by the AI. The aim here is of course to survive he hordes by preparing your stand with every useful equipment you can find on the map before you "call" them.
The maps in general are designed with love and in comparison to left4dead1 the environment is more but still rarely destructive.
I am playing this game since it came out and i wont get tired of it.
one negative thing:
if your team does not verbally interact and you have some players who don't cooperate you will lose again an again. f you are trying to rejoin other servers you mostly get in loser teams again, because winners don't lave the team : )
By far one of the most addictive games I've ever played on the PC. I was dubious about the first in the series because a huge part of this game is the online modes.
Graphically, its not the best all singing dancing 3D engine ever used, but even if you have a mediocre PC, this will probably take all the high settings. Visually, its very appealing, certainly as good as some of the other titles around at the moment.
Onto the gameplay and the attention to detail is fantastic in this game. The Zombie dynamics are brilliant... zombie charging at you looking slightly miffed... a single shotgun to the leg will make them look like heather mills on dancing on ice. Fantastic! Similarly, any damage to other respective body parts has the same affect as if it were really going to happen in your normal daily life.
The melee weapons have added a lot to this title, katana and cricket bat (although mistakenly referred to as a "paddle bat" by the american developers!) make wandering through the levels much more fun. Theres the chainsaw of course which trumps the rest of the melee weapons!!
The level design in this release is bigger and better than in the original release as you'd expect, but I felt the overall fun factor had been improved.
The online modes do add great depth, playing online co-op, scavenge or survival mean each level takes on a new twist. I've not yet been bored by the content, but really driven by the challenges to beat my last times, or to beat some friends.
Dont have any friends? Then dont worry, the online community is very welcoming, fair playing and surprisingly all into teamwork! Add the steam achievements and I guarantee you'll get hours out of this game!
Ahh, Left 4 dead 2.
Promised to be a great addition to left 4 dead, and it is a genuinely good game, but it would have been much better if released as DLC or as an expansion.
Gameplay itself is excellent, with a variety of ways to play and maps to play on, and the online service with steam is great, although there is one problem with the online.
If you wish to have the most fun. You are nearly required to have friends to be able to have a fun meaningful game, and i hope to god that you have mics so you can talk to eachother easily, as without good communication you will lose on the higher difficulties.
With the gameplay being generally the same as the first game, despite all the editions the gameplay is still nearly exactly the same and after a while the game may get boring, but the AI director helps that out a little, and maps change every time you play.
In conclusion, L4D2 is a good game, but unworthy of the $50 price tag and if you can get it cheaper, do it.
Being an avid fan of the original Left 4 Dead I could hardly wait for Valve's next slice of sexy zombie slaying action. I'd dedicated a lot of hours Campaign-ing, Versus-ing and Survival-ing with Zoe, Francis, Bill and Lois (my personal favourite) and when I discovered that only a year later there was to be a sequel I felt like the only person in the world excited for it. "Too soon, a year is too soon..." critics would say - but I'd say "screw you critics" and on release day I went out and purchased it.
Was I satisfied? Well, yes and no.
By all means, Left 4 Dead 2 is a vast improvement on its predescessor. The graphics look lovely and you no longer suffer the "I can't see what the f**k is going on here" syndrome. The new characters aren't dislikable (although, it's clear that your least favourite friend will end up playing as Rochelle) and you'll have a lot of fun listening to their catch phrases and screams.
The "big selling squeeze" for Left 4 Dead 2 came in the form of bigger, badder weapons and an option to go melee if you so wished. Chainsaws, Baseball bats, Ninja blades and guitars to name but a few offer as an alternative to your default pistol. These are fun to use under right circumstances, but missing an enemy can feel quite frustrating as you find yourself turning and swinging blindly in an attempt to register a hit on them. In the middle of huge swarms of zombies - melee weapons don't feel really like a logical choice.
The new environments come as my biggest let-down. The detail is a massive improvement, and some of the creative new level-designs are a joy to experience. Some highlights for me come in the "Dark Carnival" campaign - where you find yourself traversing over rollercoaster tracks and "Tunnels of love", and in the "Parish" campaign - where you must race across a bridge to get to a helicopter. Despite all of this - the majority of the levels just feel TOO big - which not only frustrates but detracts players from sticking with the game. To a new player, there is very little help offered to point you in the right direction, and levels can last up to 20 minutes (which on Versus mode will equate up to 40 minutes for just 1 round!) To experienced players, the lengthy rounds will still feel like a pain in the backside - and you'll just wish that certain moments would be over already.
