Posts Tagged ‘left 4 dead 2’

Left 4 Dead 2: The Passing Review

‘The Passing’ is a downloadable expansion with a real emphasis on ‘expansion’. While the two new chapters on offer are fairly short, Valve have cleverly attached a fantastic new set of challenges, all of which are a part of the content.

‘The Passing’ is set between the survivors’ mall escape in ‘Dead Centre’ and their arrival at the fairground in ‘Dark Carnival’. In it the survivors are forced to abandon their car and head underneath a river to lower a drawbridge. The twist this time is the cameo appearances of two of the previous games heroes – Zoey and Francis.

This two-chapter campaign might be a fairly short ride, but there are plenty of great ideas stashed away, like a devastated wedding with a gown-wearing Witch and a phenomenal scramble through a water-logged sewer with alarm bells bringing the horde down with you.

There are no new enemies on offer, but there are a couple of ace new weapons – the slow but wide-swinging golf club and the non-reloadable belt-fed M60. Both of them are a welcome addition to the weaponry roster and bring a great slice of zombie-exterminating mayhem into the bargain. There are also new weapons stashes, metal lockers that carry an unlimited assortment of random goodies and a new Uncommon Infected – the freebie-carrying Fallen Survivor.

‘The Passing’ also has new maps for Scavenge and Survival modes, as well as ten new achievements. But all of this is nothing compared to what comes with the download: Mutation Mode.

The Mutations are brand new, weekly game modes with new rules created by the developers. Every Friday a new game mode is tested out and after four mutations, the players get to vote on which one is made permanent. This means, essentially, that the game gets bigger each and every week. Already players have installed the excellent ‘Realism Versus’ mode and tested out the likes of ‘Last Gnome on Earth’ (carry the gnome to the end), ‘Bleed Out’ (health depletes rapidly) and ‘Room For One (first player to get to the campaign’s exit wins). Each of these add a thrilling new layer onto what was already a phenomenal game.

If Left 4 Dead 2 is the definitive co-op game then ‘The Passing’ is the definitive add-on. New chapters, new weapons, new maps and a game that has the potential to expand endlessly, all for just 800 MS points. An absolute must have.



Left 4 Dead 2 Review

Posted: June 17, 2010 in Review
Tags: , ,

Left 4 Dead 2 Review

The first Left 4 Dead was an overrated pile of twaddle. Sure, it was fairly good fun online, but the levels, weapons and zombies were poor, repetitive and boring. If anything, it was a tech demo for a much better game.

Speaking of a much better game, here’s Left 4 Dead 2, a game that seizes the promise of the original and amplifies it by a thousand. Better characters, better levels, more guns, more special infected all equal more fun.

The keyword is variety. While the gameplay is identical to the previous game – four people work together to run from A to B – the sheer variety of great new ideas is staggering. Buildings catch fire, smoke obscures visibility, thunderstorms slow progress, level layouts change, the list goes on. As for the levels themselves, they’re leaps and bounds ahead of the first game. Malls, gunshops, fairground attractions, swamps, crashed airliners, construction sites and even war-torn cities. In short, the levels are so wildly, so visually, different to each other that they’re all truly incredible.

Even the end-of-campaign horde slaughter is made more enjoyable by various new ideas. While some missions are the same old ‘survive the onslaught’ affairs, others are more cunning. One sees the survivors sprinting around a mall, trying to gather gas cans to fill a car with, while another features a tremendously exciting headlong sprint across a bridge.

The special infected also add a brilliant new variety to the existing bunch, including the head-leaping Jockey, the destructive Charger and the goo-spitting, um, Spitter. All of them serve the purpose of splitting up the human characters and each adds a fantastic new layer to the challenge of survival. In addition, each level has unique zombies that new threats – infected riot police wear body armour, dead clowns have horde-attracting squeaky shoes and reanimated construction workers wear ear defenders, making them immune to pipe bombs.

The new weapons add tactics to the gameplay as well. Do you have dual pistols, a single desert eagle or swap handguns for one of the eight melee weapons? As for the primary weapons, the choices are extensive – silenced submachine guns, new machine guns, burst-fire guns, more shotguns and even a new version of the nigh-useless sniper rifle.

On top of this are laser sights for accurate shooting, special incendiary and explosive bullets, jars of horde-attracting Boomer vomit, speed-boosting adrenaline shots and even defibrillators for resurrecting fallen survivors. The wealth of imagination non offer is truly head-spinning and it asks the question, ‘where the hell was all this the first time around?’

New game features include gas can collect-a-thon Scavenge and the purer challenge of Survival mode. While Scavenge can only be played online, they are both a hell of a lot of fun and will see players returning to enjoy more time after time.

One the whole, Left 4 Dead 2 is the fun, frantic, highly replayable game the first should have been. More gameplay options provide more fun. Offline, it’s a damned enjoyable blast, but online it might well be the definitive co-op experience.