The Official Left4Dead2 Thread


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HairyArse
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We have been invited to a Left4Dead2 event in London next week (28th) and the lucky attendee gets to play the game and go through some real military training on how to deal with a zombie invasion.

Anyone fancy going and writing a nice preview for us?
#1 at 13:57:42 - 22/10/2009
peej
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Bugger, that's a wednesday. Not sure my missus would be too pleased if I used my "daddy day" to take the nipper to a zombie training exercise and shoot-a-thon!
#2 at 14:05:13 - 22/10/2009
Tomo
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Oh fuck! I am gaga for L4D, but the 28th is the EG expo and I'm working there that day :/

Valve is at the Expo anyway - seems a bit daft to have this on the same day?
#3 at 14:47:37 - 22/10/2009
General Muppet
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Unless the interview I've been waiting for falls on that day, I should be free. Besides, I never get invited to events :/
#4 at 16:40:46 - 22/10/2009
NewYork
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How'd you get the invite? Threatened a boycott? ;)
#5 at 16:50:08 - 22/10/2009
HairyArse
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Nope, they just sent me it cos they love my work. Clearly.
#6 at 16:54:18 - 22/10/2009
NewYork
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This of course was a reference to the fact that the leaders of the L4D2 boycott were given a grand tour of Valve's studio (and mysteriously called off the boycott shortly thereafter).

Whinging works, boys and girls :)
#7 at 17:14:46 - 22/10/2009
peej
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Maybe we should start up a boycott of Jade Raymond's underwear drawer.
#8 at 17:21:10 - 22/10/2009
HairyArse
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NewYork said:This of course was a reference to the fact that the leaders of the L4D2 boycott were given a grand tour of Valve's studio (and mysteriously called off the boycott shortly thereafter).

Whinging works, boys and girls :)


Well of course, but I wasn't gonna bite.
#9 at 17:33:41 - 22/10/2009
HairyArse
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Can anyone give me a definite yes as I need to reply today.
#10 at 12:31:10 - 23/10/2009
General Muppet
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I've just heard my interview is supposed to be on the 27th, so I could give a definite yes.
#11 at 13:48:12 - 23/10/2009
HairyArse
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OK mate - can you email me your name and telephone number so I can pass them onto the people.

Remember, you're representing AATG.

:D
#12 at 13:54:06 - 23/10/2009
General Muppet
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Done! I'll aim to get a write-up done before the London EG expo.
#13 at 14:18:37 - 23/10/2009
peej
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Go GM!!!
#14 at 14:49:40 - 23/10/2009
HairyArse
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OK I've passed your details onto the people in the know and as soon as I get the rest of the info I'll pass it on.
#15 at 15:06:00 - 23/10/2009
Tomo
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/am cry

:(
#16 at 18:29:32 - 23/10/2009
General Muppet
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Just got back from this - it was a great laugh, managed to have a (very small) chat with Mr. Faliszek. Can't say I'm proud, but nerves got the better of me when I'd been told I could actually talk to him. I blame his face forest.
#17 at 22:27:45 - 28/10/2009
peej
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o/! Sounds like it was fun, can't wait to read your write-up.

#18 at 08:54:22 - 29/10/2009
El_MUERkO
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It's 'more of the same' right? It should be DLC or an expansion rather than a full sequel right? Wrong. The PC pre-order demo went live last week and a lot of time into it, also while attending the Eurogamer Expo I've played the new 'Scavenger' mode on the Xbox 360, have a braaainsdump.

Left 4 Dead, Valves newest IP, was released only a year ago, modern gamers donít expect it, when it happens they donít trust it cynical bunch that we are, when we look at screenshots of Left 4 Dead 2 side by side with the first we'd be forgiven for thinking it's a money grab, 'get it out while zombies are cool' rushed release and that's never going to sit well with the fans of Valve or Left 4 Dead, we expect more from our sequels and rightly so. Some may argue that it's more L4D 1.5 than a full sequel as we know them, how could it only a year on? Playing the demo should shed some light on it, in motion and action that you begin to realize Left 4 Dead 2 is a significant update to warrant sequel status.

[THUMB1]Camping, Campaigns and being deliciously evil.

