I know I’m a little late on this Left 4 Dead 2 article, but I held off on getting the game due to Modern Warfare 2 coming out the week before it’s release, but with Christmas last week I finally got my copy and had a chance to sit down and play.
Right out of the box I got that old familiar feel for the game, massive hordes of zombies from every direction, empty shells from my dual pistols dancing through the air and Molotov cocktails turning the walking dead into walking fireballs, it was glorious. But then I got to thinking, these were the exact same things that I loved about Left 4 Dead originally so why did I bother getting the sequel, then I had a semi-naked zombie writhing his crotch in my face as he dragged me around a swamp… I had just been raped by a jockey and it was at that point that I knew this game would have much more to offer than the original.
As I mention above, the feel for the game is everything I loved about the first one, the characters move smoothly and quickly, the hip fire aiming is perfectly adequate with no need to aim down the sights like in other FPS’ and there are a shit load of zombies, but the real fun of course comes from the multiplayer experience. Sure you can play through the campaign by yourself, but then you have to rely on the semi-retarded AI to follow you around and help out, which can be very frustrating. A friend of mine had been holding off on getting Xbox Live (for whatever reason), but as soon as I got L4D2 I made sure that he signed up so he could get the full feel for the game and he’s definitely glad he did. Playing the campaign with 3 other human beings is hands down the best way to play this game. Like I said, you can play with the AI, but when you’re sitting there with the naked Jockey rubbing his dick in your face and your yelling at your TV while the AI is jerking off in a corner, it’s not as enjoyable. Not to mention there are a bunch of other modes to play if you have Xbox Live hooked up.
But before I get into the other online modes I want to mention a few of the other changes to the campaign mode. In Left 4 Dead  there were 5 types of special infected; Hunter, Boomer, Smoker, Tank and everyone’s favorite, the Witch. And aside from there all the common infected were pretty much the same, obviously they looked a little different, but none of them were really any more difficult to kill. Now, in Left 4 Dead 2 there are another 3 special infected added to the mix; Jockey, Spitter and Charger. Of course this is in addition to the original 5 special infected from the first one so there’s a lot to watch out for. And on top of that not all of the common infected are the same. There are cops in riot gear that are harder to kill, clowns, guys in bio hazard suits and tons more. It adds a nice diversity to the game, that while there in the first game is much appreciated for the second. And along with the introduction of new enemies there are also a ton of new weapons. There are new guns of course, but the bread and butter here is the melee weapons, everything from frying pans to chainsaws can be used to beat off your zombie foe as you make your way through the campaign. So the campaign has added some diversity to it and while it is essentially the same as the original, it feels more polished and complete than the previous installment, but the multiplayer is where the magic really lies.
So back to the other game modes that L4D2 offers up this time around. You have your typical co-op campaign, which is just the campaign mode with friends, then you have the Survival Mode which came as DLC in the first game. Essentially the 4 of you are just trying to hold off the zombie waves as long as possible, and it gets pretty tough. The Verses mode was also in the original game and that’s where you play through a level a either the Survivors or the Special Infected. Obviously if you are the survivors you are trying to make it to the safe room at the end of the level, if you are the special infected you are trying to prevent that. This mode can be a lot of fun if you have 4 of your friends on the same team, we had a blast with this one. And the final mode is new to Left 4 Dead 2, Scavenger. In this mode the survivors run around trying to fill a generator with gas which extends the time, while the special infected (other players) try to stop them. I haven’t had a chance to play around with this new mode yet, but it sounds like it could be fun.
So overall I’m happy with the new game although I do think this stuff could have just been DLC for the first one. But I still don’t understand why so many people were getting all worked up over the sequel coming out a year after the original considering games like Call of Duty have new games out every year…