Left 4 Dead 2 - Xbox 360

Game Description:In the follow-up to Valve's wildly popular zombie-slaying FPS, players assume the roles of four new characters, as they struggle to survive against unending hordes of the undead beneath the sunny skies of the American South. Dispose of the newly designed zombie types with the help of new melee weapons, including an ax, a chainsaw, a baseball bat, and even a frying pan. And thanks to the addition of even more modes, maps and items, players can expect to have their hands full when the zombie apocalypse rears its undead head once again.
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Left 4 Dead 2 Comic-Con Preview

Left 4 Dead 2 Comic-Con Preview

By Sterling McGarvey - Posted Jul 23, 2009

Left 4 Dead 2 Swamp Fever

Will the angry online petitions continue with new revelations from Valve regarding Left 4 Dead 2? Tough to tell, but one thing's for sure: based on what I played at EA's event earlier today, I for one, won't have much of a problem forking out my own hard-earned $60 to buy a copy. Today, Valve provided a new hands-on encounter with the recently unveiled "Swamp Fever" chapter. On the heels of "The Parish," a New Orleans-inspired segment of the shooter sequel, this new section brought with it new perils, and a glimpse of some of L4D2's new methods of separating you from your teammates. Here's a hint, most of it deals with fire.

Flame On!

When I played at E3, I took on the role of riverboat gambler Nick. Today, I randomly ended up with hapless mechanic Ellis. In terms of eventual outcome, both of my encounters ended the same way: undermined by a few unfortunate mistakes from myself and my teammates. Sure, I was the second-to-last survivor, but we all gave up the ghost at some point. Along the way, though, I noticed plenty of shiny new gameplay elements that Valve somehow concealed from the E3 debut. The most important one, from a combat perspective, is the temporary gun perk. Basically, as you run around the map, you and your compatriots encounter special bundles embedded in different places. When all of you pick it up, it gives you flammable rounds for your heavy weapon. A shotgun with explosive bucks really comes in handy when a Tank is trying to quite literally make fresh-squeezed juice with your face. I also watched as survivors who made it to the later stages earned a grenade launcher, which liquifies flesh-eaters with a remarkable efficiency.

And though I briefly sampled the fireaxe at E3, today's demo delivered new melee weapons, including a canoe paddle (didn't try it) and a frying pan. I'm still not sure about the melee weapons in action yet; I found frying pans when I least needed them, such as in an empty stretch of swamp land, or right before encountering a special zombie, like a Smoker or the new Spitter. As a result, I never really got to see it effectively in action. So far, it's one of the few unproven elements of L4D2 that I'm not gaga over, mainly because it pops up in inconvenient places during each of my five minute demos. But I could be misguided. We'll see.

Spooking the Witch Is the Least of Your Worries

During my interview with Valve's Doug Lombardi, he indicated that Valve isn't just designing levels to create bottlenecks and tension, they're effectively grabbing you by the scruff of your collar and making you play alongside your teammates. Now, more than ever, you'll fool around at your own peril. Of special note: Valve paid close attention to the safehouse strategy, which encouraged selfish players to hoard supplies until they reached the safehouse, rather than aiding teammates. Now with random aid/item drops, it'll behoove you to work together instead of stockpiling for the safehouse. There's no longer any guarantee that hitting the safehouse will do anything but provide you with a stopping point to the chapter. As a result, L4D2 could enforce intricately planned teamwork simply due to the sheer number of undead that the new Director 2.0 AI throws at you. Here's a hint: the combination of claustrophobic quarters and napalm-barfing zombies will immediately sift the wallflower from the rest of the survivors.

Fire, Bad!

Left 4 Dead 2 Spitter

Speaking of napalm vomit, Valve unveiled a new special zombie during today's demo. Dubbed the Spitter, this emaciated mutation sprays out a red trail -- at first glance, it resembles a Smoker's long tongue -- but in a few seconds' time, the trail lights ablaze and incinerates whatever's in its path. It's not immediately identifiable, which makes it quite dangerous (and will likely continue to be for the first week that L4D2 is available). One napalm bath, combined with a wave of 30 zombies proved to be my squad's ultimate downfall. But it's not the only new villain. Each stage will have a creature unique to its stage. For "Swamp Fever," the Mudmen lurk under the murky swamp water and jump out to fling mud in your eyes. It's not as immediately awful as Boomer vomit, but it's designed to make the process of hitting the safe house that much harder.

