Sunday, 22 November 2009

Bang bang bang bang! Vaminos! Vaminos!

Formats: PC, Xbox 360[reviewed]

[Edit: for anyone that's interested - this is the 301st post on split-screen!]

Well, here it is, a pseudo-review of Left 4 Dead 2. Having only been out two days I have already spent a good 14 hours on it and this is what I found.

This game is not an expansion pack

OK, so when the petition to boycott Left 4 Dead 2 was abandoned (largely in part because the leaders of said petition were flown to Valve HQ to play the game before it came out and given a sneak peek at the plans for continued support for the first game) there were some splinter groups. The first of which was the rational 'I'll rent it when it comes out and based off of playing the full game I will decide whether to buy it' and the other 'what else can we say about it to make ourselves not want to buy it in such times of financial hardship'. Their idea was to claim that it was an expansion pack for the first and so not worth between 25-40GBP (shop around). They are wrong. The game feels, looks, behaves very differently. The AI director has improved, there are tons of new weapons and add ons, and just so much content that it is actually larger than the first game by FAR.


To be honest I was kind of disappointed in the demo - Valve had promised us so much more, including dynamic weather, multiple routes etc. but the only thing they highlighted was the gauntlet in the second part. This moment is amazing in multiplayer on expert (I have survived it as far as making it to the alarm but no further) but have managed to pass it on advanced. This is one of my favourite changes to the game, no more is it just a press the button and fight off a wave of infected. There are some really intense times where the infected do not stop coming until you turn off an alarm or a parade float has passed by. There are moments where you have to fill a car with petrol or the expected press a button and hold ground: crack open the escape hatch on a crashed airliner. The finale for the Dark Carnival campaign is the one I love the most and look forward to playing through with some of you.

Scavenge mode is the single freaking greatest addition to any game ever

There I said it. I have only played it with yanks online who were in party chat, and still had a hoot. I can only imagine how good this is going to be when (or rather if) 7 of my friends get the game. Beg, borrow or steal a copy of the game to give this a go.

One for the achievement whores

Valve should design every achievement list for every game ever made. Its going to be a real test of skill to get your 100% on this but it is attainable if you get a good set of friends together, and it'll be a hell of a lot of fun trying to get through it.

The bad points

Of course the game isn't perfect. None is. Except maybe Return of Flight of the Navigator (release tbc). So here are the downsides so far.

The computer AI is even more stupid than before - if you don't have 3 friends, then I feel really sorry for you as there are going to be some really tough sections for you.

Witches seen to be freely walking about instead of sitting crying are sh*t scary.

Scavenge mode will ruin my life.

Zombies, there are LOADS of them. The tagline for the game is 'New friends. More Zombies. Better Apocalpse.', all three of these things are true, the difficulty is really ramped up from the first, do not expect an easy ride.

There are some server issues at the moment, but I don't think that anybody has expected any game to sell as much as they are when fighting with Modern Warfare 2 (most of all Randy Pitchford and Gearbox for their excellent Borderlands) and so weren't prepared for the load. I'm sure that Valve will have this remedied ASAP but if you play it this week you have been warned. The way to get around it is to play with your friends, the lobby leader can set the server to be local and that seems to work fine.

The new female Boomer variant is no doubt what my brother would deem a 'serious 10 pinter'. She is the rather beautiful far right in the above picture.

There are probably some more but I've been having so much fun with it that sitting typing this instead of playing it I'm only seeing the good points.

Loose ends

No doubt I have left out parts of what I had intended to say about this game, but it is late and I have red eye and zombie twitch. The crux of it is that if you liked the first game then for the love of God and all that is holy get this game (even if, like me, you are a heathen - do it for those who do believe).

This is as much 'more of the same' as any sequel, in the sense that it throws apocalypse at you and expects you to fight through it. It is much more accomplished and complete than the first. If you have no friends on Steam or an XBL silver account then don't bother with this - it'll take you 5 hours and you'll be done. Otherwise, rent it, I'll play with you and if you want more, buy it.

Seeing as I am the only person who actually owns it to my knowledge at the minute (at least half of you are on my XBL friends list) then I am creating a new pecking order. I call Coach. Whoever appears next can call. I'll keep count. Screw the rest of you. For those who do get it, I'll see you online.


cr0nt said...

Stupid posted it already and forgot to add:

Anyone who does not have me on their XBL list can PM me their GamerTag and I'll send a friend request with a personal message. Alternatively for Team Fortress 2 on my steam account, as soon as I get round to getting a new copy for my new account (the last was hacked and locked out).

The Faux Bot said...

Shit. You just made me realise that by not getting the game I've forfeited Coach. Also, you made me want it, bad. Alas, my money is being spent on others right now but I'm hoping to get it for christmas mate, just sit tight til then.

cr0nt said...

You'll have to get it before Krandal so you can call Nick! The only duff character in my opinion is Rochelle so lets just hope you don't get lumped with her.

I assume the money is the bit you're saving to give to Infinity Ward for the DLC which will unlock those game modes shipped on the MW2 disc? ^_^

Far from sitting tight I am blasting on with the game (and alternately getting blasted on SF by Sir Gadd - my Gen is NOT cheap) trying to unlock the avatar awards that the game brings - most of you have already seen my funky Depeche Mode t-shirt (which you get for rescuing Gnome Chompski - my heart flipped when I heard he was making a return), I have now unlocked the 4 t-shirt for winning 10 rounds of Scavenge, as well as the first-aid prop for completing all the campaigns. All that's left are two tees, one for winning 10 versus games and one for killing 10,000 zombies (I'm up to 5 after 7 plays of the campaign and some odd scavenge games, so its MUCH easier to get than the 50k+ for the first).

It's also a shame that I had to leave out most of what I wanted to say for the sake of space, I could have written thousands of words on it, but I didn't /shame

cr0nt said...

Sir Gadd gets second call - who's next?

YEAH R0Y said...

im in, i just gotta wait about 3 weeks, ......for my birthday ...if anyone cared ...... then im gonna pick it up, and let the good time roll

samboy said...

I have to wait til my bday too! BOOOOO!

cr0nt said...

And when is that? Not that I won't be playing it for a long time to come...

vandalworks said...

you'll have to wait for me when its uber cheap! like, £15 cheap! i may get the first one soon, should see a nice price drop=]

cr0nt said...

I'll also happily play the first one with you - I'm looking to play through it on expert some time soon anyway - a veteran gunner like yourself would be appreciated!

samboy said...

december 23rd - far too long!

until then, I am console-less



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