Review: Left 4 Dead 2

Platforms: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC

Left 4 Dead 2 has been kind of a sore spot and the topic of much debate for many gamers this year. The original game sold in abundance but it left some gamers feeling like something was missing… And they were right, out of the 4 campaigns the game had; only 2 of them were available in the 4 on 4 versus mode. No one really bitched thought because valve promised they were working hard on releasing the rest of the levels. When they hit Xbox Live and Steam, L4D was back in everyone’s system trays – Then came word that there would be another smaller campaign coming to Steam and Live users but the people on the PC were getting their update for free while Xbox users were required to pay for it. When the announcement hit that there would be a fully priced sequel, plenty griped that they were feeling ripped off and that it should be offered as nothing more than a downloadable update at DLC pricing. I can’t say who is right or wrong in this matter as I can see both sides of the coin, I can say that what was broken with the original has been, by and large, fixed with the sequel.

This is a damn fine sequel in my opinion. They’ve kept the core of the game that was so much fun and added/expanded upon it with a variety of new things. For starters, we have a whole new set of survivors (thought I do miss Zoe) in a completely new setting. New Orleans – The land of beads, booze and boobs. From the main streets of downtown New Orleans to the back swamps right to a carnival, each level will keep you guessing as you traverse them trying to stay alive. These levels really turn up the heat on you – Especially Hard Rain.

With the new survivors come new ammunition, melee and ranged weapons in the form of Baseball bats, frying pans and Police batons just to name a few but also an AK-47 and incendiary/exploding ammo. These additions are welcome news to survivors because the zombies have some new special infected members as well – The Charger, Spitter and Jockey all make it harder to finish alive. On a side note, seems we also got a new form of zombie that only appears when playing online – I like to call it “The Lag Monster”.

Further to all this new stuff, we get a new mode called Scavenge which is RIDICULOUSLY fun. The basic premise has the player in the role of the survivors as they try and gather up as many gas canisters and fill up a tank. As the Zombies, you’re tasked with preventing them from making it out alive.

One thing to note that has been a monumental pain in the ass – THE LAG MONSTER. We’re all running into the Lag Monster. Some know what it is and some don’t understand it, we all hate it though. About half the games I’ve played have ended due to the Lag Monster. I really hope that Valve can correct this because it’s horribly annoying and will no doubt drive gamers away.

As a big fan of the original, I love this game – I really can’t say much more than that. If you loved the 1st one, and you don’t have this game yet, you’re really missing out. My only wish is the graphics were a little more up to date and we could do more than 4 on 4 versus. Did I mention the Lag Monster has to go?

Pros:

  • New weapons and ammo
  • New Modes
  • New Zombies
  • Level Design

Cons:

  • Time to pony up on the servers – The Lag Monster has to go!
  • Graphics are showing their age

Feed Your console gives Left 4 Dead 2 a 8.5 out of 10

Developer/Publisher: Valve Corporation
Distribution: EA (Xbox), Steam (PC)

* Images thanks to EA

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