Left 4 Dead 2 Mudman

EA showcased a fair share of titles during this Comic-Con kickoff event. Of them all, Left 4 Dead 2 was indisputably the pick of the litter -- it didn't hurt that Valve had a fresh new level to show off to the media, while many other titles offered second helpings of their E3 demo. That said, I had a great time playing and I'm really excited to play, but I'm curious to see how effectively some of Valve's new implementations will work. For example, will stage-specific enemies piss off some players and make them swear off certain levels? As powerful as melee weapons are, will the Director AI place them somewhere intuitive, such as near the start of a 30-something zombie swarm? Those are the questions -- not why Valve is "cashing in"-- are what I'm left asking after my play session. Lombardi also hinted that Penny Arcade Expo will bring another new stage. Ideally, the gaming public will finally see what Valve's up to and make a judgment based on gameplay, rather than press releases. Hopefully, they'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Comments are Closed

  • deshoun23

    that game is off the hook but the system sucks lol they should hav it 4 ps3

    Posted: August 15, 2009 2:48 PM
  • lron_nutz_4u

    OMG!!!! This game looks like so so cooly cool cool!!! The new monsters look really Awesome too. The spitter thing looks super neat-o. I cant wait to plat it.
    Im hardcore too just like you 2tank6. UR2 cool. DOWN WITH POSERS IN DRESSES!!!

    Posted: August 10, 2009 9:42 AM
  • 2tank6

    ...Dude. We all know all of that. I am a hardcore l4d gamer and I don't like posers like you coming in all giddy saying "OMG!" like your favorite dress is on sale. The spitter will be immense, but only online. offline gameplay still needs a lot of work, 4 player coop and versus would be nice. Not everyone has xbox live, so the online features of a game can only be enjoyed by part of the population. Offline gameplay is always key, but nobody ever thinks so. IS ANYONE ON MY SIDE??

    Posted: August 4, 2009 12:05 PM
  • Superforms90

    Left 4 dead 2 will be so awesome because they have the spitter,charger,and the wondering witch!

    Posted: August 4, 2009 8:25 AM
  • Plageon

    Is it wrong that it turns me on?

    Posted: July 29, 2009 10:16 AM
  • crazypothead

    i keep geting more excited every day it gets closer the the release date i just hope they dont delay the game.

    Posted: July 27, 2009 8:08 PM
  • left4deadmaster

    i like how the new changes to the game, the spitter sounds cool and i'd like try it in vs when it comes out but the mudman thing sounds a little like the hunter

    Posted: July 27, 2009 1:41 PM
  • Dynzad

    I was thinking about boycotting L4D2, but Valve promised sufficient changes to validate a new release as opposed to DLC. Every time I hear something new about L4D2 it just justifies their claim more. Can't say i'm 100% convinced but I believe that Valve is sticking to their word thus far and trust them to deliver. Of course, I wont be content until i see something significant added to L4D1...

    Posted: July 26, 2009 10:44 PM
  • yea


    Posted: July 26, 2009 12:24 PM
  • VocVon

    Just a thought...What if they put in millitary guys trying to stop the zombies if you're doing realy bad? Or millitary guys killing all zombies and people if your doning realy good? OK bad idea, but any way why are the hazmat people infected? isn't that what the suit is for?

    Posted: July 25, 2009 9:10 PM
  • VocVon

    I just hope we can turn off the power-ups because sometimes Ijust want to kill zombies on my own. With out like, lazer shots.

    Posted: July 25, 2009 8:38 PM
  • wetwilli64

    I LOVE Left 4 Dead. Example of said selfishness:
    I just hate it when people kick you because you're not doing exactly what they say. Someone with a mic says "Go up on that ledge." If that's a bad idea, or if you just don't want to and what you ARE doing isn't hurting the team at all, then you have no obligation to do it. Well then the person with the mic gets immature and spiteful and decides to call a vote to kick you. And of course, everyone else couldn't care less so they just vote yes cus they know that somebody else will replace you in a few seconds.

    Posted: July 24, 2009 8:33 AM
  • Broof3

    this game sounds more and more fun every day
    im gonna camp in front of gamestop just to get it
    wish i could make it to COMIC CON(had family business)

    Posted: July 23, 2009 10:57 PM
  • Qatesh

    All I can say is I cant wait for this game, it looks fantastic... O and if u want to shoot up gangbangers go play San Andreas......

    Posted: July 23, 2009 4:43 PM
  • Spacepope58

    I also don't like how all the zombies look like souther trailer trash but I don't think that I will care when I am confronted with 30 bare foot hicks out 4 blood. But Maybe Left 4 Dead 3 will have some gangbangers and hippies one can only hope

    Posted: July 23, 2009 1:08 PM
  • Spacepope58

    Well I don't like the idea of people being selfish i left 4 dead 2 that is what made the game so good you weren't fighting with your teammates for weapons just 4 health packs. and the pregnant firer spitter looks creepy

    Posted: July 23, 2009 1:05 PM
  • FlushBot

    I'm in love.

    Posted: July 23, 2009 12:11 PM
  • crackingcody

    crackingcody's comment is abusive and has been removed.

    Posted: July 23, 2009 11:56 AM
  • skwareballz

    Most of the boycotters are going to buy the game anyways when they here how awesome it is. As long as we get some decent DLC for either game I won't mind paying for a new L4D at all.

    Posted: July 23, 2009 11:15 AM
  • FullMetal_Gam3r

    i cant wait to play this game it looks so damn FUN!!

    Posted: July 23, 2009 10:34 AM