Oh, how I love killing zombies, I especially love killing them even more with my friends on Xbox LIVE. Once again, Valve brings us back into cities filled with zombies and four new survivors left to battle their way to safety. In Left 4 Dead 2 you play as either Coach, Ellis, Nick or Rochelle, this time struggling to survive in Savannah, Georgia trying to make your way to New Orleans in 5 different campaigns.
Unlike the first Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2 provides an actually storyline instead of just playing through different campaigns, once again each character has different dialogues giving a little bit of history about themselves (Ellis provided the best and most entertaining stories in my opinion). Along with the new characters in Left 4 Dead 2 there are also new infected to battle, the new common infected are a Hazmat suited common who is immune to fire and a riot gear wearing infected, who is almost completely immune to bullets from the front, the real treat though is the new special infected. You have the Tank, Smoker, Boomer, Hunter and the Witch who were in the first game and the new additions to the second game, the Charger, Spitter and the annoying as hell, Jockey. There’s nothing more degrading then getting your face ridden by a Jockey right into some spitter vile.
Since there are new infected to fight off they have also given you new weapons to defend yourself with, some of my favorites are the addition of melee weapons, I’ve never really enjoyed melee weapons in FPS but I sure do love bashing some brains in with a baseball bat in Left 4 Dead 2. Along with the melee weapons your now have access to some new throwable weapons like boomer vile and molotov cocktails. In addition to the new weapons you’re also given a defibrillator kit which allows you to now bring downed survivors back to life.
Left 4 dead 2 brings back the 3 original game modes, Campaign, Versus and Survival, along with a new Scavenge mode, in Scavenge mode is a 4 vs 4 player mode infected vs survivors, where the survivors are tasked with gathering gas cans to scattered throughout the area to maintain fuel in the generators, as an infected your goal, obviously, is to stop the survivors from gathering these gas cans.
One of the most frustrating things for me was the hardest difficulty, it was as if the AI Director hated everyone and everything on the hardest difficulty and made it almost impossible to pass. No matter how may times I attempted to make it through a campaign on hard difficulty my teammates and I were never able to make it through. This is only a minor complaint though since I don’t mind playing the game on the lower difficulty. If you don’t find the hardest difficulty challenging enough though go ahead and switch on realism. With Realism on you are no longer able to see your teammates silhouettes and is they happen to die the only way they can be revived is by defibrillator. Only damage that really affects the infected with realism on is headshots, body or limb shots no longer help out as much as they used to. This was implemented to give the players a chance to work together more closely as a team, but if you’re like me and would rather enjoy the game than become infuriatingly frustrated at it then leave the realism to the pros.
Overall Left 4 Dead 2 is an excellent sequel to the first and well worthy of being called one (boycotters be damned). New game modes, characters, weapons, and infected make Left 4 Dead 2 an excellent game and well worthy of a purchase. Knowing Valve and their history for supporting their games Left 4 Dead series will last for quite some time. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on the game, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
Left 4 Dead 2 was provided for review by the publisher.
Platform: Xbox 360, PC; Rated M
Developer: Valve Corporation
Publisher: Valve Corporation
Release: November 17, 2009