More criticisms of the environments come in their practicality. Left 4 Dead was a zombie action/horror game - with a large (for some players) focus on HORROR. Many of the new environments in Left 4 Dead 2 are either set in the wide open or in broad daylight - two design choices which really detracts from the sheer sense of opressive horror the original seemed to encourage. Also the large, open spaces aren't well considered for certain Versus modes, in which the enemy player will struggle to spawn for a long time due to being able to be "seen by the other survivors."
Aside from all these faults (and an occasionally laggy online server) - Left 4 Dead 2 sticks nicely to the original tried and tested formula. The new content is subtle enough to not alienate any existing fans, whilst being whole-heartedly entertaining and attractive enough to new players.
Looking for bargain for yer' buck? You can't do wrong with picking up Left 4 Dead 2. It's a true multiplayer experience that you can share many hours with. The new modes of Scavenge, Survival and Realism also equal more hours of entertainment - guarenteed. The format is different to that of many recent first-person shooters (I'm looking at you Call of Duty) and single-handedly this makes it a brilliant and unique choice to pick up and play when you're bored of the same old shooter titles.
Thanks for reading.
For all intents and purposes Left 4 Dead 2 is a superior game to the original. More guns, games modes, awesome level design and some interesting twists such as two tanks in one of the finales.
Despite this i feel like this game lacks a lot of the atmosphere of the first game. I remember times when the adrenaline was pumping and the group i played with would be screaming like crazy over Teamspeak. Being chased down by tanks and dodging hunters was the most adrenaline filled gaming id ever done. When it came to L4D2 we already knew how to play the game. A tank so what? smokers oh well!
I only played this game briefly (2 weeks) whereas left 4 dead one i played for around 8 months. Regardless, its a very good game. If you own teh first one you probably already own the second game. Otherwise its a good game to buy if you have a group of friends to play with, 4 is perfect. The games addition of female boomers and special infected in certain areas, like mud men, is quite good if perhaps a little hyped up.
Im not that bitter about the dissapearing downloadable content, i just wish they'd made a more entertaining and enveloping game this time around. Instead it feels like what should be a free mod for L4D 1.
Most of my gaming these days is done at my computer. After playing the first in the series of Left 4 Dead, naturally when this game was announced I was pretty excited for it, even if it was less than a year since the first one launched. Many people were sceptical about this game, saying it was too soon since the first one came out for it to be any good. Despite all the negativity surrounding the game's announcement, I still decided to get it and play it (quite appropiately) to death.
What I found was an amazing improvement to the first game. Left 4 Dead 2 builds on every part of the first game and makes it into something so much more gripping and enjoyable to play. For a start, Valve have crammed loads of new kinds of weapons and items into the game, adding some variety to killing swarms of infected. Nothing is as satisfying as ripping into a horde of infected with a chainsaw. It also seems like co-operation is even more important, as straying from your friends means certain death (and abuse if you happen to be playing with people online).
The way the game plays is the same as ever. You have to get from point A to point B and occasionaly defend point C. However, this isn't really an issue as L4D2 has a more varied level design than the first game, with most of the levels being in daylight. There are many new features to the game, such as the new kinds of infected enemies you come up against, like the tricky Jockey and the brawly Charger. This makes the game more unpredictable and fun to play, as the improved AI director makes each time you play the game different.
Graphically this game is amazing. If you happen to live in a country where the game isn't censored and you happen to be a fan of gore this game is going to be a treat for you. When you shoot the infected the way they stumble around and drip blood and guts everywhere is frighteningly realistic. Coupled with the horrific noises they make it makes the game really creepy and atmospheric.
Naturally, the multiplayer in the game is still as top-notch as ever. The old game modes return, with the likes of Versus and Campaign, but there are also some new ways to play thrown into the mix. The most fun to play of the new game modes is "Scavenge". This adds to the game what was so severly lacking before: a game mode you can play in about 15 minutes without having to quit because you don't have 3 hours to play an entire campaign. It also seems like this is where most of the future competitions would be held in the game, due to it's round based structure.