Left 4 Dead 2 brings back the Campaign mode with an all new cast of chatty, likeable characters that spout brilliant one liners while you do your utmost to keep them from being dismembered while Versus and Survivor have been tweaked to give both sides extra information about their teammates. Joining them in the sequel are 'Realism' which removes much of the UI to force greater teamwork and situational awareness and 'Scavenge' a three round versus-like game to see who can collect the most gas canisters to fill the dwindling fuel to an electricity generator. I've played a small part of one campaign and a few games of Scavenge so I'll focus on them.

Left 4 Dead 2 campaign mode appears to be the original as seen through rose tinted glasses, the distillation of all your best experiences in the first game offered to you constantly. Tighter, scarier, far less predictable, it runs you ragged, there's barely time to get your bearings between waves of infected as you are hounded toward the safe-room, when you arrive the sense of relief is overpowering. After I got used to the campaign maps of the first much of the fear and uncertainty seemed to be stripped away from the game, not so in L4D2, I'll discuss some of the reasons for that later. The daylight setting allows the Visual artists to go to town, the story of a city under siege, barricade defenses overwhelmed and the unrelenting onslaught of infected is everywhere; the detritus of peopleís flight is hauntingly reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina.

Scavenger is a phenomenal addition to the 'Versus' multiplayer mode adding a layer of teamwork and tactics to the frantic pace that will have players plotting each others downfall with Machiavellian cunning and brutality. A unique FPS multiplayer mode is rarity these days, one as well thought out as this is a breathe of fresh air. Considering the quantity of high profile multiplayer game releases this autumn/winter 'Scavenge' may well be the games greatest selling points.

The EG Expo demo was based in a Motel, the generator is in a swimming pool surrounded by two level buildings accessed by steps at each end by stairs, venturing into the rooms to recover fuel canisters on your own is a quick way to meet your death, help may be close but the enemy know which way it'll be coming from and ambush is inevitable.

[THUMB2]What's changed?

Melee is probably the feature most immediately obvious in L4D2, the weapons are a diverse as they are brutal and with the improved dismemberment, blood and gore decapitating a zombie has never been more fun. They behave how you might expect having noticeable differences, the guitar has a longer range than the machete which is a one shot kill and in my experience the samurai sword is king.

Of course you want them but there is a 'but', they replace your pistol, and the pistols are much improved themselves. Your ordinary pistol is improved but you can get upgrades, one of which is a Dessert Eagle, an unlimited ammo hand cannon that sends zombies or what remains of them flying when hit.

So you're left with a choice, an infinite ammo ranged weapon that can do some real damage to specials and uncommon infected or a near instant-death melee weapon for when you get up close and personal.

Primary weapons now pack way more punch; you get to the shiny stuff almost immediately with upgraded automatic shotguns, automatic sniper rifles, grenade launchers and assault rifles unleashing all kinds of carnage on the zombie horde. The more powerful ones can also penetrate scenery as I learned with great pleasure when I popped a boomer through a concrete barricade. These can be amended again via different types of ammo, explosive and incendiary, I've not had the pleasure of experiencing them but they sure sound nice.

The painkillers and medical packs are back but added are the shock pads and adrenalin, shock pads replace the medpack your inventory but allow you to resurrect the dead with 50% health while adrenaline gives you a short term health, speed and strength boost. During the climactic scenes near the end of each map it quickly became apparent new editions can save a life and make the difference between a win and a loss also back-pedalling on adrenaline with 4 health while firing the automatic sniper rifle from your hip as a swarm of zombies chase you is incredibly satisfying.

[THUMB3]So all of these enhanced weapons and health items make it easier right?

Harder. Than. Ever. The infected are more numerous than before, more aggressive than before, it's possible to riddle one with rounds and for them to keep coming cause you've missed a vital organ, the new uncommon infected are tougher to kill, such as the police officer that has front facing body armour but is weak from behind, moving as quickly as the other infected they can get in among your group fast causing you to become separated or allow a Special infected to get much closer than before while you deal with the uncommon.

The special infected tend to come in bunches, they're more varied and numerous than before and rarely arrive alone, there's always lots of standard infected getting in the way as you try to deal with them. The Spitter, Charger, Jockey and roaming Witch all add new challenges to the game-play. As the weapons allow for more diverse tactics from Survivors so to does the new Specials when playing as infected. The jockey can be particularly awkward to deal with requiring accurate aim or a point blank melee while they weave around on your unfortunate team-mates head.

