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Left 4 Dead 2

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Today is the release day for the highly anticipated sequel to the successful multiplayer zombie survival game Left 4 Dead: Valve's Left 4 Dead 2.

On my calendar you'll see an entry for the release of Left 4 Dead 2. I've been anticipating it, I've been waiting for it, and I've been dying to kill some new zombies. I can tell you right now; I successfully killed plenty tonight.

The game is pretty much Left 4 Dead, but bigger and with more options. At its core, it's a cooperative multiplayer zombie survival game. You (and up to three other players) are just trying to escape as zombies pour upon you from the surrounding landscape. The problem is, it's not just the regular walking dead; some zombies have mutated, becoming stronger and much more able to kill you. Survival is tough, challenging, and fun.

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Left 4 Dead 2 has more of everything than the original had. There are more types of special infected to kill you. There are more weapons to use to fight back. There are more sniper rifles, assault rifes, shotguns, handguns - and there are even melee weapons, such as fire axes, chainsaws, and frying pans. There are more campaigns to play, and there are more surprises in store.

Of course, the ultimate question is: is it fun? Yes, of course it is, but's not flawless. The game, of course, demands comparison to the original. It's bigger, but it's more chaotic. There's never time, it seems, to appreciate where you are and the environment surrounding you; Valve's vaunted AI Director makes sure you don't have time to breathe. The first game was simple; there was you and there were a bunch of zombies, with four types of special infected to kill you. Now there are eight types, plus some uncommon infected, like the highly ridiculous clown zombies (that will alert other zombies) or CEDA operatives with their fire-resistant suits. Some of the changes almost make the sequel feel cheapened. Finally, of course, the system requirements are astronomical. My gaming PC, while not brand new, is no slouch - and yet the game is still frequently choppy in outdoor situations.

But still, is the game fun? Yes it is. I'll probably be playing it - and culling the zombie horde - for quite some time to come. I just hope that this game expands better than the first one.

And let me paraphrase a movie quote: AK-47, the very best there is. When you absolutely, positively, have to kill every single zombie in the room; accept no substitute.


Blogger Laura said...

so, do you like it? I haven't picked it up yet. Partly because we've been having technical issues over here.

11:48 AM, November 20, 2009  
Blogger Julien Chambers said...

I don't have the full version yet, but I've had great fun bashing zombies in the head with the guitar in the demo. Can't wait to get the full version.

8:49 AM, November 22, 2009  
Blogger Burton said...

Yeah, it's pretty awesome. Definitely worth picking up!

1:05 AM, November 23, 2009  

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