One gripe I had with the multiplayer is the distinct lack of some kind of levelling system. Far too many times have some useless teammates been thrown on our team who run ahead and die, spoiling the game for the rest of us.
If you can look past this minor flaw though, what you will find is an addictive, well-rounded zombie-splatterin' FPS which will quench your bloodlust... at least untill they announce the third installment.
L4D2 zoomed out, only a year after the release of the original game, in a flurry of criticism and boycott efforts. Fans felt frustrated and disillusioned that they had been promised add-on content (which never materialised) to the original game in the form of free downloadable content, as Valve had done with Team Fortress 2 since release: and argued that L4D2 was just a glorified DLC pack, instead of deserving to be a game in its own right. Add to that the fact the game needed to be heavily censored in order to merit release in Australia, which very nearly didn't happen at all, and the fact that the demo release time got pushed back SIX times for pre-orderers (I know, I was sat in front of my PC, headset round my neck, tensely, each time) with no explanation for the delay...in short, Left 4 Dead 2 had a tumultuous release, and you could almost hear the collective sigh of relief across the gaming community when it finally made its way into eager zombie-fans' sweaty mitts, and it lived up to all expectations. Nay, surpassed them. Thank goodness for that.
L4D2 sees four new survivors battle through five campaigns of zombie-infested New Orleans, in much a similar manner to the original game: Nick (the gambler), Rochelle (the tv producer), Coach (the coach), and Ellis (the mechanic) are trapped in imaginative new scenarios, all of which involve an ultimate goal of escape by helicopter, ferry, aeroplane...
Once again, the gameplay focuses on co-operation- any attempts to scoot ahead with a auto-shotty will be short-lived if you get dragged away from the group by a malicious Charger zombie, or pounced by a Hunter. Instead, you stick together, watching each other's backs, strategising best ways to clear an area, pressing slowly forward, rescuing each other if incapped, and at times, if the situation calls for it, reviving each other with defibrillators. Staying en masse isn't necessarily a guarantee for a survival though, especially if you've got some half-witted bots in your party: as your reaction times have to be sharp, particularly on anything above Normal difficulty. As in the first game, an AI "director" monitors each individual player's stress level, generating health pick-ups, weapon drops, and ammo packs at his own will, and deciding when that uber-tough Tank zombie's going to maul your entire team: making the whole experience dramatic and infinitely replayable.
The addition of the new melee weapons adds a new dimension to zombie combat, as well- if you run out of ammo for your beefy hunting rifle or rapid firing machine gun , you'll have to be prepared to get in there with hack and slash style confrontation- using anything that you can pick up as an impromptu weapon- an axe, a guitar, a frying pan.
The levels have a lot more variety in them in general- while L4D had a tendency to feel horribly linear after a few playthroughs, the sequel has multiple routes through various areas, lots more ways to approach crescendo moments, and some diversity in mini-missions. The first surreal obstacle you'll find yourselves up against, after edging along the balcony of a flaming hotel to escape into the hazy sunlight of the outside world, is the deranged owner of a gun shop who will blow up a clear path for you to escape on to the next level if you retrieve him a crate of cola from a nearby supermarket. Of course, carrying cola means you can't carry a weapon, and the alarmed supermarket door attracts the unwanted attentions of several hundred bloodthirsty undead, so nothing's ever as easy as it seems...
Aside from these brief asides into story, the game remains largely plotless, letting you concentrate on the job at hand; there are no cut-scenes, no other living survivors seen in the flesh, and the landscape takes charge of the main storytelling.
The changes in time of day and weather across the campaigns also feel refreshing compared to the constant twilight of L4D1: although Valve originally promised dynamically changing levels and atmosphere effects, which unsurprisingly failed to materialise the in the final product, as a static gameworld, it works, and doesn't get boring quickly.