The improved AI director does a lot to spilt up the survivors throwing Spitters or Boomers at you before sending in a Charger that drags one of your party away. It's much harder to stay together as a group and the maps donít help, moving slowly is bitterly punished by waves of infected thus forcing the pace through a twisting maze of alleys and buildings cluttered with wreckage and death, it's easy to turn around and lose your team only to here a hunter growl nearby. At the same time the director is always careful to spawn infected in front of you as well, every foot of ground will be fought over. The lay of the land can also be blocked by the director forcing survivors to find a new route and adding to their uncertainty. This bump in directorial power probably does the most to reinvigorate the campaign game, you'll curse it often as you progress.

[THUMB4]Brains?

If someone told me know I could have Uncharted 2.6, Halo 3.5, GTA IV.VII next Christmas with the same thought and care put into them as has been put into Left 4 Dead 2 I'd pre-order them all now. Fans of Left 4 Dead should thank whatever brain hungry deity blessed Valve with the nerve to try for a one year turn around on the sequel. Left 4 Dead 2 looks to be a masterful follow up on to one of the best loved games of 2008. If it matches the promise shown from these brief glimpses then roll on Left 4 Dead 3 in 2010. The weapons are numerous and varied giving players more choice as to how they approach the game, the new infected add to a greater feeling of unpredictability, the level design is so clever it's malicious, the AI director has had an IQ boost, every aspect of Left 4 Dead has been improved upon and those improvements combined make for an ingenious mix of frantic action and pulp horror. In Left 4 Dead 2 it seems it's good to be alive or dead.
#19 at 14:23:11 - 29/10/2009
General Muppet
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I've sent a couple of emails, but just in case; a little update.

I shouldn't have aimed to get it done before the London EG expo and I feel like a bit of an idiot for promising that in the first place. Just so I'm not a complete disappointment, I'm adding what I gained from the expo, since the pre-order demo and event demo (pre-demo code) were virtually the same, bar the bugs & glitches.

Edit: and erm, I'll try to get it done asap.
#20 at 23:20:10 - 30/10/2009
HairyArse
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General Muppet - I've added El Muerko's piece to the front page but as soon as you send me yours I can either add it as its own article or amend it onto his.

:)
#21 at 17:08:19 - 03/11/2009
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Coolio. Sorry about being really slow with it!
#22 at 17:58:04 - 03/11/2009
peej
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Alright, I know I'm usually a bit of an ubercynic when it comes to games - but as a noob to l4d I thought I'd try the demo of the sequel and...

and...what the hell is all the fuss about? It looks fucking awful (the source engine is really looking its age now), plays fucking awful, and though I can see it's primarily designed as a co-op experience, how can anyone play anything so utterly frustrating?

More to the point, why the hell is this even a full priced game when it should've been a mod for Half Life 2?

(really doesn't "get" games)
#23 at 10:09:44 - 09/11/2009
evilashchris
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it's a great laugh in co-op, and L4D2 lets you decapitate zombies with a machete!

I know an awful lot of folk love the vs. mode too, special zombies against survivors.

That said, I can't see myself picking up this sequel right away, far too much to play at the moment, with Borderlands, Dragon Age and MW2 tonight (hello Hairy!).
#24 at 11:13:44 - 09/11/2009
peej
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It's at least convinced me to keep my money in my pocket for the sequel, and definitely not to bother with the original game.

And I fucking HATE fast zombies :)

/preorders Dead Rising 2 instead.
#25 at 11:38:11 - 09/11/2009
JoeCairo
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I'm utterly undecided about this. I love co-op games to death, but I actually thought the first one was a bit overrated in terms of co-operability. It seemed to descend into an untidy mess far too often, with the only real strategy being 'blast through the horde and get to the saferoom.'

I got far more enjoyment out of Horde, TBH.
#26 at 15:14:27 - 09/11/2009
El_MUERkO
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I forgot to mention, I talked to Chet at the EG Expo where he was hanging around the L4D section.

I asked him about the 3D tech used on the Avatar demo and he said that valve have tried it with L4D, the only issue they have to resolve is the 2D text used for names above peoples head o/
#27 at 15:44:03 - 09/11/2009
Binky
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I have Left4Dead2.

That is all.
#28 at 11:54:54 - 12/11/2009
Espad
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Binky said:I have Left4Dead2.

That is all.


You bastard.

That is all.
#29 at 12:14:19 - 12/11/2009
peej
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Meh

That really IS all :)
#30 at 12:35:57 - 12/11/2009

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