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Left 4 Dead 2 Demo


left_4_dead_2_survivors

I’ve had some time with the Left 4 Dead 2 demo via the pre-order early access, and I have to say that things are looking pretty positive. The game seems a lot more polished so far in regards to the vast number of weapon/item additions.

Many of the new weapons are melee in nature, and it certainly adds a lot more depth to the game. The penalty to taking a melee weapon is that it replaces your unlimited ammo pistol/dual pistols. If you fall in the line of duty though, you will still whip out your pistol in a last ditch effort. With the melee weapons, you are able to hold a position in a corner during a mass assault a lot better. You can also keep the zombie hordes back when you’re trying to make a run through a dangerous open area easier now that you don’t have to stop to aim in order to take out the stragglers. On top of that, there really just isn’t anything much more satisfying than bashing a zombie across the face with a frying pan to a wonderful “klang” noise. Another nice bonus in regards to weapons is that you have a bigger variety of your actual firearms. Now the benefits to using one version of Sub machine gun over another isn’t as blatant at first, but knowing valve I’m sure there there are subtle differences in firing rate and damage done.

The new items are very interesting as well, and they add a whole new level of strategy to the game. In addition to the med kit from Left 4 Dead, you now have the option of picking up a defibrillator. This will allow you to bring back someone in your group from the dead, but that ends up being one less med kit that you can carry. It is these kinds of sacrifices that make up the main parts of strategy. You’ll find yourself having to pick and choose between one item/weapon over another.

Other new items that come into play include Boomer Bile, which takes up a grenade slot. Throwing the bile on zombies will cause other undead in the area to swarm on them similar to the boomer himself, obviously. You’ll also find adrenaline shots as a substitute for pills. The shot will boost your health temporarily by 25 points, make you immune to melee fatigue, and make you immune to getting slowed from undead attacks.

The other big addition that people are most excited is the new special undead. The Spitter is a disturbing creature that looks like a cross between Pippi Longstocking and Linda Blaire from the Exorcist. She is able to spit a pool of bile that acts like the molotov cocktail. The Jockey is a short little creature that’ll jump on your back and steer you away from the group or into dangerous elements like fire or Spitter vomit. The Charger is what happens when you combine two-face and a tank. Half of this freak is pure muscle and he will charge you (duh), pick you up with his one swollen arm, and smash you around over and over again. Along with these new elements you’ll find your old favorites the Hunter, Smoker, Boomer, and Tank. The one thing that seems new, though, is a surprise element to tanks. Whether this was a glitch or not, I’m not sure, but I often found a tank hiding behind a wall and ambushing us without the telltale warning music chiming in. Another new surprise element is the wandering witches. No longer does the Witch sit on the ground with a clear and visible marker. You’ll still hear her wails, but now she’s up and moving through the crowd of infected. All too often have I found myself shooting into the crowds only to see the scream queen come barreling out to tear me a new one. These new special infected should hopefully add a bit more balance to the versus game mode which, up till now, has really felt more in favor of the survivors than the infected.

The new survivors feel just as alive and real as the last group. I found that it was hard for me to really let go of the classic characters because Valve did such a good job in the casual conversation and the like that I became really attached to them. I’m already finding myself growing on the new survivors as well. It’s a shame that we haven’t gotten to see a really good single player campaign for Left 4 Dead. I would love to really play through a focused story of the survivors and I can’t think of too many zombie themed FPS games that focused on telling a story amidst all the chaos going on.

The only negative thing I can say about Left 4 Dead 2 is that it’s lost some of the scarier elements that made up Left 4 Dead. Taking place in the daytime is great, but it’s just not as creepy to see a swarm of enemies coming down a brightly lit street than a dark and cramped apartment or hospital. This is still only the demo level though and I have hopes for the other stages.

Left 4 Dead 2 is looking great, and I for one can’t wait for launch day on Nov17th.

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  1. daniel
    November 3, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    The Public Demo of Left 4 Dead 2 is releasing today so folks be ready and keep up for more news but lame that they don’t just set it in in the morning!

  2. Michael Bonner
    November 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Finally got to play the demo, and as big of a fan of the first one that I am… I am afraid that my loyalties will stay with the first. Left 4 dead 2 seemed easy… I played through the demo on expert without getting touched and the grphical quality seemed to decline. I like the additions the the weapons( guns and melée) but I do not Luke the new characters. I would much prefer to play as Zoe again or see Francis bitch about nothing haha. It was good, just not as good… Sorry Valve!

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