Alongside dramatic maps, faster paced and more exciting gameplay, well-observed humour, and a million other subtle differences that make the game even better than L4D the first, the biggest noticeable difference to the casual observer is the hyped-up gore. Graphically, you'll have blood smattered all over your screen after a few wild katana executions, and physics-wise, a pipe bomb will spawn flailing disembodied limbs and giblets across the horizon, rather than the less sophisticated "explode into dust" technique of Left 4 Dead 1 bombs. The gore is frankly the best I've ever seen in a PC zombie game, with added gross-out factors like the way you can now shot-gun a hole through the centre of a zombie's stomach, and HE KEEPS RUNNING, dripping intestines, and splintered bone, and leaving a nice viewhole for you to aim through. And that's another thing: where previously zombies would sprint toward you like demented wind-up toys, now they duck and weave, in a much more realistic and terrifying way, shedding limbs as you blow them off, glowing eyes focussed on you....
It's fair to say that the horror's been knocked up a tad, the new boss zombies are even more grotesque and horrifying than previously, and the game plays a hell of a lot more hardcore; you've got zombies in bulletproof vests, freakish swamp-dwelling mud-zombies that claw at your eyes, deformed toothy spitting-acid zombies... but true to the genre, the humour's up a few notches as well; particularly in the Dead Carnival campaign. The tongue-in-cheek-ness of the zombie clowns, the carnival mini-games where you can use your pistols to shoot fluffy elephants down from podiums, blowing up zombies with fireworks, and a brilliant sequence where you have to run down a rollercoaster track, pursued by hordes of undead, never feel forced or over-the-top, but just wonderfully, darkly, comic.
All this snazzed-up gore has, however, come at the expense of a few rogue graphical glitches in the PC version: for example, one brilliantly cinematic and well-thought out epic campaign "Hard Rain" sees our hapless survivors battling through a town and then into the countryside, to find petrol, then returning the same-trodden paths, fuel-on-back. About half way through the campaign, a truly biblical storm breaks out, and you wade through your last few levels knee-deep in floods, with lightning illuminating the rapidly darkening sky, the landscape becoming very difficult to navigate, and generally an excellent horror-move atmosphere prevails. However, that's only if you're playing with all your graphics set on "High".
If you're like me, and aren't gaming on an uber-monster rig of a PC, but rather a reliable laptop with a nifty graphics card, and can play "Medium" graphics comfortably, but High is a bit of a long-shot: there IS no rain. The characters will enthusiastically rant "Wow, when will this rain stop?" much to your bemusement, because you won't see a DROP of rain. It's a very surreal experience, and you can't help thinking that considering how integral the water is to the campaign, Valve could've found a way round making it a basic texture at lower graphical qualities, rather than just switching it off entirely. Still, it's not game-ruining.
A special mention has to go to the ultimate adrenaline-filled finale of the game- The Bridge. It seems simple- there's a dilapidated traffic bridge leading from your safe room to the helicopter that's going to take you all to safety: but the bridge is an epic monstrosity littered with crashed cars, shards of concrete, and a million zombies who aren't going to let you leave without a fight. Your heart'll be pumping as you make the split-second decisions as to whether to go back for your team-mates left incapped by falling boulders, or whether to just make a last-ditch dash for the end yourself, and risk stumbling at the final hurdle...
Aside from straight-forward, follow-the-maps, kill-the-zombies, campaign mode, there are also several other multiplay game-modes chucked in; such as scavenge, which is just a drawn out version of the first campaign's finale, and survival (stolen from a L4D dlc). These alternative play-methods feel a bit tacked on, for me, and are ultimately un-memorable.
Although "versus" mode (where you play as the zombies, and try to hinder the survivor's chances of making it to the next safe-room) has definitely been improved on with the addition of new special infected to play as, (from the last game, when it was frankly pretty dull), I still don't see it as a serious game-mode. It comes into its own far more when you're playing with a team of friends- I had one very good LAN party with an epic 8-player versus session that had us pretty much in screeches of hysterics by the end: but since then have only ever played it online, and have only ever come across multitudinous griefers, failtastic noobs, and arsey "srs" gamers, none of whom are any good company at all.
There's also "Realism" which can be added on to any campaign gameplay mode, which creates a much more dark and difficult experience, and is nigh-on in possible without your friends in the room with you, or a full set of working microphones. In this mode, there are no respawns, no hints, no outlines around your team (so if you get split up, you're probably lost forever), the zombies are resistant to non-headshot bullets, and the whole experience becomes tense, and genuinely scary.
Overall, a strong survival horror game that doesn't take itself too seriously, and manages to improve on the successes of the original.